Extinct Animals… or are they?

Learning Objectives

Students will read a recent science news article and discuss the content.
Depending the on the article, students may be asked to draw connections to current events or other classroom exercises.

Standards Addressed

Depending on the article, one of these standards may be most appropriate:

Subject Area - 1: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

     Standard Area - 1.3: Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Literature - Fiction and Non-Fiction

          Grade Level - 1.3.6: GRADE 6

               Standard - 1.3.6.A: Read, understand, and respond to works from various genres of literature

                    Assessment Anchor - R6.A.2: Understand nonfiction appropriate to grade level.

Preparation Time Needed

<30 minutes, enough time to read the article and associated questions, answer the questions, and possibly come up with more that are relevant to recent class exercises. 

Activity Description

(Part of the PAESTA In The News - Current Events in Earth and Space Science Series. This series compiles current resources and background materials for recent scientific events in the news. Questions are provided with each topic, written across Bloom's Taxonomic Scale, and can be used for classroom discussion and/or as a writing prompt at the beginning/middle/end of an instructional unit.)

With advances in technology and access to remote locations across the globe, scientists are rediscovering species that were once thought to have disappeared or thought to be extinct.

Articles to Share with Students

General Extinction Information

Questions for Classroom Discussion

  • What does it mean for a species to be extinct?
  • What are some reasons why species go extinct?
  • Why do scientists mistakenly label some species as extinct?
  • How can scientists tell if they have found a long-lost species, or if what they have discovered is a new species?
  • What is the difference between an endangered species, an extinct species, and a living fossil? Give an example of each.

Compiled July 17, 2011, by L.A. Guertin. Teachers are encouraged to search for more recent articles and related discoveries.

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