Adapted from: www.kidszoo.org, Endangered Species
- A Teacher's Resources, Grades 6-8, Fort Wayne Children's Zoo
Bluebirds are very particular
about the habitat that they live in and the type of food they eat.
Starlings, however, are very adaptable. They can eat many foods
and nest in many places.
The game format is similar to musical
chairs. Use two different colors of carpet squares or chairs
to represent habitat where the birds can nest and find food. The
squares/chairs are set up in two rows with backs together.
half of the class as starlings, and the other half bluebirds
(have the students wear nametags).
The starlings can nest on any
carpet square/chair, while bluebirds can only nest on one color.
Students move around the squares/chairs, and when some signal
is given (i.e., teacher clapping hands, music stopping), they must
find a spot to nest and eat. Any students without a square/chair,
or on the wrong color, did not make it through that year.
At some point, remove some carpet squares/chairs, explaining that
the land was cleared for a farm or shopping mall. Continue year
after year, checking to see how many starlings and how many bluebirds
The end result of the game will vary somewhat, depending on what
colors of carpet squares/chairs you remove each year. Try taking
away only bluebird habitat, stating that starlings can still live
on the land that is turned into suburbs.
In a variation of the game, begin with only two bluebirds and
two starlings. Use three carpet squares, one for bluebirds and
starlings, and two for just starlings. Play the game again, but
this time, add one bird for every bird that successfully nests
that year (i.e., after the first round, if one bluebird and two
starlings survived, then add one more bluebird and two more starlings).
Also add some habitat.
Which reproduces faster, the starling or
Why Learn About Endangered Species?
Now, more than ever, an increasing number of animals on our planet
are in danger of extinction. From 1 BC to 1800 AD, an average of
one animal species became extinct every 55 years. From 1900 to
the present, one species became extinct every year! The reason
for this drastic increase in animal extinction lies in the fact
that the worldâ€™s
population is increasing at a rapid pace.
As the human population continues to rise, so does the continual
need for resources to support it. As a result of meeting human
needs for food, shelter, and fuel, there is often less room for
wildlife to survive in their natural habitats. These animals, found
all over the world, now make up an ever-growing list of the endangered
species. Even animals in our home state are members of the endangered
species list. It is estimated that by the year 2020, twenty percent
or more of the plants and animals on earth will be threatened with
With this in mind, the ZAP! provides worksheets and pre- and post-visit
activities to help students develop the following concepts:
- Certain species of animals have become extinct because they
failed to produce enough young to keep pace with the death
- Extinction may have occurred as a result of natural conditions
(for example, the dinosaurs) or as a result of human intervention.
- Humans have caused animals to become extinct or endangered
- destroying natural habitats
- introducing exotic invasive species that outcompete with native
- using pesticides
- using skins, feathers, or other animal parts for clothing
or fashion accessories
- keeping exotic animals as pets
Individuals CAN make a difference
in helping endangered species.