With nearly 30,000 species facing extinction today, wildlife conservation has become a top priority for environmentalists and citizens around the world.

Wildlife plays an important role in maintaining a healthy ecological balance on this earth. The various animal and plant species provide key resources like food, fuel and medicine; help to moderate the environment through water and air purification; and have economic value such as through forestry and fisheries.

Protecting wildlife is essential to maintaining, and even improving, our current quality of life. And we must teach younger generations the value of wildlife conservation and empower them to take part in creating a safer planet for every animal and plant species. Below are a few of our favorite resources that can be used to educate students on a variety of animals in a fun and engaging way.

1. What’s Inside Animals?

Animals, like humans, have a complex skeletal system that includes all of the bones and joints in their bodies. And with these double-sided photo/x-ray cards, your students can get a closer look at the anatomy of a snake, elephant, flamingo and many other animals. Each card contains a normal image of the animal. But when placed on a light table or in a window, the animal’s skeletal system is revealed! A teacher guide is included with the cards to help them further understand the anatomy of certain wild animals.

2. Wild Animal Set (Set of 8)

This is a great way to introduce your younger students to animals that live in the wild. The set - which includes a crocodile, elephant, giraffe and many other animals - are detailed in texture, traits and size. They can be used as models while students learn about each animal through engaging, hands-on learning experiences. The set even comes with an activity guide, making it easy to bring these animals to life in your program.

3. STEM Builder Series Build An Animal

Pair wildlife and STEM with this Build An Animal STEM kit. Students can use an assortment of activity cards to build a giraffe, lion, elephant or frog. And with over 300 pieces, the kit also encourages students to tap into their natural curiosity to build, create and invent their own creations. This is a great supplemental activity for students as their learn about the importance of wildlife conservation.

4. Animal & Plant Specimen Set: Sea Life Set of 4

Give students an up-close look at sea life with these real-life specimens. This set includes:

  • Crab
  • Hermit crab
  • Starfish
  • Shrimp

The set is perfect for kids, as each specimen is acrylic, lightweight and unbreakable. And it provides the perfect opportunity to explore these sea creatures and discover their life cycles, habitats, anatomy and more. If your students are interested in creepy crawlers, we also have an insect set that showcases a praying mantis, longhorned beetle, common tiger butterfly and a chafer beetle.

5. Animal Planet 3D Creatures Flash Cards

Students can brush up on their animal facts with these 3D flash cards. Each card includes a 3D image of an animal in the wild, like a coyote, iguana and even a praying mantis. The back of the card features fun facts about the animal in English and French. Even more, you won’t need 3D glasses to bring these creatures to life! The set includes 20 cards and the cards are attached with a re-closable ring for on-the-go learning.

As students explore wildlife and what makes each animal species unique, you can emphasize the importance of altering our behavior to help protect them. Human activities such as deforestation, pollution, illegal hunting of animals and the introduction of invasive species all contribute to the growing number of endangered and threatened species. With these resources, you can empower students to help advocate for wildlife protection now and into adulthood in order to create a better Earth for us and the creatures we share it with.