Teacher Resources

Teacher Resources

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Educator Appreciation Day
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Educator Appreciation Day

August 28 • 9am-7pm • Free for teachers; $15 for family members • Registration opens August 1

A special day for teachers, along with their families, to explore the Zoo and explore the different ways in which you can connect the Zoo to your classroom.  Free admission for teachers and special discounted admission for your family. Registration is required.  

Animal Enrichment Challenge

October 1 • 9am-3pm • $25 • Registration opens on August 1

Animal enrichment materials and activities are a key component of keeping animals healthy at the Zoo. Enrichment comes in all shapes, sizes, smells, etc. and is designed to stimulate natural behaviors and engage an animal’s body and brain. In this program, educators (grades 3-12) will delve into the enrichment program here at the Zoo and discover how their students can try their hand at creating their own animal enrichment ideas. Educators who participate in this program will have the opportunity to enter their students in the Indianapolis Zoo Animal Enrichment Challenge. Students will research and gather information, develop ideas, create a design, generate a prototype, test it, and make revisions. The Enrichment Challenge aligns with both the Indiana Academic Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.  

Sign Up For the Animal Enrichment Challenge Here!

Space is limited. For registration assistance or questions, please email us at edustaff@indyzoo.com for the fastest response.

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Online Resources for Teachers and Students
NEW! LIVE VIDEO CHATS

Chat with a Zoo Educator virtually! 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. Sessions can accommodate up to 35 students. A variety of program topics are available. If you do not see the topic you would like, custom programs may sometimes be accommodated if time allows. Please e-mail us at edustaff@indyzoo.com to discuss custom topics.

Topics

Adaptations • Butterflies • Elephants • Habitats • Indiana Wildlife • Orangutans • Penguins • Rain Forests • Walrus & other Pinnipeds • Wildlife Conservation • Zoo Careers • Zoo Math

Q&A Sessions

Not looking for a lesson but have a lot of questions? You and your students can connect with a Zoo Educator to do a question and answer session on a topic. In order to prepare and answer as many questions as possible we will ask for questions to be submitted at least a week before the date of the program.

Video Chat Fees

  • Question & Answer Sessions $50
  • Listed Topic $75
  • Custom Programs $100

Sign Up Now!

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Indianapolis Prize Conservation Hero Profiles

The Indianapolis Prize recognizes the world’s most successful animal conservationists. 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.

2021 Indianapolis Prize Winner and Finalists

Indianapolis Prize Winners Playlist

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.

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.

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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!