Learning Plans & Activities
Endangered Animals

SCIENCE

Grade Levels: 3–5

Lesson Summary: The lesson is designed to enhance the understanding of how humans can influence the animal population in the upper elementary curriculum. Students will investigate and understand that animals have life needs and specific physical characteristics. They will be guided to research a particular animal that is on the endangered or extinct list and learn about key elements such as habitat, diet, physical characteristics, and location.

Standards Addressed:

AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

  • Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge (1.1.1–1.1.9; 1.2.1–1.2.7; 1.3.1–1.3.5; 1.4.1–1.4.4)
  • Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge (2.1.2–2.1.6; 2.2.1–2.2.4; 2.3.1–2.3.2; 2.4.1; 2.4.3)
  • Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society (3.1.1–3.1.3; 3.1.5–3.1.6; 3.2.1; 3.3.3; 3.3.4)
  • Pursue personal and aesthetic growth (4.1.5–4.1.6; 4.1.8; 4.2.2; 4.3.2; 4.4.2; 4.4.3; 4.4.4)

Common Core State Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1; RI.3.2; RI.3.3; RI.3.4; RI.3.5; RI.3.6; RI.3.7; RI.3.8; RI.3.9; RI.3.10
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.3; RF.3.4
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1; L.3.2; L.3.3; L.3.4; L.3.6
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1; SL.3.4; SL.3.5; SL.3.6
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1; RI.4.2; RI.4.3; RI.4.4; RI.4.5; RI.4.7; RI.4.8; RI.4.9; RI.4.10
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.3; RF.4.4
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1; L.4.2; L.4.3; L.4.4; L.4.6
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1; SL.4.2; SL.4.4; SL.4.5; SL.4.6
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1; RI.5.2; RI.5.3; RI.5.4; RI.5.5; RI.5.6; RI.5.7; RI.5.8; RI.5.9; RI.5.10
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.5.3; RF.5.4
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.1; L.5.3; L.5.4; L.5.6
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1; SL.5.2; SL.5.4; SL.5.6

Instructional Resources:

Required

Instructional Roles:

The classroom teacher and school librarian will co-teach this lesson, with the classroom teacher providing the basic scientific information relating to endangered and extinct animals. The school librarian will assist with research resources that include encyclopedias, books, magazines, and online resources.

Procedure for Completion:

Day One: The teacher introduces the unit by providing background information on endangered and extinct animals. The school librarian will introduce library and online resources for the students to use during their research project. Both instructors will assist the class in completing the Organizational Handout with a sample animal.

Days Two–Three: Students are provided the opportunity to research their animal using a variety of sources as they complete the Animal Research Chart. Both the classroom teacher and the school librarian will assist the students as needed.

Day Four: Students are provided time and supplies to complete the poster.

Day Five—Completion: Students will present their research to the class utilizing the poster as a resource.

Completion of Project:

The final project will be completion of a poster that includes the information required on an organizational handout, a drawing or picture of the animal, and presentation of their work to the class.

Student Assessment/Reflection:

The final project and presentation is the object of the main student assessment and is based on the rubric for the project. Conversations with the teacher and school librarian throughout the process will also be included in the assessment process.

Professional Reflection—Librarian Notes:

The Common Core State Standards aligns well with the collection development of nonfiction materials. Each school library will have a variety of resources specific to their school, but lessons such as this provide an opportunity to expand the collection.

SUGGESTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arctic Animals. (2015). LEAP (Little Books with Attitude). Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Flamingo Features. (2015). LEAP (Little Books with Attitude). Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Flying Disks. (2015). LEAP (Little Books with Attitude). Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Frog Features. (2015). LEAP (Little Books with Attitude). Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Martin, I. (2015). Amphibians: A Question and Answer Book. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Martin, I. (2015). Birds: A Question and Answer Book. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Martin, I. (2015). Fish: A Question and Answer Book. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Martin, I. (2015). Insects: A Question and Answer Book. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Martin, I. (2015). Mammals: A Question and Answer Book. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Martin, I. (2015). Reptiles: A Question and Answer Book. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Rissman, R. (2015). Barn Owls: Nocturnal Hunters. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Rissman, R. (2015). Bats: Nocturnal Flyers. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Rissman, R. (2015). Hedgehogs: Nocturnal Foragers. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Rissman, R. (2015). Mice: Nocturnal Explorers. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Rissman, R. (2015). Red Foxes: Nocturnal Predators. Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

South American Animals. (2015). LEAP (Little Books with Attitude). Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Tiger Features. (2015). LEAP (Little Books with Attitude). Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom.

Updated Suggestions from Deborah Jesseman

Animals. Know It All series. Cavendish Children's Books, 2016.

Brown, Martin. Lesser Spotted Animals. Scholastic, 2017.

Cusick, Dawn. Animals that Make Me Say Ewww! National Wildlife Federation, 2016.

Furstinger, Nancy. 12 Marine Animals Back from the Brink. Back from the Brink series. 12 Story Library, 2015.

Snow Leopards. The Child's World, 2016.

This lesson plan is excerpted from The Common Core in Action: Ready-to-Use Lesson Plans for K-6 Librarians by Deborah J. Jesseman. Libraries Unlimited. Copyright © 2015.

The Common Core in Action: Ready-to-Use Lesson Plans for K-6 Librarians by Deborah J. Jesseman is available from Libraries Unlimited

Deborah J. Jesseman

MLA Citation Jesseman, Deborah J. "Endangered Animals." School Library Connection, May 2017, schoollibraryconnection.com/Home/Display/2027463?topicCenterId=2158551.

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Entry ID: 2027463

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