skip to main content

Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Conservation Biology: Claim your Species Presentation


Activity Website:
Tech Product/Equipment:
Computer and projector, Mobile devices for students, Speakers

Activity Description

Brown Turtle Swimming Underwater
Source: Unsplash by Wexor TMG (License: CC0/Public Domain)
In this lesson, students practice listening comprehension with a video, discuss, and read about endangered species and efforts to prevent their extinction. The culminating assignment is a presentation about an endangered species.


  1. Check the website to ensure it is not blocked at your site.
  2. Read through the lesson plan. Determine which parts you will use and make modifications. 
  3. Select a text for reading if you choose to include reading. Determine which academic vocabulary you teach.
  4. Preview the video and decide if students will make an account and submit their answers on TEDEd or if you will make a handout with the questions.
  5. Print and make copies of any handouts.
  6. Prepare a sample presentation. If you decide to have students enter their presentation information on a single shared slideshow, such as Google Slides, prepare that in advance in order to share with editing capabilities. See Sample Class Shared Google slideshow.
  7. For students who are less familiar with slideshow software and apps, you may choose to prepare a template.

Teacher Tips

If students are novice computer users, you may choose to create a slideshow template to share with them.

More Ways

This lesson idea was inspired by Insights to English WebQuest: Endangered Species.

TED-Ed has a growing library of lessons with TED Talks and original animated videos and provides a platform for teachers to modify or create their own interactive lessons. You can use the videos and questions without students making accounts, but if you would like to modify the questions, create an account, and after you have customized or published a lesson, select “Share your lesson” for sharing options: students to create accounts or students use nicknames. Then email the lesson, post the link, or embed it. If you don’t require TEDEd accounts, then students will be prompted to enter their names. In the instructor dashboard, you can view student submissions. To give feedback, the student is sent an email that contains a link to your feedback. If they follow the link, there is a space provided for them to respond to your feedback, in which case you will receive an email letting you know that they have responded. Only the Lesson creator and the learner have access to this exchange.

Stossel in the Classroom Both Sides of the Issue is a video series of lessons on current news and events topics. Two videos representing opposing arguments are paired with discussion questions. The goal of the site is to provide teachers and students with different viewpoints and encourage open discussion and critical thinking. You can use all of the site’s videos without an account but for access to additional resources like quizzes and guides, register for free. There are teaching resources such as guides, Kahoot! Games, and online quizzes.

Program Areas

  • ESL: English as a Second Language
  • ABE: Adult Basic Education


  • Intermediate
  • High
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced

Lesson Plan


Begin with (a) photo(s) or slideshow or video showing some endangered species. Ask students to identify the species and say where it lives, if they know. 



Have students brainstorm a list of causes for species to be threatened, endangered, or become extinct. This can be done on a Google Doc, Padlet, Jamboard, or other tool.

Ask students if they know of any ways to prevent or stop the threats.

Ask student what the results are in the ecosystem when an species numbers become very low and when a species becomes extinct.



Tell students that they will watch a video to learn about a threatened animal, read about endangered animals, and gather information about an endangered species of their choosing to present about to the class.


Engagement Enhancement

Conversation: Use the conversation questions on Endangered Species, Animals, or Animal Rights from the ESL Discussions website or the following (note: if you use a learning management system, students can be asked to post replies to a set number of questions via a discussion forum).

  1. What are some ways that humans have contributed to the decline of certain animal species?
  2. Can you describe a time when you observed an animal in its natural habitat?
  3. What are some ways we can help protect endangered species and their habitats?
  4. What role do zoos and aquariums play in conservation efforts for endangered species?
  5. What are some potential consequences of losing certain species in an ecosystem?
  6. What are some ways that climate change is impacting animals and their habitats?
  7. What are some endangered species in your country or region, and what efforts are being made to protect them?
  8. Do you think it is ethical to use animals for scientific research? Why or why not?
  9. What are some positive changes you've observed in conservation efforts over the past decade?
  10. How do hunting and poaching impact animal populations and ecosystems?
  11. How can we encourage more sustainable and responsible practices in industries like fishing and agriculture to protect natural habitats?
  12. Do you think it is important for humans to connect with nature and wildlife? Why or why not?
  13. What are some of the biggest threats facing marine animals and their habitats?
  14. What organizations do you know of that work to protect animals and natural resources? If no one in your group can name such an organization, search together on the internet and find two or three. What are their names and what do they do?
  15. What are some of the most successful conservation efforts that have helped to protect endangered species and their habitats?

Listening:  Preview the TEDEd video, Disappearing Frogs OR Penguins in Peril.

Have students watch the video and answer the questions. Check as a whole group, or if you have students do this activity individually and submit their results, give feedback online via your instructor dashboard.

Reading about endangered animals with comprehension questions. Sources can be Common Lit Target Lesson "Destination Endangered Species

Optional: Opposing views. Stossel in the News – Endangered Animals Act. Have students watch the two videos and use the discussion questions to conduct a small-group or whole-class discussion.

Jigsaw Reading / Internet Search:

Divide students into equal groups. Assign each group one of the following species to research in groups and fill out a handout with the following information for their assigned species: (you may choose different species for your local area): Snowy plover, Torrey Pine, Migratory Monarch, Grey Whale, Southern Steelhead.

Team Members’ Names:

Assigned species:

Scientific species name:

Type of species (bird, reptile, mammal, insect, plant, etc.):

  • Current status: extinct, critically endangered, endangered, threatened, etc.
  • Why are these creatures endangered?
  • How many are left in the world?
  • What is being done to protect them?

After groups have completed their information gathering and have taken notes, regroup students so that each group has a different species to report on to the group. The new group members fill out a handout with the information supplied to them by their new group members. Introduce the assignment prompt with the handout "Conservation Biology." Show a sample and demonstrate how to use the websites listed and others, as needed. Have students select their species and begin research by taking notes. When students are ready, have them create their slideshows or enter the information and add images on their assigned slides on a shared class slideshow or on an individual slideshow. 

Presentations: Students deliver their presentations to the class and ask and answer questions.

Enhancement Extension

Use a rubric or peer checklist to give students feedback on their work. Students can also reflect on their learning with a checklist or questions on a Google Form.


Students will be able to carry out research projects to answer a question or solve a problem, gather information from multiple print and digital sources, and prepare and deliver an oral presentation with a visual aide that include integrate graphics or multimedia.



  • Reading
    • Critical Thinking/Decision Making
    • Learning to Learn
    • Vocabulary
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
    • Mechanics (Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling)
  • Writing
    • Basic Sentences
    • Mechanics (Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling)
    • Report Writing


  • Reading Foundational Skills
    • RF.4 - Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension. (Fluency)
  • Reading
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
    • CCR Anchor 7 - Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
    • CCR Anchor 9 - Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • Writing
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
    • CCR Anchor 5 - Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
    • CCR Anchor 6 - Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
    • CCR Anchor 7 - Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
    • CCR Anchor 8 - Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
    • CCR Anchor 9 - Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • Speaking and Listening
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
    • CCR Anchor 3 - Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
    • CCR Anchor 5 - Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
    • CCR Anchor 6 - Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
  • Language
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Demonstrate command of the conventions of English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Demonstrate command of the conventions of English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
    • CCR Anchor 6 - Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.


Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing, endangered, species, threatened, animals, biology, conservation


Jamboard, Padlet, Stossel in the Classroom, TED Ed, PowerPoint, CommonLit, Google Slides

Creative Commons License

CC BY: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

Conditions COPYRIGHT: You Are Given Permission to print out and duplicate paper copies of these lessons to be used by your own students or for private study purposes by students; to link directly to any materials on this site, including the mp3 files. Any other use of my files requires written permission. TED-Ed Usage policy
Scroll To Top

OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.