Investigate endangered species and how they impact the environment to complete a "web of life."
Endangered species, web, research, graphic organizers
Students can find it much easier to begin research assignments with graphic organizers that help them focus on the specific information for which they should be searching. This activity provides a "web" for students to use in researching an endangered animal either online or through library resources.
Ask your students to describe how the absence of one student impacts the class. What needs to be done differently or in addition due to the absence? Now ask them what might happen if several students could not attend classes. What if all of the students in the class could not be there? How might this affect the teacher's position? How would it impact the school? This is one example of how groups and their environments change when their numbers change. Animals also affect each other, and when their populations dwindle, there are many effects.
Introduce the students to the imaginary organization "We Love Wildlife." This group of concerned citizens is especially troubled by the number of endangered species and has formed a coalition to help others better understand the interdependence of Earth's creatures. We Love Wildlife believes that all creatures in the "web of life" have value.
Tell your students that all new members of We Love Wildlife must submit a "web" that shares his or her knowledge of an endangered species and why its survival is important. Hand out copies of the Web of Life student work sheet and have students select animals, preferably different ones, on which to focus their research. Using online or library resources, the students should complete their webs. When they have finished, they may consider and compose their responses to the final questions, "How does the animal impact its environment and fit into the 'web of life'?" and "Why is it important?" If time allows, have students add an illustration of the animal on the handout or a separate sheet of paper.
Collect student handouts. Although responses will vary, they should be logical, appropriate, reflect adequate and accurate research, and meet classroom writing guidelines.
Lesson Plan Source
Find more great lessons for teaching about Earth Day issues on Education World's Earth Day resources page.
Originally published 04/25/2003
Last updated 04/17/2017