RARE—CREATURES OF THE PHOTO ARK COLLECTION


This collection covers key topics related to biodiversity and animal adaptation using original photographs from National Geographic photographer, Joel Sartore, and video adapted from the WGBH series based on Sartore's work, RARE—Creatures of the Photo Ark. Sartore is on a quest to capture studio portraits of critically endangered animals. He hopes the portraits inspire people to help save these animals and their habitats before they vanish.

Video clips from the broadcast series and support materials target standards on adaptation, ecosystems, and human impacts for students in grades 6–12. Interactive resources promote science inquiry skills and open-ended exploration for elementary students.

  • RARE: Safari Slideshow

    Engage with biodiversity and endangered species by comparing stunning photographs by Joel Sartore in this digital slideshow from RARE—Creatures of the Photo Ark. Use the slideshow to encourage comparison of the images. This exercise promotes open-ended discovery, rich classroom conversations, and increased empathy for endangered animals. This resource is part of the RARE–Creatures of the Photo Ark Collection.

    Educators: Download the guide in Support Materials for further instructions about leading this activity. Once completing the slideshow, follow up with RARE: Creature Cards. Also, watch the short video tutorial—RARE: Using the Safari Slideshow and Creature Cards in Class—on how to implement these RARE interactives in your classroom.

    Grades: 4-5
  • RARE: Creature Cards

    Explore a set of digital trading cards featuring photos by Joel Sartore and learn more about endangered animals in this Creature Cards interactive from WGBH. The cards provide stunning images and detailed information about each animal. Click on them to turn them over! Make your own card using the blank card found in Support Materials. This resource is part of the RARE—Creatures of the Photo Ark Collection.

    Educators: Watch the short video tutorial—RARE: Using the Safari Slideshow and Creature Cards in Class—to learn how to implement this resource in your classroom.

    Grades: 4-5
  • RARE: Using the Safari Slideshow and Creature Cards in Class

    Learn how to use the Safari Slideshow and Creature Cards in your classroom, in this short video tutorial from WGBH. Hear from an elementary teacher about her experience using these resources with her students. When she encouraged her students to make educated guesses without worrying about being right or wrong, they became critical explorers: making close observations and asking thoughtful questions. Engagement increased, and even laughter ensued. This resource is part of the RARE—Creatures of the Photo Ark Collection.

    Grades: 4-5
  • RARE: How Humans Impact the Key Deer Population

    Observe a small, endangered species of deer with National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore and learn how its survival is tied to human activities, in this adapted video from RARE—Creatures of the Photo Ark. The Key deer, one of the rarest mammals in North America, is well adapted to the conditions of its natural habitat, the tropical island chain the Florida Keys. But its population has been threatened by humans who have also made the Keys their home. Even though government protections have helped increase the Key deer population in recent years, these animals remain at risk. This resource is part of the RARE–Creatures of the Photo Ark Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • RARE: Invasive Species Threaten Island Diversity

    Get an up-close look with wildlife photographer Joel Sartore at the Cook Strait giant wētā and the kākāpō, two endangered species in New Zealand, and examine why behavioral adaptations no longer protect them, in this video from RARE—Creatures of the Photo Ark. While their ancestors flew, both the giant wētā (a large insect) and kākāpō (a parrot) evolved to be flightless and inhabit the forest floor. Because New Zealand lacked predatory land mammals for millions of years before humans settled there, these species thrived. However, over the past thousand years, invasive species have driven giant wētā and kākāpō populations close to extinction. This resource is part of the RARE–Creatures of the Photo Ark Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • RARE: Conserving New Zealand’s Rarest Kiwi Species

    Join wildlife photographer Joel Sartore and field ranger Tracey Dearlove in a New Zealand forest as they collect an egg from the nest of an endangered rowi kiwi, in this video from RARE—Creatures of the Photo Ark. Egg collecting is an important strategy in a species conservation program that aims to restore the rowi population. Once an egg has been carefully packed for transport to a hatch site, the hatchling will be taken to a predator-free island to grow until it’s mature enough to defend itself and return to its native forest. If it weren’t for the conservation program, it is likely the rowi would go extinct. This resource is part of the RARE–Creatures of the Photo Ark Collection.

    Grades: 6-12

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