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.
- 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.