Create a Learning Experience
Pre- and Post-visit Animal Research
Have students choose an animal from Zoo Boise's Wildlife list
, do some research, and then present the information to students in the group during the Zoo Boise visit.
Questioning Strategies for ChaperonesTo create a learning experience at animal exhibits, ask questions! A questioning strategy will stimulate thinking and encourage more focused and detailed observations. Begin asking questions that are general and simple then move to questions that are more specific and challenging. Ask questions to which you do not know the answer or have several possible answers. Avoid asking too many questions that have simple “yes” or “no” answers. If a wrong answer is given, avoid saying it was “wrong”. Instead, try a response such as “You are close! Let’s see if we can find the real answer!” or “I can see why you would say that, but the answer is actually . . .”
Below are sample questions a group leader can ask while at an exhibit. In many cases, answers can be found on the exhibit signs. All questions may not apply to every exhibit so adjust the questioning strategy accordingly.
• What do you know about this animal?
• What do you notice about this exhibit?
• Why is the exhibit put together this way?
• What is the animal doing? Why?
• How many animals do you see in this exhibit?
• On which continent does this animal live?
• What other animals live on this continent?
• In what habitat does this animal live?
• What other animals live in this habitat?
• How many of you have seen this animal before?
• Is it behaving the same or different compared to the last time you saw this animal?
• What does this animal eat?
• Is it a predator or prey animal?
• How is this exhibit different/same as the previous exhibit?
• Discuss size, color, shape of animal mouths, eyes, body, legs, etc.
• Is this animal endangered? Why?
• What do you find interesting about this animal?
• If you cannot see an animal, where might it be?
• Many animals use sight as well as sound and smell to communicate.
• Close your eyes. What sounds do you hear? Can you identify the animal sounds?
• Close your eyes. Describe the different odors you smell. Can you identify the animal odors?
• How do you think this animal protects itself?