Preliminary Lesson Planning
Prepare and duplicate
an Endangered Species Summary Sheet listing the names of
4-6 endangered species, as in the sample provided in Appendix
B. (Note: The activity will be more meaningful to students
if you include an endangered species from their country.) Make enough
copies of the Summary Sheet to give one to each student.
Prepare a set of 4-6
Case Histories, one for each of the species listed on the
Summary Sheet. A sample set of Case Histories is provided
C. Duplicate enough copies of the set of Case Histories to
give an individual Case History to each pair of students
in the class.
Before using the Endangered
Species Summary Sheet and the Case Histories in class, consider
what vocabulary students will need to know to carry out the lesson successfully.
Determine which vocabulary items the students are already familiar with
and which items will be new for them. Some important terms and their
definitions are included in the glossary in Appendix
Warm Up Activity (approximately
To stimulate students'
interest in the topic of endangered animal species
To activate students'
To introduce students
to vocabulary that will help them to successfully complete the lesson
Write the phrase endangered
species on the board, and ask students what they think the phrase
As student volunteers
give their answers, write key words from their responses on the
board. If students are unfamiliar with the concept of endangered
species, be prepared to provide the class with relevant information
(see Background Information at
the beginning of this chapter), adding words to the board as you
introduce key ideas.
Ask students if they
can name some of the reasons animals and plants become endangered.
As volunteers suggest different reasons, list their answers on the
(Note: Do not erase
the board. You will come back to it at the conclusion of the lesson.)
Activity #1 (approximately 25 minutes)
To have students explore
some of the reasons that plant and animal species become endangered
To allow students to
practice reading, note-taking, speaking, and listening in a meaningful
To give students the
opportunity to use key vocabulary and concepts associated with the
theme of the lesson
Distribute the Endangered
Species Summary Sheet, giving one to each student. Tell the
students that they are going to learn about the endangered species
listed on the sheet and the problems each species is facing.
Put students into pairs,
and give one Case History to each pair of students.
Explain the task to
the students. They are to work in pairs, using the information in
the Case History to find the information they need to fill
in the required information about their assigned species. Explain
that they are to take down the information in the form of brief
Have pairs of students
read the Case Histories and make notes in the appropriate
boxes on the Endangered Species Summary Form.
Have pairs take turns
giving their "summary reports" to the class. As students listen,
they attempt to complete their charts with the information being
reported. Encourage students to ask for repetition and clarification
Activity #2 (approximately 15 minutes)
To provide students
with opportunities to use English in a meaningful way
To reinforce key concepts
and vocabulary associated with the theme of endangered species
To give students the
opportunity to be successful in English by asking them to report
information discussed earlier with classmates
Tell the students to
put their Case Histories away. Explain that they are to going
to have a class discussion, and they should use the notes they made
on the Summary Sheets to answer the questions.
Conduct a whole-class
discussion centering on the following questions:
What animals are
a big threat to kagus? (Dogs, pigs, cats, and rats that humans
have brought to New Caledonia)
How do these animals
harm kagus? (They eat kagus and their eggs.)
are endangered because people like to collect them? (Black lace
cactus, Manus Island tree snail, Karner blue butterfly)
What are some of
the problems that have caused leatherback sea turtles to become
endangered? (loss of nesting habitats; fishing; hunting)
What is the main
reason that Asian elephants are in trouble? (Habit destruction:
there is nowhere left for them to go to find food.)
Which species are
in trouble because of habit destruction? (All of them. Most
endangered species experience some form of habit destruction.)
From what you know
about these species, are most animals and plants endangered
because of only one reason, or because of a number of reasons?
(Most species are endangered for a number of reasons.)
Cool Down Activity (approximately 10 minutes)
Ask the students to
once again name some reasons that plant and animal species become
As volunteers provide
answers, write them on the board.
When all volunteers
have finished giving their answers, ask the class to compare this
second list with the one they made at the start of the lesson. Ask
students to comment on how this list is similar or different to
the one they made earlier. What new information did they learn about
Wrap up the lesson by
asking students if they can name the main reason why plant and animal
species become endangered. (Habitat destruction is by far the biggest
problem that animals and plants face today.)
Possible Extensions to the Lesson
1. Have students research
another endangered species and write a paragraph or two about the particular
animal or plant and why it is endangered.
2. Have students do a mini-survey
on endangered species. Students should interview
ten people, asking them to name five endangered species. Students should
also ask interviewees to specify what action, if any, they think should
be taken to save endangered species. Students summarize their findings
in a one-page written report, indicating whether there was any consistency
among the interviewees' answers.
3. Ask groups of students
to select an endangered species. Groups work together to plan presentations
about the species they have selected. This can be done in the form of
a poems, posters, skits, or songs.
Refer to the web sites listed
in the next section of this chapter for more information and lesson
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