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Save the Animals!

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Keywords: Animals, Endangered Animals, Science, Life Science, PowerPoint, Podcast
Subject(s): Technology, Podcasting, Life Science, Writing, Reading, Social Studies, Spelling, Grammar, Science
Grades 3 through 5
School: Hebron Avenue Elem School, Glastonbury, CT
Planned By: Amy Castela
Original Author: Amy Castela, Glastonbury

Students research an endangered animal. They then develop a PowerPoint presentation (for their parents and peers) describing the animal, its habitat, its predators, its prey, and why it's endangered. Finally, students create a podcast for our class "Save the Animals!" series describing their plan to help these endangered species, as well as recruiting support.

- Computers with internet access
- Kid-friendly Search Engines
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- LCD Projector
- Projection Screen or SmartBoard
- Podcasting Program Such as Audacity or Garageband
- Internal or External Microphones
- Class Website
- Print resources on various endangered animals.

- Given resources on specific endangered animals, students will synthesize their learning to plan and create a PowerPoint presentation on their endangered animal.
- Given a computer with podcasting software, students will create a podcast for our class “Save the Animals!” series describing their plan to help these endangered species, as well as recruiting support.

Background: This project is an interdisciplinary project that comes during our Animal Adaptations Unit in Science. After learning about endangerment, students select an endangered animal from one of the geographic areas we’ve learned about in Social Studies throughout the year. In our case, students select an animal from Asia, Africa, or North America since we’ve studied countries in all three of those continents.

Lesson Sequence:
- Teacher generates a list of endangered animals found in Asia, Africa, and North America.
o Teacher will have to do some homework to make sure there’s sufficient information on the animals listed so that students will be successful when conducting their research.
- Students select one endangered animal to research.
- Students research their endangered animal using kid friendly search engines on the Internet.
o Students may also use any print resources such as books, magazines, or encyclopedias to add to their notes.
o Students should use a combination of both electronic and print resources to have the best research results.
o Students must include information on the following categories in their research: physical description of animal, its habitat, its prey, its predators, and why it’s endangered.
- Students create a PowerPoint presentation synthesizing all of their research.
o Students will have a title slide, as well as a separate slide for each category of their research.
o Students will use various clipart/images throughout their PowerPoint presentations. Images may come from Google or Microsoft Office Online.
o Students will demonstrate an understanding of the following key presentation skills: font type, font size, font color, and background color/design.
- Students present their PowerPoint presentations to their peers.
- Parents may come in to view the presentations along with the class.
- The presentations will be uploaded to/embedded in the class website for easy viewing at home.
- Students then create a script for their podcast for the class’ “Save the Animals!” series.
- Students rehearse their scripts and create their podcast.
- Podcasts will be presented to the class.
- Podcasts will also be uploaded to/embedded in the class website for parents and students to listen to.

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Science, Social Studies, Reading, Writing, Technology Integration, Podcast, PowerPoint, Research
Presentation of PowerPoints and Podcasts to peers and parents
Embedding of PowerPoints and Podcasts to class website
Materials: Microphones, Hard Drives, Computer Accessories, Power, Keyboards, Headsets, LCD Monitors, Mice, Flash/USB Drives, Office Suite, Podcasting, Inspiration, Web Page, Slideshow, Clip Art, Internet Services, Integrating Technology