8 Must Read Endangered Species Picture Books

8 Must Read Endangered Species Picture Books


Bringing real-world issues into the classroom is always an important mission for me as a teacher. 


That is why I love teaching students about all of the endangered species that are in jeopardy of disappearing forever. Endangered species projects are always instant engagement for students! Not only do the students sharpen their reading, writing, research, and speaking skills, but they develop empathy and a true understanding of the dangers endangered species face of becoming extinct.


This list of books is among my absolute favorites! These endangered animal books can be used at any time during the school year, so even if you do not complete an endangered species project, you can still educate and engage students about the wide range of animals that are disappearing from our planet, especially around Earth Day!


This list includes a wide range of books, from nonfiction titles to stories, and even anthology-style books, too. You will surely love them all, too! Be sure to grab the free student activities that coordinate with these picture books at the bottom of this post.



Don't Let Them Disappear written by Chelsea Clinton


Don't Let Them Disappear book



One of my favorite parts about this book is that it includes so much more than a list of animals! I love the endangered species key, the map that shows where each animal lives, and the author's notes at the end of the book that encourages kids to take action on saving the animals! Each two-page spread includes beautiful illustrations of an endangered animal, information about the species, and its endangered species status! So perfect to kick off any endangered animals unit!



Will We Miss Them? written by Alexandra Wright

Will We Miss Them endangered animal story


Yes, yes, we will miss them! This book was my first book about endangered species, and boy has it been loved by many kids! This book is so eye-opening as it brings to light how so many animals that we love like elephants, gorillas, and brown bears are in serious jeopardy of becoming extinct. This is one of those books that the kids will borrow from your library over and over again.



Can We Save Them? written by David Dobson


reading activity endangered animals


I love that this book not only addresses the animals that are endangered but plant life too! The list includes many animals from Florida panthers to American beetles. The wide range of life included in this list will surely engage every student!



Wild Lives written by Ben Lerwill


true animal stories for kids


This is an absolute MUST have for any classroom! This easy to read and get lost in anthology shares 50 AMAZING animal stories that will surely inspire you and your students! From endangered species to famous dogs like Seabiscuit, your students will be begging to hear each animal tale! This book has five categories of stories such as "Rescue Dogs" and "Pioneer Dogs." Each story is told on two pages with so many pictures and fun facts, making it the perfect read-aloud in a short amount of time! This is one of my favorite series of anthologies. The women's history anthology in the same series is equally as amazing!


Here is the Tropical Rain Forest
written by Madeline Dunphy

earth day activities and tropical rainforest


When it comes to endangered animals and Earth Day studies each spring, I always make sure to bring the rainforests into our units! This book perfectly illustrates how important the rainforests are to our planet and our way of life! Your students will learn about the different plant and animal life that live in the rainforests and how they are in danger of disappearing. 



Koko's Kitten written by Dr. Francine Patterson


Kokos Kitten picture book story


Kok's Kitten is a powerful informative picture book that tells the story of Koko, the gorilla who was taught American Sign Language. Throughout this book, both you and your students will fall in love with Koko as she expresses her feelings and love for her kitten who she cares for as a baby. The real photos engage students, as well as the story. Koko teaches us that animals and humans are very much alike. 



Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth written by Eric Carle

sloth endangered animal story


I love Eric Carle and this is just another amazing book by this talented author. This book focuses on all things sloths! How it moves, what it eats, and the animals it interacts with in the rarinforests. It is a great kick-off to any animal project to get kids focused on one animal that they want to read and learn about. The preface by Jane Goodall talks about how and why these animals are endangered.



One Day in the Eucalyptus Ecualyptus Tree written by Daniel Bernstrom

endangered animals book for kids


This fun story, written in rhyme is very much like the series of books, There Was an Old Lady. It follows a boy who gets gobbled up by a snake and ends up meeting many other animals that live in the Eucalyptus tree. This easy-to-read story will bring some fun and humor into your endangered animal or animal unit!


Not only are animals, especially endangered species a high-interest topic for students, but it a worldwide issue that requires the future's help! Challenge your students to become endangered species advocates through reading and research projects. Take the first step by simply reading these books throughout the year or during a focused unit on endangered species or as part of your Earth Day celebrations! Together, we can prevent our planet's unique animals from becoming gone forever.



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