Engaging In The Fight Against Extinction Unit Driving Question: How can we, as planetary stewards, take an active role in saving species from extinction?
Slowing Extinction Lesson Driving Question: How can we inspire others to protect natural habitats and save endangered species from extinction?
- Distribute the Focal Species Pamphlet Design Template and the Focal Species Pamphlet: Checklist and Rubric handouts to students.
- As a class, discuss the objectives of the project. The first objective is for students to make their readers care. The second objective to inspire their readers to take action now.
- Review the requirements for the final pamphlet that are listed on the Focal Species Pamphlet Design Template handout. Student pamphlets should include:
- At least one image of their focal species
- Data and/or graphics inspired by and developed from previous activities in this unit
- Three to four concrete steps that any individual can readily take to help save this animal from extinction
- Information about at least three organizations that support the survival of the endangered focal species, including the name and contact information for the organizations
- Citation for all images, data, quotes, and information taken from a source
2. Have teams brainstorm conservation pamphlet mockup ideas for each required portion of the pamphlet.
- Once the rough draft is complete, provide feedback to students as well as have another team provide feedback to the group using the rubric for guidance.
- Instruct teams to divide the final trifold pamphlet responsibilities among team members.
- Provide access to a document camera so the audience can easily see individual elements of the pamphlet.
- Have students summarize the main points of their pamphlet and their favorite elements of the document.
- Distribute the Focal Species Pamphlet Reflection handout to each student and have them complete the reflection.
- Have students self assess using the Focal Species Pamphlet: Checklist and Rubric.
- Have student volunteers share their responses to the third reflection question: What are some next steps I can take to spread the message of this project beyond my classroom?
- As a class, revisit the chart paper from The Impacts of the Anthropocene Epoch activity that had student responses to the following questions posted on sticky notes:
- What do you want Earth to look like in the future? To what parts of our planet do we need to be paying attention?
- What changes do you think humans will need to make in order to have that future?
- Students create one last sticky note that they add to the chart pledging to take action that will help achieve their goals for the future of the planet.
- Students create a plan for displaying their trifolds in their school community.
Focal Species Pamphlet: Project Checklist and Rubric: Students evaluate their own work against the rubric, and the teacher uses it to assess final work.
Extending the Learning
- As a class, devise a cohesive, multi-step “Spread the Word!” campaign that includes classroom visits and a Planetary Stewardship Gallery. Class visits offer teams the chance to explain their advocacy efforts, answer questions, and recruit activists to their cause. The creation of a Planetary Stewardship Gallery, designed by all teams, provides a hub where all projects are placed on display to raise awareness, elicit emotional responses, and inspire citizen action across the student body.
- Have student teams carry out their conservation action plans within their own community, educating and engaging with other local actors, dividing responsibilities, urging action on behalf of a vulnerable regional species with the help of knowledgeable and influential sponsors such as zoos, aquariums, and nonprofits.
- Have students transform trifolds into a public service announcement and publish short promotional videos that include their trifold work.
- Have students identify an environmental activist or influencer who is connected to preserving endangered species within their animal’s ecosystem. Teams send copies of their completed trifold to them along with a short letter of intent.
Subjects & Disciplines
- Social Studies
- Create a trifold conservation pamphlet to educate others about endangered species and their biomes.
- Project-based learning
- Hands-on learning
21st Century Student Outcomes
- Information, Media, and Technology Skills
- Learning and Innovation Skills
- Life and Career Skills
Critical Thinking Skills
Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7: Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- WHST.6-8.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
The College, Career & Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards
- D4.7.6-8.: Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
What You’ll Need
The resources are also available at the top of the page.
- Internet Access: Required
- Tech Setup: 1 computer per learner, Color printer
- Media Center/Library
- Homogeneous grouping
- Small-group work
Planetary stewardship is necessary, even urgent, if we are to radically redefine our relationship with the planet. As planetary stewards, it is our responsibility to ensure stakeholders are well informed about how global changes will inevitably impact the quality or even the existence of life on the planet. Planetary stewardship requires nothing less than intense engagement and a willingness to take and advocate for immediate action. There’s no time to lose.
member of a country, state, or town who shares responsibilities for the area and benefits from being a member.
management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.
branch of biology that studies the relationship between living organisms and their environment.
organism threatened with extinction.
course of actions, beliefs, and laws taken by a government having to do with a specific issue or concern.
responsible management to ensure benefits are passed on to future generations.