Teachers Network
Translate Translate English to Chinese Translate English to French
  Translate English to German Translate English to Italian Translate English to Japan
  Translate English to Korean Russian Translate English to Spanish
Lesson Plan Search
Proud New Owners of teachnet.org... We're Very Flattered... But Please Stop Copying this Site. Thank You.
Our Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Popular Teacher Designed Activities
TeachNet NYC Dirctory of Lesson Plans

Teachers Network Leadership Institute
How-To Articles
Videos About Teaching
Effective Teachers Website
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Teacher Research
For NYC Teachers
For New Teachers

TeachNet Grant:
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
Other Grant Winners
Math and Science Learning
Impact II
Grant Resources
Grant How-To's
Free Resources for Teachers
Our Mission
   Press Releases
   Silver Reel
   2002 Educational Publishers Award


Ready-Set-Tech: Biodiversity
Introducing Biodiversity | Endangered Species | Habitats | Global Cultural Diversity

Endangered Species

This lesson introduces students to the concept of endangered species and the various ways human beings have contributed to their endangerment. This is a pro-active lesson where students are asked to take a position on the plight of endangered species and design a campaign to disseminate their message to the world.

Phillip Seymour
Phillip Seymour is a nationally recognized education trainer and consultant on visual perception and arts/media curriculum integration. He has taught in the New York City public schools and teaches and trains at national universities and educational institutions. Presently, Phillip is an instructor at New York University and the City University of New York.


Science, Social Studies, Geography, Technology, Language Arts, and Visual Arts

Grade Level: 3-6

Time: 5-6 hours

Materials: 2-3 computers with Internet access, LCD projector, printer, access to books and a library, notebooks and writing implements, and a large map of the world.








Students will:

• Discuss the terms associated with endangered species; threatened, endangered, and extinct

• Research, take notes and report on endangered species, their habitats and reasons for their decline

•  Learn Internet research skills

•  Learn cooperative research skills and group presentation

•  Integrate oral, written and visual presentation skills

•  Understand the relationship between human beings and other species

•  Create an avenue for disseminating their message about endangered species

• Learn the importance of visual representation of information through drawing, downloading, and photographic choosing images

Web sites:



Teachers can refresh their own knowledge on this topic by visiting the following web sites:

From the American Museum of Natural History:
•  http://ology.amnh.org/biodiversity/goinggoinggone/index.html
(Super introduction to endangered species )

•  http://amnh.org/education/resources/
(Great introduction to the museum's Hall of Biodiversity)

•  http://amnh.org/education/resources/
card_frame.php?rid=729&r u rlid=613
(A student game to help the understanding of endangered species)

Other great web resources:
•  http://worldwildlife.org/endangered/index.cfm
(Very nice specific intro. to endangered species)

•  http://bagheera.com/ i nthewild/extinct.htm
(Site referencing specific animals and why they became extinct)

•  http://nationalgeographic.org/wildworld/resource s .html
(Great site for resources and links)

•  http://fmnh.org/biodiversity/explore.html
(Great site defining biodiversity)

•  http://endangeredspe c ie.com/
(Really good explanation and citing specific species)

•  http://end a ngeredspecie.com/Teacher's_Page.htm
(Super teacher's site for links and resources)

•  http://teacher.scholastic.com/ilp/index.asp
(Great resources specifically targeting endangered species)

•  http://acornnaturalists.com/store/category.asp?SID=2&
(Site referring great book resources)

Book and Magazine Resources:

•  http://amnh.org/education/resources/
(Really great biodiversity magazine for students including sections on endangered species)

•  http://nationalgeographic.org/
(Related links and sites for resources)

•  http://acornnaturalists.com/store/
(Great book resources for endangered species)

•  http://pbs.org/teachersource/
(Nice list of student books on endangered species)

•  http://cyb e rsleuth-k i ds.com/sleuth/
(Great kids' resources for endangered animals)


Have the students bring something they use or eat at home to the class that they : Set aside an area in the school labeled and devoted to this lesson. There should be a large class map in this area and one inside the classroom for species habitat location identification. Have the students keep individual journals for taking notes during the opening and throughout the lesson.

Ask questions to discover how much your students know about the term endangered species. Create a KWL chart with their responses filling in the section on K. If the words threatened, extinct and endangered come up write them out separately on a large chart for future reference. Also have the students write them into their journals. The idea is to have the students eventually define these terms as a class. Then tell the students you will read a poem or book to them about endangered species. Choose one or more of your own or from the following suggested sites:

•  http://cybersleuth-kids.com/sleuth/Science/

•  http://pbs.org/teachersource/

•  http://peopleandplanet.net/doc.php?id=2187

•  http://share.esd105.wednet.edu/

Discuss with the student's their reactions to the reading(s) and have them record these in their journals. Draw as many associations as they can make towards defining the three major terms: threatened, endangered and extinct.

In each of the following introductions the students are asked to take notes in their journals.

Introduce them to them to the game Endangered in the Ology web site from the American Museum of Natural History . This activity "Introduces students to the difference between endangered and extinct animals."

•  http://amnh.org/education/resources/card_frame.php

Another good site to clarify these terms is:

•  http://epa.gov/espp/coloring/especies.htm
(Great info. from the US Environmental Protection Agency)

Next take your students on a tour through Going Going Gone? On the Ology web site . This will familiarize them with some of the factors contributing to endangerment and extinction and help reinforce an understanding of these terms.
•  http://ology.amnh.org/biodiversity/

Introduce the section in Ology under Biodiversity called “ What's the Big Idea ?” This segment presents the big ideas of endangerment, extinction and the Human impact on animals very clearly.
•  http://ology.amnh.org/biodiversity/index.html

Take the class for a virtual tour for further clarification of endangered species. Great sites for this are:

•  http://biodiversity911.org/Funand

•  http://tramline.com/tours/sci/endanger/tourlaunch1.htm

•  http://bagheera.com/inthewild/extinct.htm



KWL chart: Ask the students what more they would like to know about endangered species. Record this on the KWL chart.

The class breaks up into groups of three or four with each group choosing four to five endangered species they would like to research. Tell them they will be creating a large class book about endangered species. Each group's report will be a chapter in the book. They will be asked to create a written/visual and oral/visual presentation that includes at least three different sources with visual representations reinforcing their findings. The sources for the study can be books, web sites, magazines etc. The visuals can be drawn, downloaded or taken from already printed materials. Student journals are used to record all information gathering.

Each group study should answer the following questions:

•  What is the name of your animal?

•  What are some facts about it? What does it look like?

•  Where is the animal's habitat?

•  Why is it endangered?

•  What is being done, or can be done, to help its endangerment?

A great graphic organizer for this research can be found on:

Some web sites for student research:

•  http://olog y.amnh.org/biodiversity/
(Good site depicting and describing endangered animals)

•  http://amnh.org/education/resources/
( What you need to know and can do about endangered species)

•  http://bagheera.com/inthewild/vanishing.htm
(Good images and explanations)

•  http://endangeredspecie.com/
(Virtual tour of information about causes)

•  http://nationalgeographic.com/
(Great kids site for information on endangered animals)

•  http://endangeredspecie.com
(Excellent visual and written info. on endangered species)

•  http://wwfus.org/species/species.cfm
(Very good list/visuals of animals and explanations for endangerment)

•  http://share.esd105.wednet.edu/Projects/
(Student web site describing endangered animals with photos)

•  http://bagheera.com/inthewild/
(Great information on endangered animals and images)

•  http://teacher.scholastic.com/ilp/index.asp?
(Very informative site with visuals)

(Great site depicting specific endangered animals and their history)

•  http://redlist.org
(Very good and detailed info on various threatened species)

Mentor the students during their research, paying attention to equal and cooperative group interaction and skills being displayed.



Class book and presentation.
The students compile their research and present their oral/visual reports to the class. Group presentation means each member participates in the dissemination. The final written/visual part of their research is used for the class book's chapters.

Book: Assign roles for creating the physical components of the book. These would include the cover, table of contents, layout, visuals, and general assembly.

The book should be in a “Big Book” format for ease in dissemination. Use large mat board as pages, held together with rings for a binder. Any written information should appear as large type from any word document program. These pages, as well as the visuals can adhere to the mat board using glue sticks or glue.

Presentation: Each group presents to the class both orally and visually. The class map should be referred to when a habitat location is mentioned. Label the area, country and continent. The rest of the class should take notes in their journals.

KWL: When the last group presents plan a session with the class to record what they have learned from the lesson so far. Record their answers on the chart. As them if there were anything more they would like to know. Record this as well.

Class action:

A. The bulletin board outside the classroom should become the advocacy board for the class. Written and visual information is put up to inform the schoolmates of the class study and findings. Ask the students how this display could best attract attention to disseminate their messages and have an effect on the school population. Refer and show everyday advertising as an example.

B. The class should then make appointments to speak to other classes in the school. Each group will give their oral/visual presentation and refer the students to the class book and bulletin board. Leave the class book for a period of time to allow the class to read it.


Each group presents a visual/oral report on their study. Look for evidence of individual contribution in this as well as the group's final written/visual presentation. Both presentations should address the questions:

•  What is the name of your animal?

•  What are some facts about it? What does it look like?

•  Where is the animal's habitat?

•  Why is it endangered?

•  What is being done, or can be done, to help its endangerment?

Student journals have recorded student participation

Contribution to the class advocacy board and outside classroom oral/visual presentation.



Other lessons in this biodiversity unit include:
Introducing Biodiversity

Global Cultural Diversity


Come across an outdated link?
Please visit The Wayback Machine to find what you are looking for.


Journey Back to the Great Before