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Milwaukee County Zoo. Chris Murphy, Megan Fitzgerald, Endia McWhorter, Emily Kirchen. Introduction. A fun and exciting trip to the zoo where students are able to see various animals and their “habitats” up close and in person. They will also be involved in an informational scavenger hunt!

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milwaukee county zoo

Milwaukee County Zoo

Chris Murphy, Megan Fitzgerald,

Endia McWhorter, Emily Kirchen

  • A fun and exciting trip to the zoo where students are able to see various animals and their “habitats” up close and in person. They will also be involved in an informational scavenger hunt!
  • The field trip will be introduced to the class after or during a unit on prey and predator relationships or a unit on animal habitats.
  • Driving Questions:
    • What is the purpose of a zoo?
    • What kinds of animals can be found at a zoo?
    • How do the animals react to the presence of humans?
    • What are some differences between the animals at the zoo and animals in the wild?
objectives and outcomes
Objectives and Outcomes
  • Objectives:
    • To learn about zoo animals and their habitats in a first-hand experience.
    • To gain a better understanding of exotic animals.
    • To be able to draw conclusion from basic descriptions and observations.
    • Complete scavenger hunt worksheet.
  • Outcomes
    • Students will understand and differentiate between zoo and wild animals in their respective habitats.
    • Students will discuss observations and draw conclusions regarding the scavenger hunt activity.
key terms
Key Terms
  • Habitat- the natural home of an animal or plant.
  • Adaptation- The changes made by living systems in response to their environment. Heavy fur, for example, is one adaptation to a cold.
  • Primates- A mammal characterized by refined development of the hands and feet, a shortened snout, and a large brain, includes monkey, apes, and humans.
  • Mammals- A class of vertebrae characterized by the production of milk by the females and in most cases, by a hairy body covering. Most mammals give live birth to their young. Human beings are mammals.
  • Species- A group of organisms having many characteristics in common.
  • Due to the fact that we are mammals and more specifically primates we have specific habitats and need to adapt to various environments. Knowing about different species will help us to understand the world and various characteristics of the world’s animals. The students will be able to recognize this through the observation of the animals and through the completion of the worksheet.
take home message
Take Home Message
  • Assessment- The students will need to turn in the scavenger hunt worksheet and the accurateness of it will be graded.
  • Importance to Learning Process-
    • Observing animals, in their own “habitat,” allows students to grasp knowledge in a very hands on way, giving them a new and different perspective to learn concepts versus always learning from books and movies.
    • Students will also develop a greater appreciation for what lies beyond their individual scope and how they are connected to different species.
  • Scavenger Hunt Worksheet (example page):
  • Zoobooks- An educational magazine about a wide variety of animals.
  • Student’s science textbook.
  • Milwaukee County Zoo Website
cross curricular connections and misconceptions
Cross-Curricular Connections and Misconceptions
  • Connections- Writing, Reading, Physical Fitness (walking), Geography.
  • Misconceptions- Students often have misconceptions about what animals are actually at a zoo, for example dinosaurs. Many also may be confused between the differences between primates and mammals. Some may also think that animals can talk (movies), or they do not know what aggravates the animals. Another major misconception may be where animals actually live, where they are from around the world.
  • Children are easily influenced by what they watch on TV or are told from unknowledgeable friends and that they have very active imaginations. Realizing these misconceptions we can clarify those erroneous misconceptions and replace them with more accurate information.