Gray Wolf Educator Guide

Gray Wolf Educator Guide

Find an educator guide for exploring a keystone species with students in Grades K-12.


K, 1 - 12+


Biology, Ecology

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Why Teach About Wolves?

The purpose of this guide is to provide educators of students from kindergarten to high school with activities that will enrich students' understanding about the gray wolf of North America. The activities are intended to dispel common myths and prejudices that are held about these animals and to encourage youth to get involved in conservation efforts.

Wolves are more like humans than many realize. Students will find that they can relate to this animal because the lives and experiences of wolves mimic those of humans in many and often surprising ways—from their social structure and family roles to the experiences of bullying and being misunderstood. Because of the myths and prejudices held by many and a history of persecution that continues today, wolves also serve as a way to motivate students to become active citizens in environmental stewardship and conservation.

For educators, the study of wolves serves as an engaging topic to help meet a wide variety of science, social studies, and English language arts learning objectives and standards. This guide provides educators with springboards to illuminate the interconnected world, the importance of our ability to reason about those interconnections, and to make far-reaching decisions that positively impact the world.

Media Credits

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Research Manager
Johnna Flahive, National Geographic Society Standards and Practices, National Geographic Society
Janis Watson, Implementation Manager & Curriculum Specialist, The Creativity Labs @ Indiana University, Indiana University School of Education
Christina Riska Simmons, National Geographic Society
Jessica Shea, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Educator Reviewer
Diana Nelson, B.S. Education, M.S. Aeronautics, Master Teacher K-12
Expert Reviewer
Jim and Jamie Dutcher, wildlife filmmakers, authors, and founders of the nonprofit organization Living with Wolves

"Animal Superpowers" cartoon excerpted from ​Mission: Wolf Rescue​, copyright © 2014 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.

"My Wolf Journal" illustration by Natalya Zahn and courtesy National Geographic Kids, copyright © National Geographic Society.

Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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Related Resources

Living with Wolves