When teachers want to motivate students to learn science, relating a concept to an animal is usually a good way to pique their interest. Children are sympathetic to the plight of endangered animals when they learn about them and this is a helpful way to get children thinking critically about the effect of their actions on the environment as a whole. School projects on the world's endangered animals can get a whole classroom of students motivated to be more conscientious and inspire those around them while introducing new scientific concepts and strengthening brainstorming and problem-solving skills.
School projects on endangered animals can include research and problem-solving brainstorming skills. Hand out copies of the endangered animals list, such as the current year's Red List of Endangered Species. Students can select an animal to research or work in pairs or groups if more than one student wants to learn more about the same animal. Alternatively, if this is a school wide project each classroom can select an animal together. For each animal, students will conduct general research about the creature (including common and scientific name), its habitat, where they can be found and why they are endangered. In instances where it is possible, students can also chart the original and present-day population range of their animal. They will also list reasons or suggest projects about what can be done to help protect the species.
Awareness and Adoption Projects
That project can lead to another one: utilizing passionate students in an awareness campaign in the community. Using their individual animal's research as a launching board, students can inform and motivate those around them to learn more about the problems their particular species faces and what people can do to help them. As a part of your unit on endangered animals or as an extension of the awareness program, students can learn more about charitable and conservation organizations that work to help the animals. Many of them allow you to symbolically adopt an endangered species by contributing to research and rescue efforts. Depending on what your principal and school board will allow, securing an adoption from the class or school could be a good fund-raising goal.
Another research project could be on the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Students can research the law and the events surrounding it to give a history of legislation related to endangered animals and see if they can articulate when a species is considered endangered and threatened. They can present their findings in several formats, including a speech, research paper, detailed poster or video project.
Projects can also focus specifically on the problems and solutions facing endangered animals. They can choose over-hunting or habitat destruction and take a scientific approach to exploring how and why these problems exist and what future generations can do instead.
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