Weekly Reader Connections

Teacher Guide: Lesson 11.3

The Weekly Reader Connections feature on Kids' Place Houghton Mifflin Math provides your students with additional information about the topics that appear in the Curriculum Connection feature in their student books.

The article “Grizzlies Take a Stand” informs students about the increase in the grizzly bear population in the Yellowstone National Park region which, including Grand Teton National Park, is known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

A vocal group of scientists and concerned citizens opposes the “delisting” of the grizzly from its protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. They claim that the animals' need for vast areas in which to roam still conflicts with the interests of loggers, developers, and other industrial growth. In addition, important sources of the bears' food - Yellowstone cutthroat trout, bison, whitebark pine seeds, and army cutworm moths, have been dwindling.

The Word Wise activity encourages students to find scientists' language for identifying the present and future conditions of plant and animal species.

  1. Extinct species are no longer living.
  2. Endangered species are those that are in immediate danger of becoming extinct.
  3. Threatened species are those that face serious habitat problems, but whose populations are not yet low enough to be considered endangered.

The Data Hunt activity requires students to find the average numbers of grizzlies in three national parks, first by using the lesser number in the given number ranges and then by using the greater numbers. Ask students, “Why do you think that no one knows the actual number of grizzlies that live in the parks?”

In order to support the small grizzly populations in these parks, as well as sustain and support the larger grizzly population in the Yellowstone area, it is said that these parks must be connected to other protected areas by protecting the habitat in linkage areas.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 4