Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan #9

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Endangered Species: A Science Lesson

Grades 7 to 12

Language Arts, Journalism, Science

Students explore wildlife conservation by investigating animal species that are near extinction due to their value as commodities. Students defend the protection of an endangered species researched in class by creating an informational poster and by writing a profile or feature article that explains the importance of preserving their selected species.

Online journalism is a valuable tool for your students to express their views on endangered species and how Canadians can help protect these species. Through SchoolNet News Network (SNN)'s online website: www.stemnet.nf.ca teachers and student can learn more about journalism/writing skills, and have a safe, structured environment for students to publish their writing.




1. WARM-UP/DO-NOW: In their journals, students respond to the following questions (written on the board prior to class):

  • What may cause the extinction of a species of animal or plant?
  • What examples can you think of in which humans sell wild animals or parts of wild animals, and how does this affect the possible extinction of that species?
  • How else do the needs of humans sometimes conflict with the survival needs of wild animal species?

Students then share their responses.

. As a class, discuss the issue of endangered species in Canada (list attached) focussing on the following questions:

  • What do biologists predict might save these species from extinction?
  • In what ways could these species be preserved?
  • What do humans do to endanger natural habitats of other living creatures?
  • How do activities such as mining, pollution, agriculture, and recreation impact the natural habitats of various species?

3. Divide students into pairs or groups of three, and allow each group to select an animal species that is nearing extinction. Using available resource materials, students research their animal, answering the following questions:

  • What is this animal's natural habitat, and where in the world can this habitat be found?
  • What are the causes of this animal's endangerment?
  • In what ways is this animal used as a commodity?
  • What actions have been taken towards the conservation of this species?

4. WRAP-UP/ HOMEWORK: The student is to write a news or feature article that explains the importance of preserving this species and the consequences of a species becoming extinct.

Their article should answer the 5 W's: Who, What, When, Where, Why (and sometimes How). Tell them about the inverted pyramid. This means that articles should be written with the most important information first and the least important last. Students should also review the SNN Writing Guide on writing an article. Articles may be read aloud. Also, as a class, students can design several posters about endangered species - photos, titles and small paragraph about the species. Posters can be displayed in the classroom.



Students will be evaluated based on written journal response, participation in classroom discussions, research poster about an animal nearing extinction, and feature/profile report about causes of endangerment and actions toward conservation.


Study plants and insects that are becoming endangered. Why are they becoming endangered? What impact do these plants and insects have on the environment and on the various ecosystems in which they thrive? What impact might the extinction of these living organisms have on their ecosystems?



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