Wildlife Lessons for Preschool - High School

We'll bring the zoo to your school!

Each Wildlife Lesson includes a visit from one live animal ambassador and time for students to examine "biofacts" such as skulls and pelts. Programs last up to 60 minutes.

We can accommodate up to 30 students per program and up to 4 programs per day.

Animal Encounters (All Grades)
   2 or 3 Animals
Wildlife Lessons (Includes an Animal)   PreK   K   1   2   3    4-5   6-8    9-12
   Tail Talk    x   x           

   Wild Stories    x   x

   x   x      x

   Creative Creatures: Creative Homes

   x   x    x     x  

   Creature Classification

   x   x    x       x

   Fabulous Food Chains

   x     x

   Build a Zoo    x     x
   Investigating Invertebrates

   x     x

   Saving Species

    x    x    x
   Zoos: Working for the World's Wildlife


Bug-O-Rama - Grades K-1
What makes bugs different from other animals? Students will find out about insect body parts, watch a classmate dress up as a beetle, sing a song and meet a real bug in person.

Bug-O-Rama - Grades 2-3
Insects may be small, but they have a huge impact on life on Earth. Students will find out what makes a bug an insect, watch a classmate transform into a beetle and discuss how insects are helpful to people.

Build a Zoo - Grades 2-5
Students will discuss the four basic needs of all animals (water, food, shelter, space) as well as the more advanced needs of some animals. How do zookeepers meet all these needs so that their animals will thrive? Groups of students will test their teamwork skills as they design, build and showcase their own zoo exhibits. Biofacts not included.

Creature Classification - Grades 1-2
Fur, feathers, scales or slimy skin? Students will learn how to sort animals into groups by what covers their bodies and discuss other characteristics of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. There will be time for touching fun biofacts like pelts, skulls and feathers.

Creature Classification - Grades 3-5
Learn the characteristics that scientists use to classify the five vertebrate groups: birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Students will participate in an activity to identify a mystery animal, and spend time examining pelts, skulls, feathers and skin from the groups they've discussed.

Creative Creatures: Creative Homes - Grades 1-5
Animals are industrious, resourceful and even artistic in their pursuit of just the right kind of shelter. Students will explore biofacts (skulls, pelts, etc.) and play a game to learn about nature's growers, builders and decorators. One student will dress up as an animal that wears its home. Students will also learn what they can do to help wildlife in their own backyard.

Fabulous Food Chains - Grades 3-5
Predators, prey and scavengers, oh my! Students will participate in a food chain vocabulary activity followed by time to examine real animal skulls. Students will gather data about the skulls and share their evidence for coming to the conclusion about whether each skull came from an herbivore, carnivore or omnivore. Finish out the program by observing a live animal visitor and identifying its role in the food chain.

Investigating Invertebrates - Grades 3-5
Most of the world's animals are spineless, but that doesn't mean they aren't spectacular! Students will be introduced to some of the incredible adaptations of this diverse group of animals. A Madagascar hissing cockroach or a giant African millipede will come along to help your students open their eyes to what they might otherwise find frightening.

Tail Talk - PreK-K
Stomp like a bison, howl like a wolf and practice a beaver tail slap! Students will enjoy watching their classmates wear fun tails as they act out communication behaviors that keep them safe in the wild. Students will also get to touch different kinds of fur, a deer antler and a beaver skull.

Saving Species - Grades 4-5                                                                                               Students will engage in a conversation about the causes of species endangerment and consider what they can do to help protect wildlife and their habitats. This program also includes a thought-provoking small group activity and hands-on investigation of confiscated wildlife products.

Wild Stories - Grades PreK-K
Learn more about our world's amazing wildlife through storytelling and pretend play. Current themes include: Wildlife in Winter with the book "Bear Snores On" by Karma Wilson, or Animal Homes with "A House for a Hermit Crab" by Eric Carle. Students will enjoy helping to tell the story, playing a wildlife game, touching real animal biofacts (pelts, skulls, etc.) and coming face-to-face with a live animal ambassador.

Wild Stories - Grades 1-5
While listening to the story of the "Great Kapok Tree" by Lynne Cherry, students will be asked to think about the many ways that trees are vital to animals adapted to forest life. Older students will also discuss how some human behaviors can be harmful to healthy forest ecosystems, and how they can lessen their impacts. Students will also enjoy "trying on" different animal adaptations in a fun game where they match each animal to their "tools" for living in the rainforest.

Zoos: Working for the World's Wildlife - Grades 6-College
Discover how zoos and aquariums serve as sanctuaries and advocates for vulnerable, threatened and endangered species. Highlighted projects include breeding programs and education efforts both here at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and at field locations around the globe.