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The Toledo Zoo Education Department has programs designed to provide students with a GREAT learning experience, and they will help teachers as they will all be matched to Ohio proficiency standards.
Teachers can choose from Animal Meet and Greets, our new learning-based tours, or our traditional instructional programs. Teachers can also request specialized topics and presentations with approval from the Education Manager (appropriate fees will be assessed).
All programs will:
Be led by Zoo education staff with volunteer support
Be inquiry based
Include traditional lessons, a live animal visit plus present an interactive activity or experiment
The topics listed below are free to Lucas County School students attending schools listed in the Ohio Educational Directory and who have pre-registered with the Education Department by calling 419-385-5721, ext.2042. Teachers registering from outside of Lucas County will be charged $25.00 for the first program and $20.00 per additional program.
ANIMAL MEET AND GREETS (20 – 30 minutes)
Teachers may schedule their students for an opportunity to see (and sometimes touch!) animals up close. This opportunity is for no fewer than 10 and no more than 30 participants. Students will meet an animal or two and be able to touch and see biofacts—items like animal hides, horns, skulls, shells, etc.
GUIDED TOURS FOR YOUR CLASSES !
FREE! For Lucas County schools K – 12
$25 for groups up to 30 people (outside of Lucas County)
($20 cancellation fee unless schools are closed)
Your students may now have a special guided tour experience when you visit The Toledo Zoo. You have two choices of topics to keep your students moving and learning at the Zoo AND both tours will help you to meet proficiency standards. Tours last 30 – 45 minutes.
Guided tours are offered during the following months and dates:
January 1 - April 15
September 1 - November 15
TOUR 1 - ENCOUNTERS OF THE COOLEST KIND: Exploring the Arctic
Students will learn where this place called the Arctic is, what it is like there, and what animals (and people, too! ) need in order to survive there. Learn what an inuksuk is, meet seals and polar bears and see a few of their adaptations first-hand . Your students will leave with new insights into what this white world is like and why it is so important that we help save it!
TOUR 2 - FRIENDS WITH FEATHERS
Birds come in many sizes, shapes, colors and live all over the world in many kinds of habitats. When you tour the TZ Aviary, you will learn some of the amazing things there are to know about this feathered class of vertebrates. Come count toes and see which way they point to discover tips into how that bird lives. From migration patterns to egg shapes, songs to feathers—this tour will “egg-cite” your students and help them to become truly bird brained!
Learning in the Neighborhood!
Workshop Lessons at Nature’s Neighborhood
Imagine a place where kids can learn and discover the natural world as they do what they do best—play! Meet animals up close and explore the natural world in a fun-filled hands-on learning environment! Click here to learn more about these great programs and see Nature’s Neighborhood in action!
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS ARE 40 MINUTES LONG, ARE CONTENT DRIVEN AND ARE MATCHED TO OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION STANDARDS:
ANIMAL ADAPTATIONS (GRADES 3 – 12)
What is an adaptation, how do adaptations happen, and what do they mean to animals and the natural world? Students will explore how an adaptation aids survival. Simulations and experiments will help students become better skilled at observing and recognizing adaptations and how they help animals to succeed in their niches. Older students can gain knowledge about natural selection and explore both physical and behavioral adaptations on a more complex level.
CLASSIFICATION – (3 LEVELS, Grades K-12)
ANIMAL COVERINGS (Grades K – 2)
Explore the differences and similarities among animal coverings through puppets, animal biofacts and live animals. Children will play simple sorting games. Puppets will introduce the different groups, and then live animals from different classes will visit to show off their covers. The concepts of camouflage and mimicry will be introduced.
ANIMAL GROUPS (Grades 3 - 5)
Students will look at the variety of living organisms and why we name and group them. Concepts like living/non-living and plant/animal will be introduced. Classes will learn that science categorizes animals based on differences and similarities. The terms vertebrate/invertebrate will be introduced. Live animals and animal biofacts will be on hand to “test” whether students have learned the basic differences among five classes of vertebrates (i.e. fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians). Sorting games will illustrate how groups are formed using similarities and differences.
ANIMAL CLASSIFICATION (Grades 6 – 12)
Students will discuss the variety of living organisms and why we name and group them. They will also learn who created binomial nomenclature, why the world of science needed it, and why we have to learn all that Latin! A few basic Latin root words used in classification will be introduced. Older students will learn the word “taxonomy” and discover why King Phillip Came Over From Great Spain (divisions of kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species.) Working in groups, students will create mnemonic devices to remember these divisions. Games with Latin and Greek root words and sorting strategies will be employed to see how science uses differences and similarities to form groups. Students will classify live animals to test what they’ve learned.
ENDANGERED SPECIES (Grades K- 12)
Students of all ages will learn about the plight of endangered animals with a basic overview of what (who) has caused this dilemma and what we can do about it. Zoo animals and biofacts, will be part of all programs. Children will see how zoos are working to promote awareness, appreciation and conservation of animals.
K-2 will learn the meanings of “endangered,” “extinct,” and “habitat.” Children will discover how we are all part of the problem but can also work to be part of the solutions, e.g., recycling, reducing, re-using, protecting and creating habitats, and being smart consumers.
3-8 will look at some specific problems causing endangerment, i.e., poaching, over-harvesting, pet trade, habitat destruction, and pollution.
9-12 will look in-depth at the complex issues surrounding conservation, i.e., jobs, politics, money needed, space needed, preparing the wild for re-introduction, and considerations for genetic diversity. Students will play a game of “In Jeopardy” with Alexa Treesback and determine if they have the knowledge to help win the most important game of all!
FOOD CHAINS AND WEBS (Grades 3 – 8)
Games that create “student food chains” will help develop a better awareness of how ecosystems work. Using the premise that “everybody is somebody’s lunch,” students will appreciate how each aspect of life represents a certain amount of energy and convert that to ecosystems. Of course, since it all starts with the sun, a good review of photosynthesis is included. Children will work together to create an Arctic food chain. To top it off, a living food chain of animals will visit to help students “digest” this material!
HOW TO BUILD AN ELEPHANT (Grades 1 – 8)
Teachers can book their students into our fun and factual new Indoor Theatre program, “How To Build An Elephant”. Students grades 1 – 8 will enjoy the silly humor and not realize they are learning “big things” about elephants!
Program dates will be available soon.
This program is free to Lucas County schools in the Ohio Education Directory and offered at a modest fee (see regular guidelines) to school groups from outside the county.
Groups must pre-register at 419-385-5721, ext. 2042 and if required, must pay ahead of visit. Reservations will be taken until spots are full, but must be made 2 weeks prior to the date of your visit.
(NOTE: PLAN ON ARRIVING 5 – 10 MINUTES EARLY! Seating is first-come-first served. Doors will open 10 minutes prior to showtime, and be locked at 11:05 to avoid disturbances.)
HABITATS AND BIOMES (Grades 3 – 10)
From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam each community is important because it’s somebody’s or something’s home. Niche, habitat, community, biome—what does all this have to do with animals? Students will learn that every living thing has to have a habitat, or home. Okay, well then what are biomes? Where are they? Your students can learn about the great biomes of the world and discover the forces that shape them. Water, temperature and sunlight have something to do with all this—but what? Students will explore how this organization in nature fits together and why it matters.
GREEN POWER: ALL ABOUT PLANTS (Grades 3 – 8)
Did you know the entire web of life is fueled by plants? Students will become familiar with the parts of a plant. Of course, we will review (or learn) the basics of photosynthesis, learn about energy in ecosystems and then explore the amazing world of plants. Food – shelter—shade—oxygen—beauty—these green marvels do it all! Explore a bit of the diversity in a kingdom not made up of animals, but that supports all animals. From tiny phytoplankton to giant redwoods; from spiney cacti to soft lambs’ ears; from plants that are poison to plants used to heal—this program will help your students walk away with a new appreciation and maybe even AWE for plant life. (NOTE: Not available as an outreach program.)
*NOTE* Teachers may request program topics not listed, but these will need to be approved by the Education Manager and there will be fees charged.
Call (419) 385-5721 ext. 2042 to register, Monday through Friday 8:00a.m.- 5:00p.m. Register early, these programs fill up fast!
Please register your school group with our Visitor Services Department - this ensures a group rate admission into the Zoo! They can be reached at (419) 385-5721 ext. 3122.
Programs are offered from 10:30-3:00p.m. Monday through Friday. Programs are free for schools within Lucas County. For schools outside of Lucas County, programs are $25 for the first program and $20 for each additional program.
When scheduling your program, please have the following information ready:
• Contact person’s name
• Address and telephone number of school or contact person
• Program or service you are requesting
• Date and time desired
Programs must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance, but we recommend scheduling your EdZOOcation program as far in advance as possible.
• Please be on time for your program. If you are more than 10 minutes late, your program will be forfeited and no refund will be given.
• Please call if for any reason you are unable to keep your scheduled program time. A fee of $10.00 will be charged to any group that cancels a program fewer than five school days before the scheduled date or fails to attend the scheduled program. (exceptions include school closings or delays due to inclement weather and other emergencies beyond the control of the teacher.)
• We reserve the right to cancel and reschedule a program due to staff illness or inclement weather.