Hands-On Learning: A Day at the Zoo
Taking your student to the zoo is a great way to engage with them outside of the classroom and enjoy a hands-on learning experience together.
Use this the guide below to make your trip engaging, educational, and enjoyable.
Before your visit:
- Read a book about your child’s favorite animal to learn more about where it lives, what they eat, and what the animal sounds like.
- Watch videos online of the animals in their habitat.
- Ask your student about what he or she observes
During your Visit:
- Encourage your student to ask the animal keepers questions about the animals.
- Have your child count how many animals are in a habitat.
- Have them make predictions about why some habitats have several animals and some only have a few.
- Review key vocabulary words to build emerging reading skills. Examples include:
After your visit:
- Ask the student the following questions:
- What was your favorite animal? Why?
- What animal surprised you? Why?
- Play an animal walk game where you take turns naming an animal and walking like it. For example, run like a cheetah, slither like a snake, and stomp like an elephant.
- Create a zoo guidebook with pictures and words to describe the different animals that you saw at the zoo.
- Plan ahead by looking up the daily programs and the attractions you want to see on the zoo map to make the most of your day.
- Don’t be shy: Ask animal keepers and zoo staff questions about the animals.
- Check the zoo’s website and download any zoo-provided activity sheets for the kids to do during or after the visit to the zoo.