AN AMAZING LEARNING EXPERIENCE
Safety of course is our priority, and we’ve put lots of measures in place to ensure there’s social distancing around the zoo, but that doesn’t mean that a school visit can’t bring learning to life, be playful, and support everyone’s wellbeing.
Whether it’s watching the elephants playing in the water, hearing the lion ROAR, or finding out which animal is the smelliest (tapirs are pretty stinky!)…nothing brings learning about animals to life as much as seeing them here at Chester Zoo.
Students will learn lots by watching animals and reading some of the signs around the zoo. There’s so much to learn about! Here are our top tips for turning a school visit to the zoo into a learning adventure.
BEFORE YOUR SCHOOL TRIP
Why not find out more about some of the animals you might see during your visit. Our selection of animal fact files and keeper talks are a great place to start.
Take a look at our: Animal Fact Files
Explore our: Keeper Talks
Did your students like the keeper talks? Students could do research and write their own animal talk and as we’re currently not doing our usual animal talks, they could even have a go at giving their talk when they are at the zoo!
Try to: Create an Animal Talk
YOU’RE GOING TO THE ZOO, ZOO, ZOO…
Being stuck inside during lockdown has been hard for many pupils, and it’s great that we can now go outside. With over 128 acres of safe OUTDOOR SPACE in the zoo, there’s lots to explore! We also have over 35,000 amazing animals to see! Get familiar with our site using our new interactive map where you can explore some of our animal habitats in 360!
Why not take your class on an adventure to the rainforests in some of our indoor spaces such as Realm of the Red Ape, Spirit of the Jaguar, the Tropical Realm or Monsoon forest (reopening soon). In these spaces your students will experience the hot and humid rainforest and they’ll see, hear and smell some of the amazing animals that live there.
Check out our: Which rainforest animals are at Chester Zoo? [VIDEO]
To help your students collect some great animal facts during your class visit, why not get them to do our explorer trail?
Download our: Explorer Trail
Please make sure to keep in groups of no more than 10 in the zoo, and ensure you keep a 2 metre distance from other people in the zoo on the day of your trip! Students over 11 will need to wear face coverings indoors unless they are exempt. Find out more information about visiting us safely, here.
Lots of schools like to take advantage of our really popular workshops which span across all year groups and subjects. Explore what we have on offer here: In Zoo Workshops
HAPPY AND HEALTHY MINDS
Play is serious business at Chester Zoo. We’ve been working hard to make the zoo as playful a possible.
Playing outdoors can increase a child’s connection to nature, and a connection to nature increases the chance that a child will want to protect the natural world. We also know that children who have played are more likely to meaningfully engage in education activities – including those that teach them about conservation!
We’ve designed an activity sheet to give teachers lots of inspiration for playful activities and challenges to complete during a school trip to the zoo.
Download our: Playful Adventures at Chester Zoo
Play and learning can both contribute to our wellbeing. Connecting with nature is proven to support human wellbeing and walking around the zoo is also great for keeping active.
Our mindfulness trail is also full of ideas to make your class trip a little more wellbeing focused, as well as lots of fun.
Try our: Mindful Moves at Chester Zoo
Another great activity for healthy minds is a bit of mindful colouring.
Use our animal related: Colouring Sheets
INSPIRE LEARNING BACK AT SCHOOL
We’re sure a visit will inspire your class to find out even more about some of the amazing species we care for at the zoo. We have LOTS of downloadable learning resources available to you for free, to help support your students learning back in the classroom.
Create a comic book all about an endangered animal and featuring your own conservation superhero.
Design your own zoo, complete with tickets and a map showing where the habitats of all your favourite animals are.
Find out more about your favourite animal from your school trip – is it endangered? Why is it under threat?
Or, our Chester Zoo Writing Sheet is perfect for any writing inspired by a school trip to the zoo and the animals you saw.
Embrace the benefits of outdoor learning, while supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing. We have lots of learning resources that can be done OUTDOORS too!
Take this recording sheet to your school grounds and find out what species live there.
Shhhh can you hear that bird singing? What could it be? Use our bird spotting sheet to find out.
Get close to nature by collecting leaves and any other natural materials you can find to create some nature rubbings.
Why not do something as a class to help native species? For example, you could make your own bug hotel or hedgehog home…we’ve got loads of ‘how to’ guides to help UK species.
We would LOVE to see what you get up to! Follow us on Twitter: @LearnatCZ