Endangered Animals

 

giraffe

 

Whether your children are at school or home educated, sustainability and environment studies are fun for both kids and grown ups. We can’t fit every single unit of study into our Brilliant Boxes, so this weekly blog is a great way to give you some ‘top up’ activities on different topics that we know your family will love.

My son is currently elbow deep in clay and paint, working on endangered animal models – and loving it! So, it started me thinking about all sorts of other activities we could do this month, to extend his learning on this topic. I’m sharing some of these with you today. If you do create any of these suggested activities below, we’d love to see them!

What is an endangered animal?

An endangered species is one whose numbers are so small that it is at risk of extinction. Lists are often divided up into: extinct, critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable. Try this website for comprehensive lists: https://a-z-animals.com/animals/endangered/

It is not only a sad thing for animals to end up on these lists, but it has a flow-on effect throughout the environment and the habitat of other animals and plants. The most common threat to animals is humans – we’re either polluting or removing their habitat or hunting animals.

The positive message we can pass on to our children is that concerted conservation efforts are making headway. There are some great success stories of previously vulnerable species actually slowly growing in number again. The Giant Panda and the Black Rhino are two examples of this.

So, on to some activity ideas. There’s a few templates and hands on ‘doing’ activities, some research ideas and a few get-out-of-the-house on a field trip ideas:

  1. Map it

Print out a map of the world. Here’s one, if you need it: world map

Below is a table showing a few endangered animals. Use your research skills to discover which countries these animals belong to, placing dots or crosses on your map.

For younger kids – choose one of these animals to draw a picture or make a collage, to show what your animal looks like and where they prefer to live. You could go to the library to find books on your animal, or have a grown up help with internet research.

For older kids – using this template to collate information and create a poster on your chosen animal: Endangered animal – fact sheet

Black Rhinoceros Monte Iberia Eleuth Tapanuli Orang-utan
Bornean Orang-utan Orang-utan Western Gorilla
Borneo Elephant Radiated Tortoise Western Lowland Gorilla
Cottontop Tamarin Red Wolf African Forest Elephant
Cross River Gorilla Saola African Penguin
Eastern Gorilla Sumatran Elephant African Wild Dog
Gharial Sumatran Orang-utan Albatross
Javan Rhinoceros Sumatran Rhinoceros Asian Elephant

 

Asiatic Black Bear Butterfly Fish Giraffe
Axolotl Chimpanzee Golden Lion Tamarin
Siberian Tiger Chinchilla Grizzly Bear
Bactrian Camel Seahorse Honey Bee
Bandicoot Eastern Lowland Gorilla Hummingbird
Mongoose Seahorse Indian Elephant
Bengal Tiger Fishing Cat Rhinoceros
Blue Whale Sea Otter Indochinese Tiger
Bonobo Galapagos Penguin Indri
Brown Bear Galapagos Tortoise Kakapo

 

  1. Make a diorama

Using your research from the previous activity, create a diorama.

Using a cardboard box (an old shoe box, cereal box, or the best one, your brilliant box!), create a diorama of your animal’s preferred habitat. You can paint the inside of your box, then add in leaves, grass, stones, sand . . .whatever you can find. Show it to your family and explain why your animal likes that type of habitat best.

Include a model of your chosen animal. You could use papier maiche, air drying clay, play dough or craft materials – even egg cartons and recycled paper tubes!

 

  1. My endangered animal board game

We love using games to apply learning! Here, we’re giving you templates to create your own game board, ‘fact cards’ and even your own dice (print as many as you like).

A game board template: Board game template

Or, you might like to cut out your own game board tiles and create your own long paths.

Card template: Endangered animal fact cards – for creating

Cube net, for creating your own dice set (you can copy it and enlarge it):

cube net

So: you can create your own rules, but here’s a few ideas:

  • Label the tiles on your board, to make it easy to navigate around. You could allocate some tiles to ‘fact card questions’, for picking up a card when landing on that tile.
  • Have some fun labelling some tiles for things like: ‘you stop buying any palm oil products – great work! Move forward two spaces’, and so on.
  • Research various animal ‘facts’ to create questions on the fact cards, for answering along the way.
  • Print, label and construct the die as a standard 1-6 die, for rolling and moving around the board. But see what your kids would like to do: mine came up with a very convoluted system of several dice – one for mammals and one for reptiles. Then, when you rolled one, you needed to name an endangered animal from that class of animals. We also had a number die for moving around the board.

 

  1. Create an environment –themed booklist

There are a whole lot of lovely books for young readers that really celebrate the environment. Below is a short list to get you started. Perhaps head to the local library to add to this list and aim to read at least one ‘environment’ themed book each week. You could use these as a basis for discussions or art and craft sessions:

Dr Seuss  The Lorax

Jeannie Baker    Window

Melanie Walsh  Ten Things I Can Do To Help My World

Elaine Ann Allen   Olly The Oyster Cleans The Bay

Michael Salmon   Alexander Bunyip

Alan Zweibel      Our Tree Named Steve

Lynne Cherry     The Great Kapok Tree

Graeme Base     The Waterhole

 

  1. Animal themed field trip

Of course, the best way to appreciate the importance of animal conservation is to get up close and actually see the animals you’ve been discussing. We are very fortunate in Australia to have some wonderful Zoos and animal conservation centres. Plan a trip to visit one.

Check their website first: some have printable activities that make the trip that much more fun and educational for kids. Also check the times for any particular ‘keeper talks’.

You might even want to create your own ‘animal spotto’ game, before going.

If you are planning a home study unit on endangered animals and the environment, a day out at a zoo is often a good part of the research process. Kids might enjoy sketching their animals that are right in front of them, or photographing them.

Join the newsletter

Like a little brilliance in your inbox?
Sign up here to receive a weekly update from us.


Powered by ConvertKit