Endangered Species Exploration

  • Fourth Grade
  • Reading
  • 65 minutes
  • Standards: RI.4.1, RI.4.2
  • no ratings yet
July 22, 2015
by Sarah Marten

Teach your students the importance of text features with informational readings about endangered species around the world. This lesson on wildlife doubles as a great way for young learners to hone their reading comprehension skills.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify the main features of a text. They will also be able to compare and contrast two different animals using a Venn diagram.

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Lesson

Introduction (20 minutes)

  • Tell students that they will be learning about a few endangered species around the world.
  • Write the word species on the board, and ask for a few volunteers to define the word.
  • Discuss and write the definition of species on the board: a category of living things identified by a two-part scientific name. Give an example, e.g. homo sapiens.
  • Write the word endangered on the board, and ask for a few volunteers to define the word.
  • Discuss and write the definition of endangered on the board: threatened by extinction.
  • As a class, create a definition for the phrase "endangered species," and write it on the board.
  • Explain to the students they are going to watch a video clip about an endangered species called the Sumatran Rhinoceros, then play the Wildlife Documentaries 2015: The Most Endangered Animals video clip. Stop at 18:45.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Hand out the Endangered Species: Sumatran Rhinoceros worksheet and Text Features sheet to each student.
  • Display the Sumatran Rhinoceros worksheet for the class to see. Read the instructions aloud.
  • Display the Text Features sheet for the class to see.
  • Model each direction on your own Rhinoceros worksheet and have students complete each direction after you have modeled it.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Have students keep the Text Feature sheet on their desk and set the Sumatran Rhinoceros worksheet aside.
  • Have the other Endangered Species worksheets laid out on an table or easily accessed area in the room.
  • Tell the students to independently read and complete another Endangered Species worksheet using the Text Features worksheet directions.
  • Show the students where in the room the other worksheets are, and dismiss them to pick up other sheets of their choice.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Have students work independently on their Endangered Species worksheets while monitoring and helping as needed.

Extend

Differentiation

  • Enrichment: Have advanced students write a few paragraphs about the animals they chose on the back of their Venn diagram sheets.
  • Support: Allow struggling students to work in pairs during Guided Practice.

Review

Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Collect students' work at the end of the lesson. Review their responses later as an informal assessment of whether the lesson objectives were met.

Review and Closing (15 minutes)

  • Play another clip from the video.
  • Have students complete a Venn Diagram (two items per section) to compare and contrast a species they completed on a worksheet and the animal shown in the clip.

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