Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Zoo: An Outdoor Classroom

I simply love using the zoo for enriching our homeschool experience.  It is out in the fresh air and sunshine and it is "hands-on".  It seems that we all learn new things about God's creation with each trip to the zoo.

This year we are studying the days of creation and we have just completed day six...animals. So, I thought this would be a good year to renew our zoo membership.  Here are some of the things that we have done and a few new ideas that I am planning to do in the next few weeks to add a little salt to our zoo field trips.

Some have links to specific posts here on this blog.

1. Have each child create a book of their day at the zoo as they are walking through.  

2. Have each child draw a cartoon map of the zoo with a little dotted trail showing the path we took.

3. Keep a list of the animals that they saw and list details about each animal.

4. Classify the animals they see by fish, amphibian, bird, reptile, mammal (or by other attributes like walks on two or four legs, has fur, scales, or feathers, etc.).

5. Go on a zoo scavenger hunt.

6. Draw pictures of zoo animals or plants.

7.  Write a structured report about several things they saw or did at the zoo.

8. Write a poem about the zoo or a specific animal.

9. Paint a zoo mural.

10. Make finger print animals with ink pads.

11. Take a zoo map and let the kids take turns picking the next place to go and leading the family there using the map.

12. Have the kids write a creative writing paper about what they would do all day if they were an animal at the zoo.

13.  Have the older kids use a concordance to see how many verses they can find about specific animals in the Bible.

14. Print off coloring pages of animals for younger kids and color them while watching that animal...and while older siblings sketch in their Science notebooks.

Some of these things we did years ago and we are going to recycle the ideas.  As we do them, I will post and link it here.  I thought I would get these ideas out there sooner rather than later so that they could be utilized this spring.

How many of you have a zoo in your area?  What things do you do to learn at the zoo?

Happy zoo learning!!

No comments:

Post a Comment