P. S. 101
Unit: Fossils
Lesson 4: Endangered Species


1. What is an endangered species?
2. What is the difference between endangered and extinct species?


1.    Display pictures from Internet sites and teacher photographs of extinct and endangered species.
2.   Students examine pictures to discover what all of these animals have in common.
3. Elicit the fact that the animals are extinct or endangered.

extinct no longer in existence
endangered existence is threatened, they face extinction


To develop an awareness of man's role in the extinction of living things.
To  foster a respect for these living things through daily actions.

1. Use these Internet sites to research these endangered and extinct animals:
http://rom.on.ca/biodiversity/auk/ (photos and information related to the great auk)
http://bagheera.com/inthewild/ext_pigeon.htm (information on the extinction of the passenger pigeon)
http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/PGC/pigeon/profile.htm (photos and information about the extinction of the passenger pigeon)
http://geocities.com/SunsetStrip/5283/Memorial.html (photo and information relating to the Labrador duck)

extinct:    great auk, passenger pigeon, and the Labrador duck
endangered:    whooping crane, grizzly bear, and bald eagle
Students add two more animals of their choice that are extinct or endangered.
2.    Students record findings on chart.

great auk 
Photo by Brian Boyle
bald eagle

Photo by Tim Knight
passenger pigeon

photo by Luther Goldman
whooping crane

photo by USFWS
labrador duck

grizzly bear

photo by John Marriott

3. Results are shared by all students.
4. Elicit the fact that man has been responsible for the loss of more species since his time on earth than the losses that occurred in all the other eras put together.
5. Read quote from letter from Chief Seattle to U. S. Government: "Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth... We do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with scent of many many, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires. Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. The end of living and the beginning of survival." Students discuss with partner what they think Chief Seattle's words mean. Elicit that man must respect all living things and that what one man does to the environment affects future generations.
6. Student write a letter to Senator Hillary Clinton asking for congress to pass more legislation to protect endangered species.
 7. Students can create posters using information they have learned about endangered species, for display on bulletin boards. See student poster