Go Wild: World Wildlife Conservation Day Lessons for School
The Classroom

Go Wild: World Wildlife Conservation Day Lessons for School

Newsela Editorial
Mar 1, 2024

On December 20, 2013, the United Nations declared March 3 World Wildlife Day across the globe. This remembrance day is supposed to remind people that we rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all our needs—from food, fuel, clothing, and even the places we live, work, and go to school! Help your students learn about the importance of World Wildlife Conservation Day with our curated package of articles, videos, virtual field trips, and even assessment resources to stress the need to protect the world around us:

Discover the need for World Wildlife Conservation Day

Thinking about how can you add more animal activities to your lesson plans? We have some great ideas for you. And with Newsela’s science resources, it’s easy to incorporate World Wildlife Day content and activities into the lessons you’re already teaching:

World Wildlife Day

What is World Wildlife Conservation Day and why should your students care? In your classroom, explore different kinds of wildlife in our world and get students thinking about why protecting wildlife is so important:

  • Consider why restoring ecosystems like natural forests and coasts could save wildlife, and tackle climate change issues like reducing carbon in the atmosphere.

  • Discover what endangered species exist in our world—like cheetahs, gorillas, and giant pandas—and what we can do to protect them.

  • Discuss how wildlife and humans can share diseases, such as the novel coronavirus, and what precautions we can take to keep both people and animals from getting sick.

Shadow a scientist: Wildlife biologist

Introduce students to one of the many careers they could have when they grow up. Invite them to learn more about what a Wildlife Biologist does with these resources:

  • Read an article or watch extension videos about what a wildlife biologist does on the job each day.

  • Explore how patterns exist in nature and why wildlife biologists need to recognize them to do their jobs well.

  • Discover the math involved in scientific jobs and teach students how to analyze and interpret data in the scientific process.

Science in the news: Wildlife corridors

Like humans use sidewalks and rules of the road, animals also need ways to get from one place to another safely. Help students explore wildlife corridors that make it easier for animals to get around without putting themselves in danger in nature. Pose questions like:

  • What different types of wildlife corridors and crossings exist?

  • How do aerial bridges help reunite tree-dwelling wildlife like slow lorises and gibbons with other members of their species and protect them from extinction?

  • How do scientists research the migration patterns of wild animals and how do they work to create a better coexistence for animal and human travel?

Virtual field trips

Let your students explore wildlife without even leaving the classroom! Take virtual field trips to enhance your World Wildlife Day lessons:

Zoo virtual field trips

Take students to some of the most famous zoos in the country in just a class period. You can visit:

  • San Diego Zoo, to learn about elephants, parrots, and sun bears.

  • Zoo Atlanta, to learn about endangered species like the marine otter, the long-tailed pangolin, and the polar bear.

  • Reid Park Zoo in Arizona to explore levels of the food chain among wildlife.

Aquarium virtual field trips

Marine life is wildlife too! Take your students on a virtual tour of some popular aquariums, like:

  • Baltimore National Aquarium, to learn how the establishment is protecting ocean homes for dolphins.

  • Georgia Aquarium, to learn about turtles and marine protected areas.

  • Seattle Aquarium, to discover the wonders of the endangered sea otter.

Exploring animal data

Get students thinking like scientists and invite them to explore and analyze data on some of their favorite wildlife topics:

Wildlife videos

Take information about World Wildlife Day off the page and add wildlife videos to your lesson plans. Use our interactive videos to:

  • Learn the shocking truth about electric animals.

  • Explore why animals use camouflage in the wild.

  • Discover how, when, and where animals migrate.

Wildlife articles

Give students even more options to choose articles about animals and wildlife topics that interest them most. Areas they can explore include:

  • How a teenager invented a low-cost tool to spot elephant poachers in real time.

  • When and how animals get their winter coats.

  • How a South African clinic provides veterinary care to wild animals.

Extend your World Wildlife Conservation Day lessons to the ELA classroom

Go beyond science and bring World Wildlife Day into your ELA classroom with fiction and nonfiction resources:

Wildlife novel studies

World Wildlife Day is a great opportunity to introduce students to books and novels that feature animals as main characters or sidekicks. Newsela ELA’s novel studies give students the background knowledge and context to understand the books better:

Articles about animals

Bring more informational texts into your ELA classroom with nature articles. Encourage students to practice literacy skills while exploring topics like:

  • How big cats like the lions of West Africa are losing their homes, and what people are doing to protect them from extinction.

  • If people can tame and domesticate foxes the same way they do with other house pets, like dogs.

  • How many animals are coming out more frequently during the night to avoid interacting with people like hikers and campers.

Poems about animals

Explore wildlife through verse with poems like:

  • A Jelly-Fish” by Marianne Moore

  • Peacock Feather” by Effie Lee Newsome

  • The Purple Cow” by Gelett Burgess

  • The Sparrow” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • At the Zoo” by William Makepeace Thackeray

Turn your wildlife lessons into interactive assessments

Keeping your students engaged with relevant, real-world content is only one part of their learning journey. Get real-time data and insights to check their comprehension and other skills practice by turning any of your World Wildlife Conservation Day lessons into an interactive Formative activity with just the click of a button. Log in to your Newsela account today and open the activities panel for any article to get started. And if you’re not a Newsela user yet, create your free Newsela Lite account today!

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