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By Rachel Friedrich
Graphics by www.pccrafter.com
How to Use These Lessons
These lessons are intended for use as one-day emergency substitute teacher
lesson plans. They can be downloaded by a classroom teacher to keep in a
substitute binder or by a substitute teacher to keep handy in your bag of
tricks. But they can also be used a lesson at a time. These lessons are
written at a first grade level and include:
* A warm-up
* A reading/language arts lesson
* A social studies lesson
* A science lesson
* A math lesson
Warm-up: Curious George Visits the Zoo by Margret and H.A. Rey or Put Me
in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire, copies of the Zoo Animal Alpha Boxes
Reading/Language Arts: Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman, paper
Social Studies: examples of zoo maps (can be downloaded and printed from
zoo websites), construction paper, writing paper
Science: Jungle Drums by Graeme Base, copies of My Zoo Animal
Math: copies of Zoo Favorites Recording Sheet and Graph
Writing: Students write a story to the prompt: "If I lived at the zoo, I
Science: Show students pictures of zoo animals and have them sort them
into groups. Students should explain their reasons for the sorting.
Math: Create some math word problems and have the students solve.
Read Curious George Visits the Zoo by Margret and H.A. Rey or Put Me in
the Zoo by Robert Lopshire.
Ask students to decide what makes a zoo animal a zoo animal (they may say
things like animals that don't live here, animals you can't keep as a pet,
animals from around the world, wild animals, etc.).
Then brainstorm on the board or chart paper about what animals they know
live in a zoo.
Students then complete the Zoo Animal Alpha Boxes independently, in pairs,
or groups. Each student should try to fill in each box with at least one zoo
animal that starts with that letter. You could give bonus points for
"difficult" letters like X and Q.
Zoo Animal Alpha Boxes
Pre-reading: Lead a discussion using the following questions:
Why do we have zoos?
Do you think animals like living in zoos?
Should we have zoos or should the animals be free?
Share the book Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman or another zoo-
themed picture book. Stop along the way to allow students to make
predictions about what they think will happen next.
After reading: Review the sequence of the story. Hand out paper and have
students retell and illustrate the story.
Here is a zoo spelling list:
Students put them in alphabetical order or write a sentence using each word.
Show students examples of maps of zoos while reviewing map skills with
students, including directions, compass rose, and legend.
Model creating a map of an imaginary zoo, drawing the entrance, path, and
locations of animal enclosures. Other things to include might be: restrooms,
gift store, food stands, etc. Make sure to model how to include things in the
Next model writing an advertisement for your zoo. Make sure students
understand that the purpose is to persuade visitors to come to your zoo so
they must include reasons why someone would want to come. Maybe you end
up with something like: "Lions! And tigers! And bears! Oh my! You can see it
all at the Friendly Town Zoo. And don't forget to try one of our delicious hot
Students then get a piece of construction paper and a piece of writing paper
to create a map and advertisement of their own zoo.
Read Jungle Drums by Graeme Base.
Discuss what makes each animal special. Also discuss the needs of animals,
including food, water, and shelter.
Students then draw and describe an animal of their creation on My Zoo
My Zoo Animal
My new animal is called a ______________________.
My animal has _______________________________.
My animal is colored __________________________.
My animal eats ______________________________.
My animal can ______________________________.
My animal lives in ____________________________.
What makes my animal most special is ______________
Review bar graphs and pictographs.
As a class, do a tal y chart of which zoo animals are the students' favorites.
Students can fill in the tal y chart on their Zoo Favorites Recording Sheet
When complete, student choose whether they would like to use the
information to create either a bar graph or a pictograph, making sure they
give the graph a title and label each side with the animals and the number of
students who like them.
Zoo Favorites Recording Sheet and Graph
Our Favorite Zoo Animals