Grandma left off in Book (57) when she came upon an event of June 15 about Congress creating the National Zoological Park in 1889. Grandma felt it was best to introduce some Units in Book (57) as part of the lessons. She gave you some information about a couple of National Parks which she will finish in November. Then she will now cover a Unit in Book (57) on Zoos which will tie to the animal study we started which she will end with another animal Unit from Book (57) that will end the year studies. Next she will cover Insects study for the summer and on into September.
Grandma will also do some more of June's Calendar History for the time line, cover circus's, do some of the July Calendar History and go into study about space before she finishes July and gives you August. All these will tie into the studies for September. Now for the following:
"Zoos by Liz Hagner
Which Continent Does the Animal Live ON?
Zoos often display animals according to the continents on which the animals live--Africa, South America, North America, Europe, Asia, Antarctica, or Australia. They may use regions of the world too, such as the rain forest or the Arctic.
When you visit the zoo, notice which continents various animals come from. Does your zoo specialize in any one geographical area? Use reference books to study the species that live in each area of the world. Remember that continents are large areas. The animals of northern Canada are not the same ones that live in southern Florida.
- As a class activity, attach a world map in the center of a bulletin board. Place photos or drawings of animals around the edges of the bulletin board and draw a line to the continents on which they live.
- Choose the animals of one continent to research. Work with (each other) or (others) that have chosen the same continent (or want to work with the child.) Make a bulletin board display (or a poster) of your continent and its animals. Find information about the animals and write a report about them. Place the report and a photo or drawing of the animals on the bulletin board (or poster) or you might want to make a booklet about them instead.
- With your continent group, make one card for each of the major animals of your continent. On one side of the card, write the name of the continent on which the animal lives. On the other side, place a drawing or photo and a few facts about the animal. Be sure to include its particular habitat--rain forest, desert, and so on. Join with class groups studying other continents and shuffle your cards together. Divide the class into teams to identify the continent that matches each animal card displayed.
- Make a bulletin board parade of the animals of your continent. Arrange photos of them from the smallest to the largest. You might choose only the mammals, the birds, the snakes, or the butterflies. Perhaps you can do this in the hallway of your school.
Getting Started on Research
- One of the best places to start is with an encyclopedia (The computer usually holds a free one.) This will provide you with an overview of all the animals. You might look up Animals, Mammals, Australia, Africa, Americas, Arctic, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, or Zoos.
- Use a reference book written specifically about animals. Libraries have a variety of these.
- Look through magazines such as National Geographic, National Geographic World, International Wildlife, National Wildlife, Audubon, or Ranger Rick for ideas.
Choosing One Animal to Study
- When you have decided on a particular animal to study, use the card catalog or computer in your library. This will direct you to books on your animal or to books that include more than one animal. You may also need to look under headings, such as Animals, Mammals, or Reptiles. What Dewey Decimal System call numbers do you find that most nonfiction animal books have?
- Ask your librarian for help in using the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Check the guide to find magazine articles about your animal.
- Don't overlook fiction books about your animal. Most animal fiction stories contain a great deal of information about animals.
- If a zoo is nearby, visit it to study your animal. Often zoos and museums have special books about their animals.
- What information will you include?
Think: Who, what when, where, why, and how. (These are the 6 basic questions all
scientists ask about everything.)Tell your reader the basics about the animal--what
it looks like, where it lives, its most interesting characteristics.
b. Physical appearance: Provide details.
c. Habitat: This is vitally important in these days of diminishing habitat. Which continent?
Which part of that continent? What specific requirements does the animal have for its
d. What does it eat?
e. Who are its enemies? How does it defend itself?
f. Reproduction: How does it raise its young?
g. Status: Endangered? Threatened?
h. What is special about the animal?
6. How will you present your information?
a. Read, take notes, and write a report in your own works.
b. Make some drawings. No one is expecting perfection. Certainly you can show stripes
versus spots! You can probably draw a bear's head so it looks like either a polar bear
or a black bear. Observe, then draw. (We have been doing a lot of tracing ourselves in
Mexico.) Collect some photographs, if possible.
c. Make a bulletin board display (or poster).
d. Dress up as your animal.
e. Give an oral report to (others).
f. Present your report to a younger (group of children or older).
Similar, But Different
Think about doing a report about animals that are similar, but different. You'd plan your research just the way you would for one animal, but you'd be presenting a report on more than one animal with the emphasis on comparing the animals. Here are some suggestions:
- rhea, ostrich, emu, cassowary
- porcupine, hedgehog
- Bactrian camel, Dromedary camel
- Indian rhinoceros, African rhinoceros
- Asian elephant, African elephant
- Alligator, crocodile
All in the Family
You might choose one family of animals to study: primates (a huge subject--enough for (a big class), reptiles--or break that one down into snakes, lizards, turtles, and so on.
Perhaps you'd like to pick just one group, such as bears, deer, rabbits, big cats, monkeys, sheep, or cranes. For example, list the bears that live on a specific continent. What continents do bears not live on? Can you draw pictures or find photographs of them? What kinds of displays or enclosures would be necessary in a zoo? Are they endangered or threatened? What special breeding programs exist for them in zoos?
Study an Animal That is Different
Everyone knows what an elephant, giraffe, and kangaroo look like, but what about these?
South America: coati, tapir, cavy, capybara, yapok, vicuna, guanaco, alpaca
Africa: aoudad, okapi, serval, gnu, aardvark, eland, fennec, ibis, gazelle
Australia: dugong, cuscus, Tasmanian devil, wombat, bandicoot, echidna, emu, super glider, dingo
Asia: karakul, yak, mongoose, oryx, tarsier, anoa, gaur
Choose one animal to report on. When you visit the zoo, see if the zoo has that animal in its collection. Describe what the animal looks like. Is it similar to a more familiar animal? Where does it live? What does it eat? What interesting facts can you discover about it? Can you make a poster or a bulletin board?
Special Research Projects
- Look in magazines for the latest news on zoos, endangered species, or reintroduction into the wild. Use Audubon, Ranger Rick, Zoo Books, National Wildlife, International Wildlife, Science News, and others. Ask your librarian for help in using the Reader's Guide to Periodic Literature, looking up subjects such as Zoos, Animals, and Endangered Species to locate articles in magazines.
- Read about the black-footed ferret. What happened to it? What are zoos and other organizations doing to keep the ferret from becoming extinct?
- Read about the California condor and efforts by the Los Angeles Zoo to save it from extinction and return it to the wild.
- Read about the owl in western forests and the debate between conservationists and the lumbering industry on the west coast. Again, use the Reader's Guide and a newspaper index.
- You, your family, or( a group you learn with) might want to join a large zoo in order to receive their publications about their own animals, animals of other zoos, and endangered species. Some zoo memberships allow free visits to zoos across the country, as well as their own zoos. (Don't forget to utilize your family newspaper with information you find.) Report to the (group) on the cost of a membership and the zoo's publications. You might consider the San Diego Zoo, the Bronx Zoo, the Brookfield Zoo, the Cincinnati Zoo, or others. Does your library subscribe to Zoo Books, a publication of the San Diego Zoo?
- Read the Just So Stories of Rudyard Kipling to find out how the elephant got its trunk and other tales. You might want to read one aloud to a (group).
- Present a report to a kindergarten or first grade class ...(maybe even a preschool or old folks home) about children's zoos (or and animal in a zoo). Have plenty of drawings and photographs. Include information about the animals that are usually housed in a children's zoo, What baby animals might be there, special exhibits (such as the plastic bubbles for viewing prairie dogs at the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island), what animals the children could pet, and local children's zoo so you can tell the children about the layout. Are there special educational demonstrations for the children? Consider assisting the kindergarten class with a visit to the zoo.
- Make a zoo map for your (home). You might enlarge the map of a zoo your (family) has visited, or you could design a map of your own imaginary zoo. Be sure to tell what continents and types of regions are represented, where the demonstrations are held, and so on.
- Do you think you live in the middle of nowhere? Is there no zoo anywhere near you? Well, not every animal lives in a zoo, you know. What other opportunities for seeing animals are available to you? Find out where the nearest National Wildlife Refuge is located. What kind of animals or birds does it protect? Is there a visitor center? Falcon Press, a publisher in Montana, markets books describing where to view the wildlife of Montana and other states. See if your state offices provide a similar publication. Do you live near a national park where you might see wildlife? Does your state have a state fish hatchery? Find out when you can visit. Some states have built fish ladders next to dams so fish can get upstream to spawn. What about aquariums?
- Are you a photographer? Plan to take photographs on your zoo visit.
- Would you like to go on a safari to Kenya? How far away is Kenya? How much would it cost to fly there? Check with a travel agent for that figure and to find out the cost of various safaris. What animals would you see there?
- Do a report on zoo exhibits. Include the various "cageless" exhibits, such as moats; temperature barriers; oneway glass enclosures; safari-type areas; planting of real trees and bushes, both native and exotic; fake trees and rocks; horticultural exhibits; indoor exhibits; special butterfly and bird exhibits; and nocturnal exhibits.
- Research zoo careers--zoologists, veterinarians, keepers, educational personnel, groundskeepers and landscapers, administrators, and food-preparation workers. What other zoo careers are there?
- Find out about volunteer opportunities at a zoo near you. How old do you have to be to volunteer? What volunteer programs does your zoo have for teenagers? What are docents? In what ways do you think volunteers could help at a zoo?
- Find out about "Adopt an Animal" programs at various zoos. You might want to do this with another (group of people). How could your (family) earn money to adopt a zoo animal? What benefits, besides the obvious one of contributing money to the zoo, do these programs offer?
- Investigate special educational programs at a zoo near you. Besides school visits, look into after-school programs, weekend workshops for students and families, and school vacation and summer zoo camps.
- Watch the special animal programs on television. Borrow videotapes about animals from your library.
Creative Writing Ideas
- Write a mystery about an animal tat disappears from the zoo. Include a school class, their teacher, a parent, a circus performer, a mayor from another city, and anyone else you need as characters in your mystery.
- Write a fantasy about a hippopotamus who thought he was a kangaroo.
- Write a tune and words for a song about the dance of a rhinoceros, a hippopotamus, or an elephant.
- Pretend you're an elephant that shrank to the size of a beaver. What adventures might you have?
- Pretend that your parents will not let you visit the zoo. You don't know the reason, and you're trying to find out. It has something to do with an uncle that disappeared, a large dog that your parents once owned, phone calls from Australia, and a rug in your family room. Write the story that you unravel from the clues.
- Write an imaginary conversation between a giraffe and a rattlesnake.
- If you could be any animal in the zoo, which animal would you choose to be? What would be the best things about being that animal? the worst things? Which animal in the zoo would you least like to be? Why? What animals do you know of that do not live in any zoo? Why don't they?
- Write a paper telling why you think it is important for people to support zoos.
- Write a paper explaining the important role that zoos play in preserving threatened and endangered species.
- Write a history of zoos in the United States or Canada. Where were the first zoos and what where they like?
Plan a Zoo Trip
- Make reservations for the zoo visit and special programs during the visit. ... . Does anyone need special help?
- What will you take? (lunch; money for admission; snacks; books; souvenirs; clothing for humid rain forest exhibits, unexpected cold or rainy weather; ...individual name tags (if necessary); etc.)
- What should you know about the zoo ahead of time? Write or call for a map to study before you go. What are the feeding times for various animals? What is the schedule for special demonstrations?
- What else is at the zoo besides the animals? Many zoos are called zoological gardens. What is special about the garden at your zoo? What kinds of bushes, flowers, and trees are there?
- Define rules for (all going); buddy system, staying together as a ..., small (group). Will you have specific assignments to complete at the zoo?
- What are typical rules at the zoo? Why are there rules like no feeding the animals, no radios, no bikes, no skates, no skateboards, no littering, no dogs or other pets, no running, no loud noises or yelling at animals, no tapping on glass cages, no balloons?
- Read before you go. Ask for information about the zoo so you'll know what's going on right now. what's new, what's special. Read about your special animal before you see it at the zoo.
- After your zoo visit, talk about it. What did you learn? What did you see that you didn't expect? What will you look for next time?
- Write thank-you letters to adults who went with you to the zoo and any special people at the zoo.
- The operating budget for one zoo is $2,976,118, which it receives from the following sources:
52% public and government support
a. How much money does the zoo receive from each of these sources?
b. How would a zoo generate income?
2. The zoo pays 63% of its budget for wages. How much money is that?
3. Animal feed costs $232, 396. What percentage of the total budget is that? Round off your
answers to the nearest dollar or percentage. What percentage of its budget does your family
spend for food?
4. If the zoo contains 1,300 inhabitants, how much does it cost to feed each animal? Why would
that figure be a very rough estimate?
5. During a five-year period. the following amounts were spent for purchasing new animals:
1989--$5,928 1990--86,773 1991--25,738
a. What is the total amount spent in the five years for purchase of animals?
b. What is the average yearly amount spent for the five-year period?
c. Think of several reasons to explain why the amount varies so much from year to year.
6. If this zoo is located on 23 acres, how much room does each animal have? Why is that a VERY
7. The following list shows the size of some zoos in the United States:
Philadelphia 42 acres
Balboa Park 100 acres
Wild Animal Park 1,800 acres
Bronx 265 acres
Brookfield 204 acres
Minnesota 480 acres
a. What is the average size of these zoos?
b. A measurement that is often more meaningful than the average is the median. The median is
found by locating the middle number of the total. The median of the above figures would be
halfway between 204 and 265 acres. What would that figure be? How does that differ from
c. How many acres does the zoo nearest you have?
8. In 1990, one zoo had 870 mammals, 595 birds, and about 1,274 reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
a. What is the total number of animals?
b. What percentage of the animals are mammals?
9. The food for these animals costs $563,942.
a. What is the average cost of feeding each animal?
b. How does that figure compare with the feeding cost of the first zoo in Number 3
on the preceding page?
10. This zoo has the following number of permanent staff members:
Animal care 91
Visitor Services and Security 24
Administration and Support 72
a. What is the total number of employees?
b. What percentage of employees are involved in animal care?
11. A zoo charges $5.00 for admission.
a. If 103,241 visitors paid admission, how much revenue did that provide for the zoo?
b. Would that amount pay a feed bill of $587,000?
c. If no, where else would the zoo get money to buy the food?
d. What other expenses does a zoo have besides feed?
12. Look at the following list showing the number of animals and species at various zoos:
Vertebrate Animals Species
Toronto 2,739 481
Dallas 1,456 321
Toledo 2,000 400
Los Angeles 2,000 500
Philadelphia 1,700 550
a. Make a graph to show both numbers for each zoo.
b. Roughly, what would be the average number of species that the zoos have?
c. If you could find the average for a species, do you think the number would be meaningful?
Why or why not?