Predator's Predicament

Predator's Predicament lesson plan

Personalize the plight of an endangered animal with a powerful portrait.

  • 1.

    Extinction occurs naturally when an animal's environment changes too fast. Today the natural environments of many endangered species are changing because of humans. Animals are put on the endangered species list when there is an immediate danger that they will become extinct if something is not done to save them.

  • 2.

    Big cats on the endangered species list include the Siberian tiger, Bengal tiger, jaguar, snow leopard, clouded leopard, and ocelot. These cats are some of the most powerful animals in the world. Their existence is seriously threatened by poachers. There are only 400 or 500 Siberian tigers and perhaps 4,000 Bengal tigers in the wild today. Research other reasons why these animals are endangered, such as drought, development, and destruction of the rain forest. Study these creatures in more depth, and note details about their faces and markings.

  • 3.

    Cover your work space with newspaper. With Crayola® Watercolors and Watercolor Brushes, paint a powerful portrait of one of these animals. How can your painting tell the story of the big cat's future? Dry flat.


  • Students research detailed information about the world's endangered species, especially large cats.
  • Children identify the reasons why these animals are endangered, and what can be done to save them.
  • Children personalize one endangered cat's plight by creating a powerful portrait.


  • Poachers may earn as much as $10,000 (U.S.) for one Siberian tiger. Why are these animals so valuable? Are they captured dead or alive? What measures are being taken to stop poaching? What are the obstacles to stopping it?
  • Find out what zoos and wildlife preserves are doing to keep big cats and other animals from becoming extinct. Visit a facility and see first-hand the beauty and strength of these creatures. What can you do to help save them from extinction?
  • Host an Endangered Species Parade. Invite people to come dressed as their favorite animal. How can your class or community assist groups that are helping to save endangered animals?