Elephants: The Need for Their Survival – lesson plans and resources

Elephants have been roaming the earth for millions of years. They are one of the most important land mammals on our planet in that they are a keystone species. They are also one of the most emotional, intelligent and social animals. They are under threat from environmental changes, poaching and human-animal conflict.

Elephants: The Need For Their Survival is a hands-on guide for teachers to use in their classrooms to educate children in a compassionate manner about the challenges faced by elephants and how they can help. Below you will find lesson plans for a younger and intermediate-level audience. Each lesson plan includes interactive activities to help to engage students in the global and pressing issue of elephant extinction. The plans are flexible, fun and educational. We’ve also included a variety of useful and fun resources.

We have presented our lesson plans at Pro-D days, and we’re happy to make a similar presentation to your school – just contact us!

Read Elephanatics mention in The Guardian’s detailed information on “What You Can Do To Help Elephants” see list here

Introductory videos

A brief history of the ivory trade

Show this short, 8-minute video, to students for a basic background on ivory trade and poaching

One every fifteen minutes – The plight of the African elephant

In 1979, the elephant population in Africa was approximately 1.3 million. Today, there is fewer than a third of that number.

Elephants never forget (IFAW)
View this youth-appropriate introductory video on elephants as a preview to the primary and intermediate lesson plans below. (Link opens in a new window.)

Lesson Plans

Primary Lessons
Lessons and activities for a younger audience
(Ages 8-10)

Intermediate Lessons
Lessons and activities for an intermediate audience
(Ages 11-14)

Become an Ambassador at your school for Elephanatics

Elephanatics – Ambassador duties

Books, Videos and Resources

Educational Books
Great as gifts or for use in the classroom

Educational Videos
Visual representations of the ivory trade

Educational Articles | Scientific Research
A great resource for school projects and general knowledge

Elephant Apps
Learn on the go!

Elephants in Captivity
Recognize the brutality of animal circuses and learn to be a responsible tourist


Sponsoring and Fostering Organizations
A list of organizations that accept donations and sponsorship

Educational Organizations
Organizations that include educational material on their websites

Other info

Ivory Trade Restrictions and Elephant Populations

Ivory Ban Questions?  WCS answers questions in regards to U.S. Ivory ban and  State Ivory ban

Background on the issuance of CITES permits in respect of the export of rhinoceros horn

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