"EdZoocating" Childrenby: Shasta R. Back

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

A program developed by a zoo and elementary school provided nature experiences for urban youth by focusing on habitats and animal adaptations. Zoo educators visited the classroom, teachers continued the lessons with books, and then students visited the zoo. An animal observation sheet is included.

  • Elementary
Publication Date

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Reviews (3)
  • on Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 AM

As a future teacher, I really enjoyed how the article explained the curriculum design of the program. It shocked me when I realized that the format they used was similar to the Five “E” Model discussed in class. Each step the program took helped to increase and build on the content the students were learning. It reiterated the importance of allowing students to ask questions and search for their own answers. Knowing the importance of combining literature and science, I found great examples in the article on how to incorporate books and evaluation methods that test both content areas. An aspect of the EdZoocation program that I will keep in mind for my future students is the hands-on learning experience. That type of experience engages students in the content being covered, increases their curiosity, and makes the content they are learning more memorable and adaptable. Overall, this article has been very helpful in showing steps that can be taken to cover animal adaptations and habitats. Also, it has given great examples in classroom activities that allow students to explore and explain their content knowledge in individualized ways.

Callie Haskins
Callie Haskins

  • on Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:20 PM

This is an interesting article about a partnership between a local zoo and a classroom. The zoo animal ambassadors brought animals to the classroom for students to observe and feel. They discussed the animals’ habitats and how they fulfill their needs. Next the teacher read several books about specific animals to the students. Students also choose their own books that interested them. They discussed their animal adaptations and wrote poetry with illustrations about various animals. Then the students visited the zoo to see animals they had read about in their books. The NSTA Connection web link at the end of the article does not connect to the correct place.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:17 PM

Edzoocation is a partnership between the Cincinnati zoo and local schools. The program has zoo personel and animals visiting the school, boxes of animal and biome based materials shared with students, and a trip to the zoo with a final culminating project. Based on things I have read about field trips, this program does everything right as far as getting students engaged and interested in a field trip experience and tying that into classroom learning. And it sound fun! A Google search shows several other zoos using a similar format to engage students in learning about animals from other places so it is possible that a nearby zoo may also offer this opportunity and if not, maybe they have a distance learning version.

Tina Harris  (Bloomington, IN)
Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN)

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