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Binder Park Zoo is excited to introduce our Big Zoo Lesson program! Students, parents, and teachers use Binder Park Zoo as their classroom for a week-long, in-depth study of biological sciences as they participate in The BIG Zoo Lesson. They talk with wildlife experts, observe animal behaviors, and research animals from all over the world. The BIG Zoo Lesson is an interdisciplinary, problem-based approach to teaching and learning and an innovative tool for learning conservation and developing sensitivity to the natural world. The BIG Zoo Lesson brings the classroom into the community—using the most available authentic setting for the children’s learning.
Essential components of The BIG Zoo Lesson:

  • Children take extended periods of time for writing, sketching, conversation, and cooperative research;
  • Teachers and zoo personnel train together to learn about lesson design, integrated curriculum, and using community resources as learning tools;
  • Children gain deep knowledge, engage in scientific investigations, and apply the new learning to real world issues;
  • The week is a catalyst for a year-long thematic study;
  • Teachers, parents, zoo personnel, and the community are partners in the teaching and learning process;
  • Children gain a profound appreciation and responsibility for taking care of the world’s resources.

Who? Any classrooms grades 3-8.
What? The BIG Zoo Lesson is a weeklong study trip for children, parents, and teachers in which they use Binder Park Zoo as their classroom. In these 5 consecutive days, they learn from the experts at the zoo, engage in daily animal observations, and they continue to build on this learning throughout the school year.
Where? Binder Park Zoo.
When? Programs run daily for one week. Programs available October through April.
How Much? $30 per student for the whole week!

To register or for more information: Contact Amanda Bailiff at 269-979-1351 ext. 133 or email

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural AffairsBattle Creek Community Foundation