Teacher Resources

Teacher Resources

Online Resources for Teachers and Students

We’re doing our best to keep everyone connected to our animals while we’re missing all of our visitors.  Here are some of the great resources we have for you to use in your virtual classrooms.


Chat with a Zoo Educator using Google Hangouts. Each video chat lasts 30 minutes with a 15-minute buffer to allow time for connection. Video chats consist of a discussion about the topic with the use of artifacts and about 10 minutes for questions and answers. A variety of program topics are available. If you do not see the topic you would like, custom programs may be accommodated if time allows at an additional cost.

Topics: HabitatsAdaptationsZoo CareersIndiana WildlifeRain ForestsPenguins

Cost: $50 per session up to 35 participants and $75 for custom programs

Video chats are still available while the zoo is closed. If you’re currently teaching remotely and want to know if a video chat could work for your students, please e-mail us at edustaff@indyzoo.com to discuss scheduling options.

Educator eNews

While the zoo is closed we are sending out a special teacher newsletter every Mon. and Thurs. with great resources for teachers and students. Year round, receive updates on Zoo programs, new teacher resources, upcoming educator academy opportunities and more — all delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now for our Educator eNews.


Indianapolis Prize Conservation Hero Profiles

The Indianapolis Prize recognize the most successful animal conservationists in the world. Conservation Hero Profiles were created to assist educators to connect students to the men and women who are saving wildlife and improving our planet for future generations. Written for a third- to fifth-grade audience, these profiles can be used as a reading assignment, an inspiration for writing or a launching point for further research.

Download Conservation Hero Profiles

Indianapolis Prize Videos

Whether it’s trekking through the heart of a rainforest or diving into the depths of an ocean, these 3 to 7 minute videos allow students to see and hear about Indianapolis Prize Winners and Finalists and their inspiring work. These videos can be used to encourage deeper study in the areas of wildlife conservation and science.

2018 Indianapolis Prize Winner and Finalists

Indianapolis Prize Winners Playlist

Educator Professional Development

June 22-25 • 8:30am-4:30pm • Cost: $50
Program is designed for 4th-8th grade teachers, but all educators are welcome. We teamed up with Ball State University to help teachers develop and implement inquiry-based lesson plans in the areas of science and conservation. Explore an amazing array of wildlife while learning about a variety of conservation efforts around the world. African Elephants are feeling the pressures of the growing human population. The loss and fragmentation of habitat and the illegal poaching for the wildlife trade are taking their toll on elephant populations. See how we care for our elephants and learn how we are working to make a difference for elephants in the wild. Explore ways you and your students can help wildlife in your backyard and around the world.

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Education Kits

Our education kits are designed to engage and educate students with hands-on activities focused on animals here at the Zoo and around the world. Popular with both full-time teachers and parents who home school their children, these science kits include a teacher’s manual, books, artifacts, activities and more.

Education kits may be rented for two weeks for a $10 rental fee. Kits are to be picked up and returned at the Zoo’s Hix Institute between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.

Learn about the kit topics and contents below. 

Students will explore the world of orangutans and discover how they can make a difference in the conservation of these special primates.

Combines literature and science to connect young learners to the wonders of nature.

Guide students as they learn all about one of the world’s largest animals.

Explore the world of polar animals with your students as they learn about adaptations, habitats and conservation.

Students will use their senses to investigate the animal world.

Think locally with Indiana conservation project based learning.

Bring conservation to your classroom by exploring the relationship between endangered species and the wildlife trade.

Dive into the world of herpetofauna with your students and explore life cycles, special adaptations and conservation.

Learn about the wonder of life cycles

Visual Resource Guide

Are you planning a visit to the zoo and want to help your students understand what their field trip may be like? We've created an online resource to help students and teachers explore the Zoo experience before their visit.

Field Investigations

These engaging and educational programs offer students the chance to delve deeper on their Zoo visits. With two investigation options available, kids can look at zoo exhibit design or immerse themselves in animal observations and ethograms. Both programs include activities before, during and after your Field Trip. Learn more about these topics:

Ethograms and Animal Behavior –  Zoo keepers learn a lot from observing the animals they work with each day. Ethograms are used to record animal behavior. Learn how zoo keepers observe animals and complete your own ethogram.

Zoo Exhibit Design –  At a zoo or aquarium, it is the job of a designer to help create the habitat for an animal. In order to build a habitat for an animal in a zoo setting a designer must understand the needs of the animal, keepers and guests. Learn more about the design process and create your own exhibit design.

Project-Based Learning

The Indianapolis Zoo wishes to inspire and engage Indiana schools to take part in local conservation projects through Project-Based Learning and Service Learning projects. The Zoo will work with your school to provide resources and expertise to conduct local conservations projects in your communities.

Do you have a PBL project that ties directly to the Zoo, its habitats or animals? Send a short description below to see if you qualify for a limited number of free field trips tickets specifically offered to schools taking part in PBL.

What is Project-Based Learning? PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge. (As defined by Buck Institute for Education’s, BIE, website)

Learn More!