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Lesson Plan:

For Teachers: Research Endangered Species

Type: Assignment
Subjects: Social Studies, Geography, Science
Grades: Grades 6-8
Duration: 2 to 4 lessons
Purpose: To learn about endangered species and habitat, to prepare a visual presentation
Summary: Students will conduct research about an endangered species in Canada and create a diorama to illustrate what they have learned.

Before Exploring

Direct students to the topic Endangered Species in Canada on the CBC Digital Archives website and have them view the clip 'Caribou comeback.'  Working alone or in small groups, students should find the answers to the following questions and record them in their notebooks.

  • Why were the Fortymile caribou at risk?
  • What plan did scientists devise to help the caribou herd recover?
  • What were the results?

Outline the Opportunity

Have each group choose a Canadian species to research. They can refer to the clips 'Rare bears' and 'Industry vs. spotted owl.'  As they explore, they should gather information about the species' needs, its habitat, and the factors that are putting it at risk, and record the answers in chart form. Then have the groups brainstorm ideas for presenting their findings in a diorama. Remind them to divide the work evenly among the group members as they gather supplies and construct their projects.

Revisit and Reflect

Students will present their dioramas to the class, describing the species' unique features, how it has adapted to its natural habitat, the reasons the species has become endangered, and options for helping the species recover.


Students can create an endangered-species board game based on the information they gathered for their presentations.


  • shoebox or plastic bin for the diorama
  • scissors, glue, paints/markers, construction paper
  • pictures or plastic models of plants and animals