|Life Science||Diversity And Adaptations Of Organisms 8H3.00||Science in Society||Societal Needs 4.4 ac|
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation
CONTENT STANDARD: Life Science
CONTENT TOPIC: Diversity And Adaptations Of Organisms
CONCEPT: Some living things have become extinct and others are endangered.
CONTENT OBJECTIVE: 8H3.00 To understand why some living things have become extinct or endangered
INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES: The learner will:
TN COMPONENT OF SCIENCE: Science in Society
BENCHMARK: Scientists must realize that they have an ethical responsibility to society.
BENCHMARK: Society determines which behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable
4.4c Science and technology may produce changes that affect society and groups within societies.
BENCHMARK: The global environment is affected by national policies relating to science and technology.
Generally accepted definitions of the terms to be used in this activity are:
Endangered - species in immediate danger of extinction.
Critically Endangered - species will not survive without direct human intervention.
Threatened - species present in its range, but threatened because of a decline in numbers.
Rare - species not presently in danger, but of concern because of low numbers. NOTE: Some species were always rare because of the position in the food chain or due to habitat preference.
Extinct - complete disappearance of a species.
Peripheral - scarce in area because it is fringe or marginal habitat.
A list of the U. S. "Endangered Species" is available from:
Director, Office of Endangered Species
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Department of Interior
Washington, D. C. 20204
State, province, and federal listings of endangered, threatened and rare species may vary because areas encompass different habitat conditions within their boundaries. An animal or plant may have been lost within one state's boundaries, but may be abundant in another, and therefore not considered threatened. The U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 gives the U.S. government power to protect endangered species, under the auspices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The major purpose of this activity is to provide students with a working knowledge of the terminology and factors affecting potential elimination of wildlife species.
2. Review and discuss with the students the definitions of threatened, endangered, rare, extinct, and peripheral-as used in wildlife conservation, as well as in a dictionary. Understand that words defined in a standard dictionary may have additional legal connotations. Ask each student or group of students to select an animal to learn more about.
3. Ask one or more students to take the information accumulated from the wildlife agencies and private conservation groups and come up with a master list of the animals according the category in which they can be classified, the classification both locally and nationally, and the principal factors affecting the animals OR divide the students into teams so they can all participate in constructing this chart; e.g., one team classifying mammals, another reptiles, birds, fish, insects, etc.
4. Make copies of this information for all the students. Discuss the findings. What seem to be the most prevalent factors affecting the animals; e.g., habitat loss, pollution, impact from introduced species?
1. Make a poster display showing the principal reasons for endangerment and the animals that are endangered in those ways. Poster displays could be made separately for both state and national endangered species.
2. Have a school-wide contest in which students create posters honoring endangered species-from plants to wildlife.
3. Write a short essay, poem, or song about plants and animals facing extinction. What are these organisms "worth?" What are we humans losing?
4. Find out what is being done concerning the endangered plants and animals in your state or province; at the national level; at the international and worldwide levels. What can each of us as individuals do?
5. Each student can pick an endangered animal to find out more about. What will be the consequences of the disappearance of this species? What are the concessions involved? What alternatives are available? What contributions does the animal make ecologically? Economically? Medicinally? Aesthetically? Intrinsically? Pool and discuss all the student's findings.
6. Explore the possibility that extinction can apply to human cultural forms; e.g., traditional languages, native peoples.
7. Explore the concept of "unendangered species. What animals appear not to be endangered at all at this time.
Describe two reasons for possible concern when animal species become extinct.
Who decides what species are endangered or threatened and how do they decide?
Describe principal causes for extinction.
This is the time this file has been accessed since 04/04/98.
The University of Tennessee at Martin is not responsible for the information or views expressed here.
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