Wildlife Connections: Bringing classroom learning to life
When it comes to protecting the environment ‘think global, act local’ is a great mantra to follow.
Here at Chester Zoo, we not only work with exotic animals, we also do lots of work with our native species too, and we've developed lots of different learning resources that can be used by schools and community groups.
One simple thing you can do is take your learners outside (your playground or any space will do) and take a few minutes to look around and observe what wildlife you see.
- How many plants and trees can you see?
- Are they all the same type?
- What about animals… are there any birds flying past?
- Can you find any insects?
- Sometimes animals are difficult to spot, you might just see some tracks or signs of them instead.
- Ask your class to close their eyes for 30 seconds – what sounds can they hear?
By recording what you find (either with our wildlife recording form or an in-classroom record) you can keep checking back on any changes to the wildlife in your area over time.
Make time each term or season to take your students outside and spend a few minutes bird watching or looking for minibeasts.
Videos & guides
We’ve developed some really handy films and how-to guides which will help with recording. You can show these films in the classroom to inspire students before you start.
Other top tips for wildlife watching classroom activities for Key Stage 1 & 2
- Take photos and identify species back in the classroom
- Use photos to make a food chain or web display
- Practice making tally’s and bar charts to see which species are most common
- Write poems inspired by the animals and plants they’ve seen, using only the animal name (noun), two adjectives to describe it, three verbs and four adverbs – they can use them in any order
Still feeling inspired?
- Take the next steps and get out in to the playground and make a wildlife friendly habitat by following our guides. It can be really easy to recycle everyday objects to plant wildflowers, build animal homes and provide food a water that our favourite animals need.
- For more ideas, and a whole host of UK wildlife guides and resources you can use for free take a look at our learning resources and also on our Wildlife Connections site.
- Let us know how you get on by recording your wildlife and your actions on our Wildlife Recording Form and become one of our Wildlife Champions!
- Helping the wildlife that lives on our own doorstep is easy to do – however if you need some extra help, our Safari Rangers offer a free outreach service to schools that are local to Chester Zoo – find out more here.