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Life at Risk - Teacher's Guide

   Episode Overview
PASSENGER PIGIONIn segment one Patrice looks at some of the factors that could endanger plant and animals species. Then she joins Dave to learn about the wood turtle. Next, we take an up-close look at the peregrine falcon. Finally, Sarah and Octave join Susi von Oettigen of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as she monitors the health of dwarf wedge mussels.
   Program Objectives
Students will:
1. Understand the species diversity helps maintain healthy ecosystems.

2. Define extinction.

3. Define endangered.

4. Name some species that are extinct or endangered.

5. Describe how changes in an environment can lead to extinction.

6. Explain the role of adaptation in extinction.

7. Describe way humans have contributed to species extinction or endangerment.

8. Recognize the distinct characteristics of the peregrine falcon.

9. Explain how the peregrine falcon was almost eliminated and how it came back from possible extinction.
Endangered Extinct
Threatened Invasive
   Previewing Activity
Using the blackboard or a wall chart, have students brainstorm factors that they think could endanger plant and animal species. When the list is done, have the student categorize the factors as natural events, human impact, or a combination of both.
   Post-Viewing Activities

1. Using the list generated for the previewing activity, have students further discuss the factors on the list and identify animal and plant species that have been impacted by those factors.

2. Have each student research a plant or animal species in their state that is endangered or threatened. During their research students should identify factors that are impacting the species and identify efforts that are being made to help the species. Have them also develop other strategies for saving the species.

  Hands-On: Get Active
   Materials Needed
research on local endangered or threatened plant or animal species.

In this activity the class selects a plant or animal species that is threatened or endangered in their area and then designs a public relations campaign to raise awareness of the plant or animal's plight.

The class should research the plant or animal and discover what is threatening it and develops a strategy for the best way to educate people about the plant or animal's status and things they can do to help save it. The campaign could involve letter writing, a poster campaign in the school or community, cleaning up the animal or plant's habitat, talking to local press, raising money or a variety of other activities. 

   Additional Resources

Web Sites
Endangered Species Program - US Fish and Wildlife You'll find species information for plants and animals on the federal list of threatened or endangered species as well as news and information about threatened and endangered species and efforts to save them.

Endangered Species
This site from the World Wildlife Fund also features species profiles and information about efforts being made to save endangered species around the world.

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