Lesson Plan

Threats to Biodiversity Bingo

Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
6-8.RST.2, 6-8.RST.1, 6-8.WHST.1, 6-8.WHST.2, 6-8.WHST.7, 6-8.WHST.8, 6-8.WHST.9, 8.SL.5, 8.RI.6, 6.SP.2, 6.SP.4, 6.EE.9, 6-8.RST.7, 6-8.RST.9, 8.SL.4, 8.SL.1, 6.EE.6, 6.RP.1, 6.SP.5.b, 7.RP.2.a
Additional Standards:
MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-4


This activity allows students to learn about the different threats to biodiversity (HIPPO) by making a card and playing bingo.


E. O. Wilson, considered the “father of biodiversity,” is an American biologist and leader in bringing biodiversity to the forefront of thinking by the citizens of the world. The loss of any species will impact the Earth and the health of the human population. Lost species may contain important scientific information or benefits to humankind, including “undeveloped medicines, crops, pharmaceuticals, timber fibers, pulp, soil-restoring vegetation, petroleum substitutes, and other products “(The Diversity of Life, 2013). Helping students and youth to become involved and invested in biodiversity stewardship is vital to the health of our planet. This activity helps students to understand and review the different threats that can be summarized with the HIPPO acronym.

Focus Questions:
What are specific threats to biodiversity?
What does the acronym HIPPO stand for in relation to biodiversity?
What can you do to reduce threats to biodiversity?

Learning Target:
I can discuss several threats to the biodiversity of life on Earth.



30-60 minutes to review activity, collect materials, and make copies


Download Threats to Biodiversity Lesson Plan

Download Worksheet 1

Download Attachment 1

Lesson Hook/Preview

The variety of life on Earth in all its many forms is important to the long-term health of the planet. Every species has an important role to play no matter how large or small. There are many threats to the biodiversity of life on Earth that we must be aware of in order to prevent further loss. In 2005, E. O. Wilson coined the acronym HIPPO to summarize those threats in order of descending importance. H=Habitat Loss, I=Invasive Species, P=Pollution, P=Human Population, and O=Overharvesting. This activity allows students to learn about the different threats to biodiversity (HIPPO) by making a card and playing bingo.


1. Students will play bingo and in the process review and further understand major threats to biodiversity. To play bingo, the instructor will need to make a copy of Attachment 1, “Biodiversity 1: Threats to Biodiversity Bingo,” cut out the clues, and place them in a container. The instructor will pull out one clue at a time and students will mark their cards in such a way as to be able to play bingo several times. When a student has marked off clues, either five horizontally, five vertically, or five diagonally, he/she will shout out “BINGO.” After verifying the clues, the instructor may keep going until there are more winners, or start a new game.

2. While playing bingo, the instructor should take the time to review and discuss the different topics related to biodiversity on the cards.

(30-45 minutes)
The students will record ten things that he/she can do to help reduce threats to biodiversity, providing specific examples. The website http://www.50waystohelp.com, similar websites, or books with similar themes may provide ideas and examples.


biodiversity, acronym, HIPPO, invasive species, overconsumption, bioaccumulation, deforestation, fragmentation, predation, organism

Assessment Materials

(15-20 minutes)
After having a winning bingo card, students should answer a question related to the threats to biodiversity in order to win a “prize.” Each winner then picks another student in the class to ask a question about biodiversity. If that student answers correctly, they also receive a small prize.

Additional Resources

"The Diversity of Life." EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 27 Aug. 2014. <http://eowilsonfoundation.org/the-diversity-of-life.>

Tschakert, Petra. "Threats to Biodiversity." Welcome! Pennsylvania State University, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 23 Aug. 2014. <https://www.e-education.psu.edu/geog030/node/394>

Contact Information

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Last updated: January 9, 2018