Creativity Drills - "Extinction..." (How Many?)

Shown below is a "How Many?" scenario.  In this exercise, students are asked to come up with as many situations as possible that fit a set of criteria.  This should include the obvious answers, as well as those that require more creative thinking.  To learn more about "How Many?" scenarios, click here.     

The Task:

 How many natural and man-made factors can you name that 

have or could contribute to the extinction of a species? 

Where do we begin?  Click here to find out how the "How Many?" scenarios work...


When answering the question, "How Many?", students should be able to list the obvious answers, and also be able think creatively and come up with some outside-the-box answers. 

Here are possible answers you may hear:




Natural Causes
Man Made Causes
  • "Asteroids hit the earth with extreme force, killing organisms and putting lots of dirt in the atmosphere, blocking sunlight."
  • "Acid rain  Acid rain increases the acidity of the soil which affects plant life. It can also disturb rivers and lakes to a possibly lethal level."
  • "Disease; Species have defense mechanisms to fight diseases. Certain species  are becoming more susceptible to disease and epidemics, which can lead to their eventual extinction."
  • "Destruction of Habitats Humans will destroy forests and other areas to get resources which end up compromising the organisms that live in these habitats."
  • "Natural Disasters like volcanos and earthquakes they destroy habitats and resouces needed by certain species."
  • "Unfair competiton because man has introduced an unnaturally occuring species, the native species now have to compete for needs."

 ***REMEMBER - Students should be able to come up with many combinations for the given scenario, so when they struggle after only a few obvious ones, it is important to lead them to the "Outside-the-Box" answers.  That`s when the Creative Thinking skills are truly developed.