Return to the Wild - Evolving perspectives on Canadian wildlife

Lesson plan: The Bald Eagle Needs a Place to Live Too!


Grade Level:

Grade 9 (secondary school)

Time Required:

Teachers can conduct the lesson in one or two classes.


The examination of the distribution and habitat of the bald eagle and why it is on the threatened species list for North America.

Main Objective

Through the views of key stakeholders, students come to understand the ecosystem and habitat requirements of the bald eagle and to explain why some populations remain stable while others are threatened by declining numbers.

Curriculum Connection

Ontario Curriculum. Canadian and World Studies, Grade Nine - Applied level

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define the terms: ecozone, habitat, range, flyways, migrations and ecosystem and apply them to bald eagles.
  • Map the location of bald eagles in Canada and North America.
  • Explain why numbers are declining in some parts of the continent.




Discuss local bird populations and habitats with class. Review the terms ecozones and ecosystems Have students describe the ecosystems of the west coast of Canada and of central Canada (boreal forest zone). Review terms for this lesson: flyways, migrations, habitats, food chains, loss of habitat, endangered species.

Lesson Development

Assign the student activity worksheet with the two blank outline maps (Canada and North America)


Take up the answers to the student activity worksheet so that each student has a complete set of answers and maps. Make sure students know how to access the web sites in the lesson.



Suggest examples of local bird populations, habitats and migrations.

Students contribute answers from text sources, atlas sources or Return to the Wild website.

Lesson Development

Complete the student activity worksheet and maps.


Complete all answers on the student activity worksheets and complete the maps in the best map format.

Submit for evaluation.

Ensure you have visited all web sites in the lesson.

Lesson Extension

Have interested students create a Hinterland Who’s Who movie of the bald eagle using the format for a one-minute video found on the HWW web site.

Have students investigate why the bald eagle is the national emblem of the United States of America.

Download this lesson

If you do not have Acrobat Reader®, please click on the following link Adobe Reader to download it from the Adobe® Web site.

If you do not have an RTF viewer, please click on the following link Word Viewer to download it from the Microsoft's Web site.