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Zoo Activities

Submit your zoo ideas!!


    Have your child write down or tell you sentences about monkeys. All words in the sentence should begin with M as in monkey.
    Monkeys move.
    Monkeys mop.
    Monkeys mimic motorcycles.
    Monkeys mash melons.
    Monkeys munch marshmallows.
    Millions more monkeys made monster masks.

  2. Collect pictures of zoo babies and their mothers. The students can match each baby to its mother.

  3. Zoo Model- Use clay to mold the animals. Make individual animal environments with cardboard boxes, artificial grass and hay, rocks, and water-filled pie tins.

  4. Animal Sort- Collect pictures of elephants, lions, monkeys and other zoo animals from magazines. The children will enjoy cutting these pictures out. Sort the pictures into labeled baskets. One basket may be for large animals, another for small animals, etc.

  5. Animal Walk- Played like Simon Says--the zookeeper may say, "Walk like an elephant." The students walk like they believe that particular animal walks. Use animals such as giraffes, monkeys, lions, tigers, bears, etc.

  6. Elephant Walk- Go for an "elephant walk" in one long line. Everyone is to stretch one hand each back through their legs and, with the other hand, take the outstretched hand of the person in front. The children will be lined up, attached like elephants holding trunks and tails. Move to slow music.

  7. Elephant Soccer- Children get into a circle with legs wide apart. Hold their arms down in front of them with hands clasped together for trunks. Roll a ball across the circle trying to get it between someone's legs. Use only your trunks to keep the ball from going through your legs.

  8. Play "Monkey See, Monkey Do", children copying the actions or silly antics of a child chosen to be the leader.

  9. Kangaroo Relay- Children pretend they are kangaroos, with pouches. Use bean bags as the pouches. After dividing into two groups, the children race each other across the floor, on hands and feet, with stomachs in the air with pouches (beanbags) perched on their stomachs. If a pouch falls off, the child has to pick it up.

  10. Ostrich Walk- Show children how to do the ostrich walk: Bend forward at the waist and grab their ankles with their hands. Stretch their necks in and out as they walk.

  11. If your students go on a field trip to the zoo, here's a checklist for them to use from This was sent to me by Shanna. Thanks, Shanna!

  12. Ana suggests a great zoo animals book, Do Baby Kangaroos Have Mothers Too? by Eric Carle. Thanks for the suggestion, Ana!

  13. Patti sent in this great idea--Thanks!

    Send home with each student a different construction paper sheet labeled with a die-cut letter (i.e.a student takes home "B" another takes home "K"). Parents help cut out pictures or draw with child as many animals beginning with that letter on the construction paper. When sheets all come back teacher compiles an "ABC Zoo" book.

  14. The Important Thing About Our Zoo Animals, Class Booklet

    Following the pattern of Margaret Wise Brown's The Important Book, have different children write a description of a specific zoo animal, focusing in on its distinctive feature as the "important thing." Next, have them illustrate their page. Collect all the individual work and create a class book entitled "The Important Thing About Our Zoo Animals".

    Idea sent by Patricia---Thanks!!

  15. Find pictures of zoo animals. Laminate and cut them in half. Have the children match up the fronts with the backs of the animals. Or a variation of this would be for the teacher to mismatch them and see if the children can spot the correct halves.

    Idea sent by Susan--Thanks!

  16. After reading 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle, discuss how he uses paint textures and cut paper to create his illustrations. Cut large pieces of white bulletin board paper for each child. Allow them to use paint brushes, sponges, toothbrushes, combs, etc. to create different textures on their paper with paint. Paint spots, stripes and other markings according to the animal they wish to create. After the paper has dried, give them large body shape patterns to trace and cut out. Use scraps from other children to create eyes, eyelashes, tongues, trunks, ears, hooves, horns, manes, etc. We display these along the wall outside our room, grouping them together by animal type. You can then graph how many of each kind, and record on sentence srips. My kids love this activity! It will however take about a week to complete the whole process.

    Idea sent by Laura--Thanks!

  17. Zoo keeper, Zoo keeper, What do you see?

    I do Zoo unit for 2 weeks, so everyday we make a new zoo animal and then a zoo keeper (just a person cut out). Decorate each picture differently everyday-- use bingo stampers, collage, watercolors, paint with different things, toothbrushes one day, rollers, etc... Use your ideas. The last day make something that will dry fast. Collect all the pictures and add a cover page, have children sit in group and read along with you to their own stories. My 3 to 5 year olds love this project.

    Idea sent by Denise--Thanks!

  18. Zoo Habitat
    Make a habitat for a plastic zoo animal using popsicle sticks to form the ground and the sides decorate with green, brown, blue etc. to make grass water and dirt. Add stones and toothpick trees (found at party stores in drink section). Make sure you remember to glue everything down good and let dry before introducing your zoo animal to its new home.
    Idea submitted by Sara--thanks!

  19. The Giraffe King
    A giraffe goes to see Mother Goose about why there is no rhyme about him...
    He's looked high and low but cannot find a Nursery Rhyme about him...
    Mother Goose explains Giraffe is just too hard to Rhyme--not much will fit aside form carrafe...And it just does not work to try the word laugh.
    The Giraffe is not happy and decides to become the Giraffe King ---So Giraffe King can Rhyme with about anything....
    Submitted by Sherry--thanks!

  20. Elephant Soccer with a Twist
    About 80% of my children, 30ish, are diagnosed as A.D.H.D., of course. So I always am inventing or changing activities to keep them busy and/or wear them out a little bit. With my preschoolers, we use those floatie tubes made for swimming as are elephant trunks. We then scramble around the yard hitting a beach ball. With the older children it is a little more organized in that we set up goals like soccer at each side of the yard. At any rate all the children will play this until they can no longer stand up. Have fun everyone and remember to use your imagination to help them develop their's.
    Submitted by Uncle Ray--Thanks!

  21. Big Zoo Animal Riddle Rhyme
    On sentence strips I write out the following riddle rhyme:

    It's a furry ape
    the biggest one of all.
    It beats its chest and stands up tall.
    Don't give your cone-
    chocolate or vanilla
    to any kind of zoo ____________.

    The answer, of course, is Gorilla.

    I place the sentence strips in a pocket chart and the students have to read the rhyme and decide what animal it is talking about. I have a response sheet that has a copy of the poem exactly like what is on the sentence strips. The students have to put their answer in the poem then draw a picture of themselves and the big zoo animal.

    The students seem to like doing this...and it is always funny to see their drawings and answers.

    This idea came from Scholastic books Riddle Poem of the Day by Betsy Franco.
    Submitted by Jennifer--thanks!

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