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VPR In The Classroom: How Wind Affects Wildlife

Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
The Department of Fish and WIldlife is using temperature-sensitive cameras to study bears in the Green Mountain National Forest.

Listenwise helps teachers use stories from VPR in their classrooms. Working with VPR we identify relevant local news stories, design and develop classroom resources around them and make them available for free at 
To find more public radio stories and lessons for your middle and high school ELA, social studies, and science classrooms you can sign up for a free Listenwise account!

Story Synopsis: The Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to find out how bears will react to a new wind project. It will be the first commercial wind project on U.S. Forest Service land and will include 15 turbines.They started tracking bears by using radio collars to see how they move around before the turbines are in place. The collars had many problems, so they started using cameras to track the bears. Now they have data to study bears and wildlife both before and after the wind project begins. Share this story with your students so they can learn more about this wind project in Vermont and its impact on wildlife.

For more ideas, read our Teaching Strategies for using Listenwise audio stories with your students.

Use with Grades 6-12, National Curriculum Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.

Listening Comprehension Questions: Assign these questions to your students or answer them together in a group.

  1. Why is the Department of Fish and Wildlife interested in data on the movement of bears?
  2. Why is wind power important to the future of Vermont?
  3. Why is Vermont installing wind turbines in this area?
  4. What are the reasons radio collars didn’t work in this project?
  5. How will the data caught on cameras be used?

Discussion Themes: Use these questions to get your students thinking at the beginning of class. Have them start writing their answers as they listen to the VPR story, and use these questions to have a rich discussion about the story.

  1. What do you think will be learned from the data on the cameras?
  2. In your opinion, should the Department of Fish and Wildlife be so concerned about how wind turbines will affect bears and other animals?

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Michelle leads the team that oversees station branding, marketing, events, communications, and audience services. She joined VPR in 2002.
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