Teach PA History
The Fall and Rise of the White-tailed Deer Population: Conservation Success Story?
What to Know
Teaching Time
Two 50-minute periods
Grade Level
Elementary School
  • Ecology and Environment
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
Historical Period
  • The Emergence of Modern Pennsylvania - 1901-1928
  • The Great Depression and World War II - 1929-1945
  • Post-WWII Pennsylvania - 1946-1974
  • Contemporary Pennsylvania - 1975 to Present
Students will discover the reasons for the fall and subsequent recovery of white-tailed deer population throughout Pennsylvania's history. This discovery will reflect changing culture, human population patterns, economic and technological advancements and social values. Students will evaluate the success of conservation efforts in regard to the white-tailed deer and apply it to other conservation efforts. They will then offer suggestions on how to solve the new problems caused by the "success" of conservation efforts.


Students will: 1. Distinguish between past and present by using historical clues in a story. 2. Recognize the importance of the white-tailed deer to the Native Americans, fur traders and early American settlers. 3. Identify changes in human settlement and development that occurred in Pennsylvania and the nation that caused a drastic reduction of forests. 4. Recognize the importance of forests to the habitat of the white-tailed deer and other wildlife. 5. Analyze the trends of white-tailed deer harvests in the 20th century. 6. Recognize the importance of the Conservation movement at the state and national level in restoration of deer habitat. 7. Identify the problems that have occurred as a result of the increase in deer populations as human settlement patterns have changed over time. 8. Analyze these problems and suggest solutions to overcome them.

Standards Alignment

  • Environment and Ecology

    4.8.4. C. Explain how human activities may change the environment.
    4.8.4. D. Know the importance of natural resources in daily life.

  • Geography

    7.2.6. A. Describe physical characteristics of places and regions.
    7.4.6. B. Describe the impacts of people on physical systems.

  • History

    8.2.6. C. Identify how continuity and change have influenced settlement patterns (e.g. Development of towns)

  • Mathematics

    2.6.5. A. Organize and display data using pictures, tallies, tables, charts, bar graphs and circle graphs.

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