BIG Zoo Lesson

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2022-2023 Information

Binder Park Zoo, the most available authentic setting for site-based learning, as the classroom for a week-long, in-depth study of biological sciences

4th-6th grades

$32 per student (includes program journal)

3-4 classes (~85 students) at a time

Teachers' own curricula, incorporating zoo-provided program materials and lesson plans: animal bio-fact lessons, expert-led lessons with live animals, zookeeper chats, a look into exotic animal medicine, enrichment observations, and a behind-the-scenes tour

Three- to four-hour training session with Binder Park Zoo educators for teachers new to the BIG Zoo Lesson (typically at least four to six weeks before the program)

Learning Experience

Discussion with wildlife experts

Observation of animal behaviors

Research about animals from all over the world

Conservation education and action

Development of sensitivity to the natural world

Writing

Sketching

Cooperation

Profound appreciation and responsibility for real-world issues

Natural resource education

Scientific investigations

Building blocks for year-long study

Animal education

Career education

Teaching Experience

Innovative, interdisciplinary, problem-based approach

Joint training: teachers and zoo personnel learn together about lesson design, integrated curricula, and community resources as learning tools

Partners in the learning process: teachers, parents, and zoo personnel

Participant Quotes

"I know I'll remember for a lifetime what I learned this week." - Katie, 4th grader

"This is my third day, and I keep learning more and more." - Parent volunteer

"We learned so much at the zoo! It could be a second school for everyone, not just kids!" - Ben, 3rd grader

For More Information, Contact

Binder Park Zoo: 269-979-1351

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