Teacher Toolbox - Cheetahs

Welcome to the Teacher Toolbox! Here you will find a broad variety of instructional resources to compliment your students' viewing of Saving a Species: Cheetahs. Use these materials to construct lesson plans, spark discussion, and inspire your students to become active participants in preserving the world we share with wildlife.

See Cheetah Video Series




  • adaptation: a modification of an organism that makes it more suited to live in its environment. Adaptations help an organism survive.
  • camouflage: coloration that allows an animal or other organism to blend in with the surrounding environment.
  • captive breeding: carefully planned breeding of animals in a protective facility in order to increase the species’ total population.
  • conservation: taking care of our environment by wisely managing its resources.
  • carnivore: animal that primarily eats the flesh of other animals.
  • endangered species: a species whose numbers have decreased significantly and is threatened with extinction.
  • environment: the total surroundings and forces that act upon a living thing. These surroundings include physical factors such as light, heat, water, weather, and the structure of the earth. They also include other animals.
  • food chain: a straight-line diagram that shows “who eats whom” in an ecosystem.
  • food web: a diagram that shows the many complex interconnections of "who eats whom" in an ecosystem.
  • habitat: the natural environment of a species (plant or animal) that provides the food water shelter required for it to survive.
  • herbivore: an animal that eats primarily plants.
  • overhunting: killing more animals than the species’ population can replace through natural breeding rates.
  • prey: an animal eaten by another animal.
  • predator: an animal that eats another animal.
  • population: a group of animals of the same species that live in the same area and have the opportunity to breed with each other.
  • savannah: a grassy plain.
  • scent: marking—the method of using odor to communicate.
  • species: a group of plants or animals that are genetically similar and so are able to reproduce with each other.
  • threatened species: a species whose numbers are decreasing and likely to become endangered.
  • vulnerable: a species that is likely to become endangered unless its circumstances for survival improve.


Activity Descriptions | K-4


Activity Descriptions | 5-8


Pre & Post-Viewing Questions

Under the Hood

  • Cheetahs are built for speed. Can you give two examples of adaptations cheetahs have that enable them to reach top speeds?
  • All of that power comes at a price. Can you describe what happens when cheetahs run at top speeds?


Cheetah Speed, Part 1

  • How many yards did the cheetah run before it hit top speed? How far is this distance when converted to the metric system using meters, centimeters, and millimeters?
  • Cheetahs have about a 50% chance of success for taking down prey. Describe the sequence of a successful cheetah hunt.


Social Lives of Cheetahs

  • Cheetahs sometimes live in social groups. What are these groups called? How is living in a group beneficial to cheetahs?
  • As few as 10% of cheetah cubs survive to adulthood. Describe the challenges that wild cheetahcubs face and what the mother cheetah does to try to protect them.


Cheetah Speed, Part 2

  • During the slow-motion replay a cheetah and a runner race down the football field. How much further is the cheetah ahead of the runner from the one yard line, two yard line, etc.?
  • Using the split screen image showing the cheetah and the runner side by side, compare and contrast the physical adaptations each uses to achieve their top speeds.


Cheetahs—The Human Connection

  • Cheetahs and humans are living in close proximity to each other. On a map identify and compare the cheetah's historic range to its modern day range. Explain why it's different.
  • How are dogs, like the Anatolian shepherd helping to lessen human/cheetah conflict? What are some other conservation efforts around the world that are helping cheetahs?
  • Brainstorms ways you and your family can help cheetahs.