Subjects & Disciplines
- Define ecosystem services and categorize them according to general function.
- Categorize ecosystem services into different categories provided by the rainforest habitat of the Sumatran rhino.
- Use cause and effect to explain how ecosystem services would be altered with a biological or physical change to the local ecosystem of the Sumatran rhino.
- Define biodiversity and its value to ecosystems.
- Explore relationships between species in several ecosystems using a food web.
- Use a physical model to represent ecological connections between species.
- Apply systems thinking to the relationships between the Sumatran rhino and other species in its habitat.
- Utilize different sources to determine some of the major causes of extinction.
- Draw from different sources to identify some of the challenges faced by the Sumatran rhino, a species at risk of extinction.
- Apply an understanding of conservation issues specific to the Sumatran rhino.
- Practice developing scientific claims supported by evidence and reasoning.
- Understand the differences between major categories that describe species’ conservation status, including vulnerable, endangered, and extinct.
- Identify the Sumatran rhino as a species at risk of extinction.
- Share what they already know and what they need to know to protect endangered species without compromising the needs of other species, including humans.
- Project-based learning
- Cooperative learning
- Multimedia instruction
- Visual instruction
21st Century Student Outcomes
- Information, Media, and Technology Skills
- 21st Century Themes
Critical Thinking Skills
- Geographic Skills
Science and Engineering Practices
- Analyzing and interpreting data
- Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
- Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
- Developing and using models
- Engaging in argument from evidence
- Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices
What You’ll Need
The resources are also available at the top of the page.
- Internet Access: Required
- Internet access: Required
- Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Projector, Speakers
- Large-group instruction
- Large-group learning
- Small-group learning
Students with accommodations may need more scaffolding for the graphic organizer.
When making their Know & Need to Know chart, students may want to have a place to put questions they have about the Sumatran rhino or other topics, but that are not directly connected to the driving question. Consider having an “I Wonder” board in your classroom or designating a space in students’ notebooks specifically for questions that are not directly tied to the driving question, but that students want to remember and return to later.
- Students should be familiar with the basic definitions of an ecosystem and a species, although these will be reviewed during the activity.
- Students should be somewhat familiar with the differences between a claim, evidence, and reasoning before completing the C-E-R activity in Step 4. See the “Tips” section for an external lesson that can help introduce these concepts.
Recommended Prior Lessons
all the different kinds of living organisms within a given area.
organism that eats meat.
organism on the food chain that depends on autotrophs (producers) or other consumers for food, nutrition, and energy.
non-material benefits that humans obtain from ecosystems, e.g., sense of home, mental and physical health, tourism, spiritual experience, etc.
organism that breaks down dead organic material; also sometimes referred to as detritivores
community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.
organism threatened with extinction.
process of complete disappearance of a species from Earth.
all related food chains in an ecosystem. Also called a food cycle.
pregnancy, or the period from conception until birth.
organism that eats mainly plants and other producers.
separation from other people, habitats, or communities.
organism that eats a variety of organisms, including plants, animals, and fungi.
organism on the food chain that can produce its own energy and nutrients. Also called an autotroph.
material benefits humans obtain from ecosystems, e.g., food, water, lumber, fiber, etc.
ways in which ecosystems regulate fluctuating factors in the environment, such as disease, climate, water cycles, nutrient cycles, etc.
group of similar organisms that can reproduce with each other.
native, geographic area in which an organism can be found. Range also refers to the geographic distribution of a particular species.
benefits provided by ecosystems that are indirectly supportive of other types of ecosystem services, e.g., providing habitat, nutrient cycling, maintaining genetic diversity, etc.
organism that may soon become endangered.
point in a process that must be met to start a new stage in the process.
For Further Exploration
Articles & Profiles
- Medium: How Much Is a Species Worth?
- National Geographic: The Permian Extinction—When Life Nearly Came to an End
- National Wildlife Federation: Ecosystem Services
- National Geographic: How One Odd Bird Embodies the Endangered Species Act Debate
- Endangered Species Coalition: 10 Easy Things You Can Do To Protect Endangered Species
- National Geographic: Endangered Species