Big Cypress National Preserve: 7th Grade Curriculum
Thinking Through How to Live With Wildlife
Southwest Floridians live side-by-side with wildlife including alligators, skunks, venomous snakes, raccoons, coyotes, and bobcats. In addition, a recovering panther and bear population is contributing to increased encounters with these large predators. This can pose challenges and possible threats to people, pets, property, and livestock.
In order to protect both people and the native wildlife, Big Cypress National Preserve created the Living with Wildlife curriculum to not simply teach students what to think, but how to think critically about these complex issues. Importantly, it offers them the opportunity to practice thinking through different perspectives in exercises simulating real-world situations.
By introducing students to the history, ecology, and politics of wildlife in Southwest Florida, we can create informed decision-makers for the future. By leading students through the Living with Wildlife curriculum, a new paradigm for viewing nature and their place in it can be obtained.
This content is intended for both classroom and non-formal educators. This interdisciplinary guide is flexible for use in a 7th grade classroom, across a variety of subject areas and educational settings. Each activity write-up includes a box indicating the recommended subject areas, duration, key vocabulary, and Sunshine State Standards addressed. Additionally, some activities include suggested extensions and connections that can be made to other subject areas.
The materials provided in the Living with Wildlife curriculum provide a starting place for discussing wildlife and wildlife encounters with the goal of inspiring further exploration into these topics to generate a deeper understanding of the uniquely beautiful ecosystem of Southwest Florida.
The intent of this video and website are to highlight the complexity of Florida panther recovery and to give voice to the diversity of stakeholders involved and affected. Panthers are part of Florida's heritage and can play a significant role in the future of the state through ongoing protection of public lands as well as conservation easements and other programs that enable private landowners to maintain large wild spaces. This video was created through a collaboration between Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida National Parks Association, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, and the South Florida National Parks Trust. The website is an effort of the Naples Zoo.