Endangered Species Activities for Kids

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Protecting our environment is a responsibility we all carry, and knowledge is the first step. This lesson offers activities appropriate for young students to help them become excited about endangered animals.

Endangered Animals

The state of our environment is an incredibly important lesson to teach our young children today. What is happening in our world: to nature, to the air we breathe, and our water supplies? A great place to start introducing these topics to children is with endangered animals. By covering a unit on endangered animals, teachers can expose students to the impact of global neglect in a manner that children seem to relate well to (animals).

This lesson offers activities designed to supplement your endangered animal unit. The games and activities are designed for early childhood education levels; however, adaptations can be made to vary the difficulty of each game. Students will become more familiar with and grow in their knowledge of endangered animals as they learn in groups and work on their own completing these activities.

Group Activities

The activities listed in this section are group activities designed to get your class up and moving as they learn together while playing fun games.

Bean Bag Toss

Materials: You will need one small bean bag for each child and a large floor map of the world.

Preparation: Clear an area large enough for your students to surround the large floor map.

Instructions: Hand out the bean bags. Instruct your students to listen as you call out the name of an endangered animal ('panda') and then immediately toss their bean bag onto the map in the area of the animal's home ('China'). When the children have tossed their bags, praise those that got it correct and encourage those that didn't. Then allow them to gather their bags and try another animal. As you progress through your unit, you could substitute endangered animal facts ('eats bamboo') for the name of the animal. This will deepen the academic benefit of the game.

Match It

Materials: You will need index cards for this game.

Preparation: Making pairs of cards, write the animal parent name on one card ('panda') and its baby's name on the other ('cub'). Make enough sets that every child in the room will have a card. Duplicate cards if you need to; just make sure you have parent/child combinations.

Instructions: Hand out the cards to your students. At a signal, ask them to search the room for another student with a card that matches their own. Swap cards and play again as many times as you like. To add depth to the game, you could make matching sets of animal/ecosystem or animal/food.

What Can We Do?

Materials: You will need sheets of poster size paper (one for each group) and art supplies.

Preparation: Discuss with students the importance of protecting the endangered animals. Highlight their own responsibility as they will be the next generation to have to deal with the problem. Split the class into groups of 3-5.

Instructions: Allow students time to brainstorm ideas for how to protect endangered animals. Ask each group to choose one endanger animal species and come up with a plan for how to save it. Have them put their ideas on the poster paper to present to the class.

Individual Activities

These activities are designed to be completed at a student's desk or in their own time at home. While they are designed for early childhood, adaptation and expectations can lead to more intense activities for students who are ready for that level of academic work.

Endangered Animal Bingo

Materials: Laminated bingo cards showing pictures of the endangered animals you are studying will be required for this game. It is preferable to have spot covers for each child as well (although, a dry erase pen should work as well).

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