A.   November 23, 2010

B.    Four 45-minute periods

C.    Ms. Laura Applegate

D.   Fifth Grade, Environment & Ecology, Threatened, Endangered, & Extinct Organisms



A. Pennsylvania State Standard 4.1.5.D: Explain the differences between    

threatened, endangered, and extinct organisms.



A. Students will learn about threatened, endangered, and extinct animals and will understand how and under what conditions an animal becomes threatened, endangered, or extinct.



A. After researching an animal that is threatened, endangered, or extinct, students will create an informational poster, in groups, about their animal, including important facts, images, and information about the animal.



A.   Pencils

B.    Crayons

C.    Markers

D.   Rulers

E.    24” x 18” poster paper

F.    Scissors

G.   Glue Sticks

H.   Construction Paper

I.      Poster rubric (attached)



A.   Motivation and Introduction

1. The teacher will introduce the lesson by providing the following context: “All living things, humans included, have basic needs. Some of these needs include food, water, air to breathe, and shelter. Now imagine that suddenly our food source disappears or we lose our shelter. What would happen to the human species? Would we be able to survive without these basic needs? This is what happens to many animals and other organisms. This week we will be focusing on threatened, endangered, and extinct animals. We will learn what each of these words mean, as well as learn about different types of animals or organisms that may be classified using these terms. When we are finished with this project, you will all be an expert on one of these species and you will present what you know to the rest of the class.”

B.    Development

1.     First Class Session

a.     Students will listen to the teacher introduce the lesson.

b.     Teacher will write the terms: threatened, endangered, and extinct on the chalkboard. The teacher will ask students to discuss what they believe the terms mean. Teacher and students will engage in a discussion about the meaning of each of these terms. The teacher will ask students if they know of any examples of each term.

1.     THREATENED – Species that may become endangered within a foreseeable future throughout their range unless the steps are taken to prevent decreasing

2.     ENDANGERED- Species that are in serious danger of extinction and have already been reduced to critically low numbers or have experienced drastic habitat

3.     EXTINCT- Species that no longer exist across their former range.

c.     Teacher will explain the project that students will be working on for the next few days and answer any questions students may have.

d.     Teacher will display demonstrations of what the finished poster is to look like. The teacher will also demonstrate various ways students may organize their posters, explaining to them that the posters are to be as colorful and creative as possible, as well as writing the words large enough for everyone to see.

e.     Teacher will place students into groups of no more than four students. Students will work collectively on this project as a group. Students will choose as a group, which threatened, endangered, or extinct specie they would like to research. The teacher will ensure that each group picks a distinct animal so that no two groups select the same animal to research.

f.      Students will stop after this step and will continue the lesson during the following class period.

2.     Second Class Session

a.     Students will spend this class period in the library and on the classroom computers, researching their animal. Students will be required to find information and take notes about the following categories about their group animal: physical characteristics, habitat/location or region, diet/food source, reasons why threatened, endangered, or extinct, measures taken, if any, to save the species, a map showing the distribution of the animal, and illustrations of the animal.

b.     Students will stop after this step. Students will place all of their books and research in a safe place in the classroom to begin working on their poster during the next class period.

3.     Third Class Session

a.   Students will gather in their groups and collect all necessary materials they will need to complete the poster from the supply table in the back of the classroom, one group at a time.

b.   Students will work on their posters during this class period. Groups will also have the opportunity to use the classroom computers to type up their information on their posters, if they choose.

c.   Teacher will check in on students periodically to make certain that all groups are completing the assignment correctly and do not have any questions.

d.   Students will be asked to stop after this step, and return all materials to the proper places and will finish their posters in the fourth class session, and present them to the class.

4.     Fourth Class Session

a.   Students will reconvene in their groups and will gather all necessary materials from the supply table

b.   Students will be instructed to finish their posters because they will be presenting them to the rest of the class towards the end of the period.

c.   Once their posters are completed, students will return the supplies to the proper place.

d.   Each group will submit their posters at the end of the fourth class period to be assessed and displayed in the classroom.

C.    Strategies for Diverse Learners

1.    Students who have visual problems will be required to sit in the front of the

class when the teacher presents the lesson and is demonstrating the project to the class. The student will also be required to sit in the front of the class when the students are presenting their completed posters. The teacher will also provide this student with larger, typed directions that they could read from their seat instead of relying on reading the directions written on the board.

D.   Summary and Closure

1.   Once all of the groups are finished, the teacher will have each group present     

their poster to the rest of the class, explaining the reasons why their animal is   extinct, endangered, or threatened. Each group will also be asked to present important information about their animal, including the habitat, etc.

E.    Assignment

1.   No homework assignment will be given for this lesson.

F.    Evaluation

1.     Student’s worksheet will be assessed for completeness and accuracy.

2.     Students will also be assessed through observation of cooperative group work, i.e. fair sharing of materials, working together, contributing equally to project.

3.     Each group’s poster will also be assessed using the attached rubric.

* This lesson plan and the information in the introduction and development section were modified from two lesson plans, from the website: http://sfr.psu.edu/youth/sftrc/environ-series/ete-lesson, and the other from the website: http://www.proteacher.com/cgi-bin/outsidesite.cgi?id=5455&external=http://www.teachers.8m.com/p_endang.htm&original=http://www.proteacher.com/110076.shtml&title=Endangered%20Species

Cognitive Complexity of the Lesson: This lesson is concerned with understanding the differences between threatened, endangered, and extinct animals and creating a poster to display information about these animals. I believe that this lesson falls in either the factual knowledge-understand cell or the factual knowledge-create cell of the Anderson-Krathwohl taxonomy.

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