ALEX Lesson Plan

Endangered Species!

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Nancy Caffee
System: Blount County
School: Blount County Career Technical Center
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34691


Endangered Species!


Students research and create a brochure project on an endangered species of their choice integrating aspects of math, science, social studies, art, reading and writing. This project allows the students to make connections across the curriculum. Students present their ideas to a group of peers persuading the group to help save or become interested in helping the endangered species. Students are also encouraged to make connections between the activities of the human population and their effect on the natural world. 

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Literacy Standards (6-12)
LIT2010 (2010)
Grade: 9-10
Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects
2 ) Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

Literacy Standards (6-12)
LIT2010 (2010)
Grade: 9-10
Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
4 ) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Literacy Standards (6-12)
LIT2010 (2010)
Grade: 9-10
Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
5 ) Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 9-12
13 ) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain how organisms are classified by physical characteristics, organized into levels of taxonomy, and identified by binomial nomenclature (e.g., taxonomic classification, dichotomous keys).

a. Engage in argument to justify the grouping of viruses in a category separate from living things.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.B.HS.13- Classify organisms into similar groups based on physical characteristics.

SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 9-12
15 ) Engage in argument from evidence (e.g., mathematical models such as distribution graphs) to explain how the diversity of organisms is affected by overpopulation of species, variation due to genetic mutations, and competition for limited resources.

SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 9-12
Environmental Science
6 ) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to describe how human activity may affect biodiversity and genetic variation of organisms, including threatened and endangered species.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.ES.HS.6- Describe human activities that may affect ecosystems in positive and negative ways.

Local/National Standards:

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Learning Targets

I can:

Use evidence to defend the conservation of an endangered species. 

Classify an animal using binomial nomenclature.

Communicate information describing how human activity may affect biodiversity.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

I can:

Produce clear coherent writing.

Communicate my findings to the class.

Write a persuasive paragraph.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Copy Paper to Print Brochure

Colored Pencils

Blue or Black Ink Pens

Red or Green Ink Pens for Peer Editing

Technology Resources Needed:

Interactive White Board

Computer with Video Projector

Speakers for listening

Tablet, iPad, or Bring Your Own Device (Be sure to follow your school policy on BYOD)

Internet Access or Access to Computer Lab


Prepare a template of the brochure project for each student. A sample template is provided in the attachments. Discuss endangered species and ask students to begin thinking about animals they care about that may be endangered. Post a list of endangered species in the classroom for students to begin researching.



1.)  Engage students in learning about endangered species by exploring as a class one or two animals of their choice on Crittercam
Students are able to use Crittercam to explore animals in their own habitat. Crittercams are worn by animals and capture video, sound, and other information. Students are able to interact with the website to explore the animals of the world.

2.)  Review animals listed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species list
This site doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. It does, however, contain useful information on what species are currently endangered, which is updated monthly. The entire list can be downloaded. This information includes species information by type.


3.)  Choose an animal or plant that is considered to be an endangered species and complete a brochure of information describing the species.

4.)   Students research and explore the endangered species of their choice.


5.)  Students use the information they have learned about the endangered species to create a brochure and persuasive presentation on how to save the animal.

The brochure should include the following panels. Detailed instructions are included on the handout in the attachments.

Students should create a rough draft of their brochure to include the following:

  • Panel 1 – Common name and picture of your plant or animal (color copy or drawing). List the domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. (The Classification of Living Things reviews the major classification systems of living things).
  • Panel 2 – Student name, teacher, date, and list of resources
  • Panel 3 – Students should answer the following questions:
    • Describe the appearance and habitat of the animal.
    • Explain why the animal is best suited for the environment.
    • Explain why it has been selected for the endangered list and describe plans for protecting or breeding these organisms.
    • What steps are being taken to save the species?
    • Why should we try to save these organisms?
    • What benefit do we get from them? 
  • Panel 4 – A picture of the continent where the species lives. Students should also write a paragraph describing the location, habitat, and climate of the location.
    (Students can search the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species to find information about endangered species.) IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.
  • Panel 5 – Investigate how many living members of that species are still alive and create a bar graph showing the decline of the species over the past 20-100 years OR create a bar graph on the weight or reproduction rate of the species. Any Mathematical statistics can be used in the section of the brochure. Write a paragraph explaining the statistics or graph. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Program
  • Panel 6 – Students write a persuasive paragraph on how they feel about the organism and persuade others to help. 


6.)  Working in diverse learning groups, students will peer review each other’s rough draft.

7. )  After the peer review, students will complete the final copy of the endangered species brochure project.

8.)  Students will present the persuasive paragraph to the group and then to the class.

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Assessment Strategies


Scoring Rubric is provided in the instructions to the brochure.


As an extension to the project, students can create a presentation (e.g., Prezi or PowerPoint) from each page of the brochure. 


A template (provided in the attachments) with the information outlined for the student to fill in can be provided for exceptional education students. A peer tutor will be assigned to work along with students who need extra help with grammar, spelling, and computer skills.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.