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Photo by Matthew Schwartz via Unsplash

Author

National Wildlife Federation

Grades

3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Biology, Civics

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Maine

Endangered Species: 6 Stories of Success

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Synopsis
  • In this article, students read about six once-endangered species whose populations have rebounded thanks to the United States Endangered Species Act and actions from various groups.
  • The animals included in this article are the bald eagle, the Florida panther, the gray wolf, the grizzly bear, the peregrine falcon, and the red-cockaded woodpecker.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Students will feel hopeful and inspired by these stories of success.
  • Students can get involved using the links at the bottom of the page to sign a petition or attend a nearby event.
  • Teachers can use this resource for Endangered Species Day, the third Friday in May each year.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are a few broken links in the article: "below 250 individuals" in the Florida panther section, "more than 700 bears" in the grizzly bear section, and "about 3,000 breeding pairs" in the peregrine falcon section.
  • It may benefit students to know the terms endangered and extinct and how species qualify as one or the other.

Differentiation

  • For younger students, consider reading the text as a class or assigning sections to small groups.
  • Older students can use the links throughout the article to learn more about the different species and how they are protected.
  • This resource connects with life science topics, such as endangered species, biodiversity, breeding, and conservation efforts.
  • This resource connects with Earth science topics, such as climate change, deforestation, land-use changes, and pollution.
  • Social studies or civics classes can use this resource to learn about the successes of the U.S. Endangered Species Act and other ways the U.S. government has protected wildlife through policies, bans, and compensation.
Scientist Notes
This resource discusses six endangered animals and efforts to save and care for their species and habitats. These animals are all native to the contiguous United States. The information presented is accurate, and this resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • CCC.Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Prediction: Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. Deciphering causal relationships, and the mechanisms by which they are mediated, is a major activity of science and engineering.
      • 3-5-CCC-Cause and Effect.1. Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.
      • MS-CCC-Cause and Effect.1. Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.
    • ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
      • MS-ESS3-C.1. Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. (MS-ESS3-3)
      • 5-ESS3-C. Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have had major effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, air, and even outer space. But individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth’s resources and environments. (5-ESS3-1)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
      • D2.Civ.12.3-5 Explain how rules and laws change society and how people change rules and laws.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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