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Database Provider

Authors

CBS News, Scott Pelly

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College

Subjects

Science, Biology, English Language Arts

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global

Scientists Say Planet in Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction, Earth's Wildlife Running Out of Places to Live

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Synopsis
  • This article and interview describes how some scientists posit that the Earth is currently in its sixth mass extinction event and includes quotes from scientists and Indigenous fisherman about the unsustainable consumption or alteration of natural resources and habitats. 
  • A solution proposed is to preserve and keep the remaining 30% of wild habitats that have not been taken over by humans, which will require preservation, legislation, monitoring, and funding.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This text quotes expert scientists and presents data to support claims of global threats to wildlife and the sustainability of human populations.
  • Indigenous perspectives are presented from a first-person viewpoint, in which they discuss their livelihoods and connection to salmon.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The article is a transcript of the video, but the video at the top of the page requires a subscription to view (it should be available for free on YouTube).
  • This topic may be triggering for some students, especially those who experience anxiety, so teachers should take care to check in on students' thoughts and feelings when discussing this article.
  • Students should understand what biodiversity is and the importance of biodiversity in sustaining the Earth's systems and life as we know it.

Differentiation

  • This article provides opportunities for interdisciplinary study amongst science and civics while students learn how governments must work together to legislate and protect species.
  • Have students research protected land and endangered species in their communities.
  • To summarize their learning, have students write an essay defining the biodiversity crisis in their own words and propose solutions to protect wildlife.
  • Students can further research initiatives such as Thirty-by-Thirty and others to understand how habitat preservation and protection can help save species, improve human health, and fight climate change.
Scientist Notes
This resource from 60 Minutes provides the text of a ~13 minute video entitled "Earth currently experiencing a sixth mass extinction, according to scientists." The article discusses the current crisis of mass extinction not seen since the dinosaurs and includes a series of interviews with fishermen on the front lines who are witnessing the changes in wildlife and discussions with scientists that have researched the current state of mass extinction occurring. This article would be a great resource for a classroom discussion on climate change and the effects on wildlife all over the world.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among the management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-6. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
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