Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 9, 10
Document Camera, Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Keywords: wildlife trafficking, biodiversity, human impact, slow loris, loris, Vietnam, text complexity, lesson plan
Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Explain how human activity has impacted the slow loris population.
- Understand how scientists are trying to protect the species and biodiversity.
- Discuss why an interdisciplinary approach to conservation is important in the efforts to save biodiversity in Vietnam.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Use various vocabulary strategies to define academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Construct a written response that clearly establishes a main point, contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- Students should have a general idea of the niche (role) that the loris has in its community. This from the Duke Lemur Center can provide information for both the student and the teacher.
- Students need to know where Vietnam is located, as well as the other countries mentioned in the article. This map shows Vietnam as well as Laos and Cambodia.
- Students should be familiar with the biodiversity found in Vietnam and some of the efforts involved in its conservation. This site from the American Museum of Natural History provides a tutorial for discovering Vietnam's biodiversity.
- Students should understand the wildlife black market and how widespread it is.
- Students should be familiar with conservation status definitions and the status of various animals, including those listed in the article. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species can provide information for students as needed. All species of lorises currently have a declining population.
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience with using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial. In addition, students should have some dictionary skills that will enable them to look up words with multiple meanings and determine the most appropriate meaning based on how a word is used in a text.
- Based on the rubric provided, students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), a body paragraph(s) that support the main point(s) and includes relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- What are the major threats to the slow loris?
The loris is considered to be a very adorable and cute animal. As a result, it is a common animal found in the exotic pet trade. It has not been researched as much as some other animals, so its numbers were unknown. Scientists now recognize that the exotic pet trade, hunting, and habitat loss may threaten the survival of the species.
- In what ways are humans affecting the biodiversity of Vietnam?
Because of the high demand for many species found in Vietnam for both their body parts as well as for pets, many species now face the possibility of endangerment or extinction.
- How can the approaches used by scientists described in the article help protect the biodiversity of Vietnam?
Scientists are now trying to find the underlying reasons for the illegal trafficking. They are analyzing the socioeconomic statuses of the individuals and communities involved in the trafficking. They are trying to identify hotspots or areas where the trafficking is known to take place. They are using new technology such as DNA databases to identify where confiscated animals originally came from.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Begin the lesson by asking students to identify the negative impacts human have on the biodiversity of an area.
- Allow about 5 minutes for this task; then have students share their responses with the rest of the class.
- Students will probably discuss the burning of fossil fuels, introduction of invasive species, illegal hunting, poaching, etc.
- If the teacher feels it necessary, he or she can discuss each response in detail.
- Show the students the following pictures: , black rhino, pangolin, slow loris. Ask students to identify them and guess what all of these animals have in common.
- Most students will be familiar with the tiger and the rhino but will probably be unfamiliar with the pangolin and the slow loris.
- Inform the students the animals in the pictures are considered some of the most sought-out animals for illegal wildlife trafficking, including poaching, as well as the exotic pet trade. Explain to students that illegal wildlife trade/trafficking consists of live animals or parts from dead animals. Live animals are often part of the exotic pet trade, and dead parts such as skins, pelts, teeth, and bones are used and wanted for a variety of reasons.
- Tell the students they are going to be exploring the effects of the black market exotic pet trade and its effect on a little known primate called the slow loris.
- Next show this video from National Geographic, titled "Slow Loris Animal Cruelty," detailing what can happen to the slow loris after it has been captured from its habitat.
- Finally, tell students they will be reading and analyzing an article that focuses on the conservation of the slow loris and the steps taken by conservationists in Vietnam to help this animal. Explain to students that conservation efforts are no longer as simple as trying to save a species but must now incorporate different strategies and experts because of the different layers involved with the events surrounding the problem.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- Provide each student with a copy of the article. For class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number the sections, as well as the paragraphs within each section.
- Provide each student with a note-taking guide. Have students complete the guide during or after their first reading of the article. Make sure to provide print or online dictionaries for students to use for the vocabulary section.
- Based on the needs and skills of students, teachers can decrease the number of academic or domain-specific vocabulary they must define on the note-taking guide.
- For academic vocabulary, students will likely be able to use a variety of vocabulary strategies to define the meaning of the words. For domain-specific (subject-specific) vocabulary, students will typically need to draw on prior knowledge, use context clues, and/or use a dictionary to define the words.
- Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups.
How will you check for student understanding? (Formative Assessment)
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' completed note-taking guides, checking their work, providing written feedback, and possibly grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers can use the sample answer key provided at the end of the note-taking guide to help them assess students' answers.
- For discussion of students' answers to the defined vocabulary words, teachers are encouraged to not only ask students to explain the meaning they determined for a word, but the strategy they used to arrive at that meaning. This will allow the teacher to give alternative suggestions on ways the student could have arrived at the correct meaning of the word.
Common errors or misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
- Most students are familiar with illegal hunting or poaching and the relationship they have to illegal wildlife trade, but they forget about the exotic pet trade. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry and the NSF article describes it as the fourth-largest black market in the world!
- Most students are familiar with monkeys being the most prominent primate found in the exotic pet trade, but inform them the slow loris is also a primate.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting their answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers can use the sample answer key provided at the end of the text-dependent questions to help them assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: See the answer key for the text-dependent questions.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
- Before students complete the writing assignment for the summative assessment, review the responses to the text-dependent questions completed earlier by the students. Make sure the misconceptions are corrected and the key points (as found in the sample answer key) are discussed.
- After students' written responses have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response with the class (provided at the end of the text-dependent questions). Students who are struggling writers can benefit greatly from seeing a well-organized, detailed written response. The teacher can show the sample response on an overhead or with an LCD projector and discuss some of the following:
- How the topic is introduced in the opening sentences of the introductory paragraph; have students identify the main point of the piece. Brainstorm with students other ways the writer could have opened the piece.
- Have students examine each of the body paragraphs and explain how each supports the main point of the piece.
- Have students identify where the writer effectively uses textual evidence from the article for support of his or her points.
- Have students identify the use of transition words or phrases that make the ideas flow.
- Ask students to identify where domain-specific vocabulary is used accurately and effectively.
- Have students read the final paragraph to see how the writer wrapped up the piece and connected back to the main point established in the introduction.
- Ask students to respond to the following questions on an exit ticket:
- Illegal wildlife trafficking affects biodiversity because................
- One question I still have about this article is................
- The concept I now understand best is .............
- Have students brainstorm the following topic and present their findings: What do you think YOU can do to combat illegal wildlife trafficking and protect species like the slow loris?
- Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They should refer back to the text as they construct their response.
- Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over it with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
- Go over the following writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address:
- Using evidence from the text, elaborate upon the statement made by Mary Blair, Assistant Director for Research and Planning at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation: "All conservation problems are really complex; a solely species-based approach to conservation is not going to cut it anymore." What does she mean? Answer with details and examples from the loris article you read.
- Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, How will you check for student understanding?
Accommodations & Recommendations
For students struggling with the science content:
- Have students view the links as wells as pictures from the article using the of the text.
- Have students view the Illegal Trade in Wildlife Fact Sheet from the United Nations if they are still not clearly understanding the complexities of the topic.
For struggling readers:
- It might benefit students to break the text into sections. Have students independently read one section, and then have several strong readers read that section aloud. Teachers can determine how they want to break the text into sections since text headings are not provided.
- Then, have students highlight (on their copy of the text) the vocabulary from the note-taking guide that appear in the first section. The teacher can work with students to model ways to define a few of the vocabulary words to get them started. Then students can work independently to define the meanings of the remaining words for that section. Students can report out their meanings and receive feedback from the teacher. This process can be repeated for the other sections of the text if needed.
- Note: Depending on the needs and skills of the students, the following words were not included on the note-taking guide but might need to be added for students to define: enable, adapt, sequencing, evolution. Teachers may also want to help students with the idiom "shed light" in paragraph two.
- Finally, have students complete the main idea questions, share out their answers, and receive feedback on their work.
For struggling writers:
- It might help struggling writers to provide them with an outline to help them structure their written response for the summative assessment. The outline might include places for them to record:
- Ideas on how to introduce the topic
- A place to write down their main point(s)
- Topic sentences (the first sentence of each body paragraph that will reveal the point of the paragraph and will connect to the paper's overall main point)
- Specific evidence from the text for support in each body paragraph
- Ideas for transition words
- Ideas for use of selected vocabulary
- Ideas on how to wrap up their piece and connect back to the main point(s)
- Have students investigate how forensic scientists are using DNA evidence to prevent and stop poaching. The following "DNA Test Pinpoints Elephant Poaching, Aiding Conservation" found in Scientific American can be assigned and students can investigate other uses of forensics in the illegal wildlife trade.
- The following article from the TRAFFIC network is also an example of the information students should be looking for.
- Have students investigate strategies being used to combat wildlife trade. The CPALMS lesson plan "Fighting Poaching with Technology" (Resource ID 157000) discusses some current technology being used in the fight against poaching.
- Have students explore the risks the game wardens face because of the crime element involved in the illegal wildlife trade. The following article from National Geographic titled "For Rangers on the Front Lines of Anti-Poaching Wars, Daily Trauma" describes some of the risks.
- Have students explore the CITES webpage to learn more about the regulations that are place on the illegal wildlife trade.
Suggested Technology: Document Camera, Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
For teachers who would like more support in understanding and implementing Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects into their science curriculum, please see the teacher tutorials featured in the section of this lesson's CPALMS resource page labeled "Attached Resources."
The text's grade band recommendation reflects the shifts inherent in the standards and is based on a text complexity analysis of a quantitative measure, qualitative rubric, and reader and task considerations.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: Ellen Muse
District/Organization of Contributor(s): BrevardDistrict/Organization of Contributor(s): Brevard
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.