Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
India's Endangered Tigers
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Procedures for Teachers is divided into four sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the Lesson.
Steps -- Conducting the Lesson.
Extensions -- Additional Activities.
Tips -- Managing Resources and Student Activities.


  • Large world map or globe.
  • Books with photographs of Indian tigers (optional).
  • Videotape of the NATURE program INDIA: LAND OF THE TIGER/THE TIGER'S DOMAIN, Episode 1 (optional). Check local listings for broadcast dates and times. Videotaping Rights: Teachers have the right to tape NATURE programs and play them for instructional purposes for one year after the original broadcast. If you are unable to tape the program, you can purchase a copy of the video by contacting:

    WNET Video Distribution
    P.O. Box 2284
    South Burlington, VT 05407-2284
    (800) 336-1917

Computer Resources:
You will need at least one computer with Internet access to complete this lesson. While many configurations will work, we recommend:

  • Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.
  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or above.
  • Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MB of RAM.
  • IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MB of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MB of RAM, running Windows 95.

For more information, visit What You Need to Get Connected in wNetSchool's Internet Primer.

The following sites should be bookmarked:

  • The Tiger Information Center

    Dedicated to providing information about tiger preservation, this site has useful sections, including "All About Tigers," "Conservation," and "Teachers' Resources."

  • World Wildlife Fund -- Year for the Tiger

    The World Wildlife Fund, a non-profit organization, presents background information on tigers and the science of tiger conservation, as well as advice for taking action (including a letter which students can email to the Secretary of the Interior).

  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service -- Endangered Species Home Page

    This extensive site, produced by the Department of the Interior, provides state-by-state information about endangered animals and plants. Particularly relevant are the "Kids' Corner" section and the "Endangered Means There's Still Time!" slide show.


    Using the wNetStation Web companion piece to the NATURE series, INDIA: LAND OF THE TIGER, students can take a virtual tour of the different regions of India explored in the program, meet some of India's 900 million people, and learn more about the important relationship they have had for centuries with the country's wildlife.

  • Endangered Animals of the World

    This international research project is hosted by an elementary school in the U.S. and a primary school in the Netherlands. Through collaboration, students gather information and share resources about endangered animals.

  • The Wild Ones -- Scientist Network

    This question-answering service helps students research information about specific species and the possibilities of preserving them.

  • Ask an Expert -- Sources

    This site helps students contact experts in a wide variety of subject areas.


    Time Allotment:
    This lesson requires approximately 4-5 class periods.

  • Introduce the lesson to your class. To help students understand India's vastness, use a large world map or globe. Point out that all the countries in Western Europe could easily fit inside the Indian subcontinent. Then, ask students to compare the size of the United States with India. Encourage students to make predictions about the climate (or climates) that exist in India. To give students a sense of India's large population, explain that almost a billion people live there. You could mention that if a billion people were to join hands in a long line, they would stretch around the earth 25 times!

    Distribute the Vocabulary List and Map of India, in Organizers for Students. You may want to direct your students to INDIA: LAND OF THE TIGER, the wNetStation Web companion piece to the NATURE series.

  • View with your class the NATURE program INDIA: LAND OF THE TIGER/THE TIGER'S DOMAIN (optional).

  • Engage students in the following discussion topics:

    About 100 years ago, there were an estimated 100,000 wild tigers in the world. Today the world tiger population is only about 6,000. Brainstorm answers to this guiding question: What are some reasons why there are fewer tigers around today?

    Indian conservationist and NATURE host Valmik Thapar says, "We must save the tiger so that future generations can witness wonders like this." If you were Prime Minister of India today, what actions would you take to protect nature in that country? How would you promote these ideas to India's citizens?

  • Distribute Research Questions, in Organizers for Students, to your class.


    1. While tigers capture a wide range of prey, from monkeys and rhino calves to cattle and fish, they prefer deer and wild boar. Tigers use their striped coats as camouflage in the tall grass, as they stalk their prey. They also have excellent night vision, about six times better than a human's, so they can hunt well at night. When they are close to their prey, tigers make a powerful pounce and bite their prey in the throat. Nine times out of ten, a hunting tiger will fail to catch its prey. That is why, when a tiger catches its prey, it will sometimes consume up to 40 pounds of meat in one sitting.

    2. Tigers are threatened by poachers who kill them for their skin and bones. It is believed in several Asian cultures that tiger skin and bones carry healing qualities when mixed with traditional medicine.

    3. Answers will vary. Following are some possibilities: Wild boars are sometimes able to steal food that other animals have caught. A tigress will eat the kill herself and feed her cubs her milk until they are ready to eat meat. Langur monkeys, when they climb fruit trees, often accidentally dislodge loose fruit, which chital (spotted deer) can eat. Both creatures help warn each other of danger. If either detects a prowling tiger, it warns the entire forest.

    4. Answers will vary. The U.S. now has laws restricting the hunting of wolves. In some wild areas, we are now reintroducing certain species of wolves. These measures may also benefit the wolf population in India.

  • Break students into collaborative groups. Distribute Going, Going, Gone?, in Organizers for Students. Students should work with their groups to complete the activities. Students will choose and research an animal species in their state that is currently endangered, and brainstorm possible strategies for improving its plight. Students may email their suggestions to their state representatives in Congress or the Secretary of the Interior.

    Students then develop three questions to ask a conservation expert, at The Wild Ones. Each group should present its three questions to the class. Record the questions on the board. The class should then decide on three questions to email to the expert. The Wild Ones experts usually respond to questions in 1-2 days, but can sometimes take longer if the scientists are out in the field.


    Social Studies: In India, figs play a vital role in the forest regions, as they provide food and shelter to many people and animals. Using the library or the Internet, have students make a list of some ways that figs are used in different societies around the world. As an alternate activity, students can research the uses and cultural importance of a crop like corn or yams. Students should work in groups to prepare a presentation on figs or another meaningful food for your class. Students can give everyone a taste of the dishes they might prepare.


    One Computer in the Classroom
    If you have access to one computer in your classroom, you can organize your class in several ways. Divide your class into two groups. Instruct one of the groups to do paper research while the second group is working on the computer. Bring in books, encyclopedias, etc., from the library for the group doing paper research. Assign each group a time limit for completion of the scavenger hunt. When the groups have finished working, have them switch places.

    If you have a big monitor or projection facilities, you can do Internet research together as a class. Make sure that every student in your class can see the screen, go to the relevant Web site(s), and review the information presented there. You can also select a search engine page and allow your students to suggest the search criteria. Again, bookmark and/or print the pages that you think are helpful for reference later.

    Several Computers in the Classroom
    Divide your class into small groups. Groups can do Internet research using pages you have bookmarked. Group members should take turns navigating the bookmarked site.

    You can also set the class up so that each computer is dedicated to certain sites. Students will then move around the classroom, getting different information from each station.

    Using a Computer Lab
    A computer center or lab space, with a computer-to-student ratio of one to three, is ideal for doing Web-based projects. Generally, when doing Web-based research, it is helpful to put students in groups of three. This way, students can help each other if problems or questions arise. It is often beneficial to bookmark sites for students ahead of time.

    Submit a Comment: We invite your comments and suggestions based on how you used the lesson in your classroom.

    Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students