In this assignment, students are asked to read a series of case studies about animals in different parts of the world (orangutan, giant panda, wolves, elk) and then apply their knowledge of many ecology concepts (food chains/webs, populations and population density, biological cycles. disturbances, trophic levels...).
The study of charismatic mega-fauna is an excellent way to promote environmental awareness and open the horizons of students. While simultaneously developing the literacy skills that are so important in the Common Core Standards, students will explore parts of the world they know little about.
The IMAX film "Born to be Wild" is a fantastic introduction to this assignment, since it focuses largely on orangutans.