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By Billy Goodman

Glen Rock, NJ

C Level work (70 points, maximum) (Each assignment will be graded, so you will not necessarily earn the full points just for doing the assignment. If you hope to earn a B or an A on this unit, begin one of the B-level and one of the A-level assignments early-don't wait till the last minute to do them.)

All Do:

1. Listen to the following lectures and take notes: (Everyone will listen to these short lectures, 5 pts for notes, each)

o What is mass extinction, and what are some theories for why it happens?

o How often do species become extinct? What is the normal rate of extinction?

o Why are some species endangered?

o What is being done to protect endangered species?


1. Find out the names of three New Jersey endangered species. For each one, give its scientific name (genus and species) and identify what kind of organism it is, give details on why it is endangered. (10 points)

2. Define: extinction, background extinction, mass extinction, species, and endangered species, and give an example of each in a paragraph each (10 pts)

3. Read ``The Sixth Extinction'' in National Geographic and answer questions (15 points)

4. Read ``When Life Nearly Came to an End: The Permian Extinction'' in National Geographic and answer questions (15 points)

5. Complete extinction/endangered crossword puzzle (10 points)

6. Design, and make, an endangered species card (5 points each, up to three)

o Include current and historic population, habitat, range, importance (economic, cultural, biological), natural history, why endangered, outlook

o points awarded for content and for design and attractiveness

7. Write a song or poem about endangered species (a specific one or in general) or about the current extinction crisis (15 points; 5 points extra for performing it)

8. List the 5 prehistoric mass extinctions and write a paragraph on each identifying the suspected cause and biological effects (15 points)

9. Complete the activity at: http://www.starsandseas.com/SAS%20Evolution/SAS%20natselection/Extinctions.htm which involves graphing extinction over time (10 points)

10. Find a newspaper or magazine article on extinction from 2003. Read it and write a summary. Include a photocopy or printout of the article. (10 points)

B Level work (Qualify for C, plus choose ONE of the following):

1. Make an endangered species poster (15 points) (points awarded for content (visual and written) demonstrating the species' characteristics, habitat, range, reason for endangerment, outlook, and other noteworthy information)

2. Write a 1-2 page report on an endangered species, giving some basic natural history of the species, background on why it is endangered, and some analysis of its outlook (15 points)

3. Write, in a language other than English, a description of an endangered species, including natural history about the species and why it is endangered, and some analysis of its outlook, and present it orally (in the language it is written in). (15 points)

4. Prepare a 5-minute power-point presentation (or oral report with some visuals) on an endangered species, giving some basic natural history of the species, background on why it is endangered, and some analysis of its outlook (15 points)

5. Make a physical model or diorama that illustrates two or three of the theories of how the dinosaurs and many other species became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period (note: points will be awarded for evidence in the project that you learned about the various competing theories for the extinction and have evaluated them; no points will be awarded for visually interesting but content-free projects) (15 points)

A Level work (Qualify for B, plus choose ONE of the following):

1. Write a report of 2-3 pages on the theories of the causes for the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction, evaluating the evidence for the theories. Use at least 2 sources. (15 points)

2. Write a report on ``the sixth extinction'' of 2-3 pages, identifying some causes and analyzing their importance. (15 points)

3. Make a speech of 3-5 minutes identifying an important cause of endangerment to some species or habitat and proposing a solution (such as a political or economic solution) (15 points)


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