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Endangered Species: There Is Still Time Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-ANM006
Submitted By: Melissa Calloway
Endorsed By: Sean Smith, Ph.D, Berea College, Berea KY, 40404 Date: January 30, 1998

Grade Level(s): 4


  • Science/Animals
  • Science/Technology


  • Students understand how living and non living things change over time and the factors that influence the changes.
  • Students identify, analyze, and use patterns such as cycles and trends to understand past and present events and predict possible future events.
  • Students understand scientific ways of thinking and working and use those methods to solve real-life problems.


Children are taught from a young age about different kinds of animals. They read books on animals, watch t.v. shows about animals, and they learn about animals in school. Some of the animals that these children are learning about are being destroyed every year, and many animals are becoming endangered or extinct. So I have developed this lesson to promote and ensure the just and kind treatment of animals. I want students to be able to share knowledge about endangered species to other so that they can improve the quality of the lives of animals and their environment. By allowing the children to learn of the many endangered animals around the United States, I hope that someday they will try to preserve animals from extinction, and prevent animal cruelty.
In this lesson students will use the Internet in a variety of ways to learn about the importance of saving endangered species.  They will learn about specific animals that need our help as citizens of United States. Students will also share their concerns with others in hopes that they will want to help endangered animals everywhere.

Learner Outcomes for the Lesson:

  • students will know the definitions to the following words: endangered species, extinct, threatened, ecosystem, natural diversity
  • students will know why animal become extinct
  • students will know ways to help save the endangered species
  • students will be able to name a few endangered animals
  • students will learn about some endangered animals in different parts of the United States.


The students will begin the lesson on endangered species by viewing a internet slide show at the following site: http://training.fws.gov/deo/endang/INDEX.html. This slide show will introduce the children to many definitions, and many different kinds of animals considered endangered. It will give the children a sense of why the problem exists and how it can be eliminated. This slide show will take about thirty minutes to do. Once the slide show is over have the children answer the following questions:

  • What does endangered mean?
  • What are two examples of endangered species? How did each of them become endangered?
  • What is the main reason most species become endangered?
  • What are two examples of species that became endangered because something in their ecosystem had become disturbed?
  • Name two ways that wildlife biologists are working to save endangered species.
  • What are two species that are success stories, brought back from the brink of extinction?
  • How can you help?
  • Next the students will be sent to this site: http://endangered.fws.gov/kids/index.html. At this site there is a cross word puzzle and a jeopardy game dealing with endangered species. The children will print out a copy of the crossword puzzle, work it and turn it in. Then the children can pair up and play the jeopardy game. This will allow the children to become more comfortable with their new discoveries.

    After the students have finished the activities above they will then be sent to these sites: http://eelink.net/EndSpp/, http://endangered.fws.gov/index.html Here I will give each student a different endangered specie, their job is create a endangered species presentation using their animal. Here are some question that must be answered:

  • What is the name of your animal?
  • Tell the class some general information about this animal, (eating habits, hunting skills, breeding habits, etc.)
  • What is the scientific name of your animal?
  • What region does this animal come from?
  • Is this animal now extinct, threatened, or endangered?
  • Why or how did this animal become harmed.
  • What are some ways that this animal can be helped.
  • The students must also find at least two pictures on the Internet and print them out and use them in their presentation. I want the presentation to be creative. They also need to write a two page paper on their discoveries. The children will be working on this activity for about a week. Once the children have completed their projects the  children will begin presenting their finding to the class. Once the children are done presenting, I plan on starting an endangered species bulletin board. All the children will put their papers and pictures on the board so that all the children will be able to view them. Next I will have the children E-mail one of the addresses below:

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: R9FWE_DES.BIM@fws.gov
  • Endangered Species support group: support@earthling1.com
  • The children will then ask these organizations to send information on their endangered animal. Hopefully we will get information on the animals soon and then the children can add those brochures to the bulletin board. This way other children will be able to become aware of the problem.

    In the last section of this lesson will be to adopt an endangered specie native to the area in which the students live. The students will write to are local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find out how we can help conserve it, and then we will take our lesson to other classrooms in hopes that they will get a better of idea what endangered animals mean to our environment.

    Extensions (optional):

    Here are some wonderful books that children can read if they are interested in making a career involving animals or if they want to be active in helping endangered animals.

        Earthworks Group. The Student Environmental Action Guide. 25 Simple Things We Can Do. Berkeley: Earthworks Press, 1991.

        Field, Nancy and Sally Machlis. Discovering Endangered A Learning and Activity Book. Corvallis, Oregon: Dog-Eared Publications, 1990.


    The first activity I will use to assess the students knowledge will be the crossword puzzle they turn in. I will only use this worksheet to see if they have basic knowledge of the introduction. I will be looking for correct answers. In this lesson the children are being asked to write a paper on endangered species and to present a creative presentation to the class. By doing this I hope the children will gain a better understanding of the importance of saving animals in our environment. I believe that this can be done if the children’s papers show logical thought, so that if I have a question for them regarding their paper they will be able to answer it correctly. The students ability to portray their thoughts and ideas out loud to the class will also help me understand how much they have learned from this lesson. By saying this, I mean if the child who is presenting is able to orderly present the information, I will be able to see the knowledge the students gained from the lesson.


    A Bulletin Board