Zoos, Animals, and Museums
Lesson Plans and Resources

This page provides links to zoos and site about animals as well as museums.
This page was scanned for broken links and updated 1-3-2024.

Index: Zoos and Zoo Links, Zoo Lesson Plans, Zoology/Animal Centers/Directories, Zoology/Animal Lesson Plans (Marine Anumals/Fish, Mammals, Farm Animals, Reptiles/Amphibians, Birds. Insects, Spiders), Museums and Museum Lesson Plans

Zoos and Zoo Links   
Zoos of the World
Links to many zoo sites indexed by region. See also Zoos Worldwide and Zoos in the USA.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park
An excellent site with great photos and information. Meet their animals A to Z.

Minnesota Zoo

Brookfield Zoo
Chicago Zoological Society.

San Diego Zoo

Saint Louis Zoo

Sea World

The Shedd Aquarium
Virtual fish, frogs, and turtles!

The Electronic Zoo
If it has to do with zoos or animals, it's probably here.

Switch Zoo

Play animal games, make animal friends or see their teachers' resources.

Zoo Lesson Plans
Lets Go to the Zoo
A lesson plan for a field trip to the zoo! See also Visiting the Zoo.

All about the Zoo
Lesson plans from Teaching Heart.

Zoo Animals
An ESL lesson plan on zoo animal vocabulary.

International Zoo Educators Lesson Plans
Lessons on animals, biodiversity, and conservation.

Curriculum: San Diego Zoo
Lesson plans and curricula.

Lincoln Park Zoo Resources for Educators
Zoo links and curriculum guides.

Should Zoos Exist?
A 6th-grade lesson plan. See also Let's Debate: Animals in Zoos.

Zoos Helping Endangered Species
A 6th-grade lesson plans.

Zoology/Animal Directories
Animal Diversity Web
A searchable encyclopedia of the natural history of animals with information about thousands of animal species.

Zoology Resources
See also Selected Internet Resources - Zoology.

Z to A Zoology and Zoological Species
Information and pictures in reverse alphabetical order.

National Wildlife Federation
Excellent site with information on endangered species, habitats, and conservation.

The North American Bear Center
An excellent site with a great deal of information on North American Bears. The Center is located in Ely, Minnesota. See also Wildlife Research Institute.

Audubon Society
Birds, birds, and more birds!

Minnesota Raptor Center
Eagles, Hawks, Ospreys! Click on education for lesson ideas.

International Wolf Center
Images and information from the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.

Zoology/Animals Lesson Plans

Zoology Activities and Lessons Plans
More than 20 lesson plans from the Illinois State Museum.

National Wildlife Federation
Lesson plans by topic.

Animals Around Us
An elementary lesson plan exploring anuimals in the local environemnt.

Animal Lesson plans
Lesson plans on animal classification, animal behavior, invertebrates, and vertebrates.

National Wildlife Federation
Many lesson plans organized by topic.

Humane Education Lesson plans
Several lesson plans from the National Humane Education Society. See also Humane Education Online.

Animals Are Everywhere
A kindergarten lesson plan. S

Marine Animals/Fish
In the Company of Whales
A lesson plan for grades 6-8. See also Whales for another lesson plan for grades 6-8.

A Teacher's Guide with lesson plans for grades 4-8 from Sea World. See their similar teacher's guides.     

Tale of a Whale
A lesson plan adaptable to many grade levels from Smithsonian Education.

The Rise and Fall of the American Whaling Empire
A lesson plan from the Mystic Seaport Museum.

Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses
A Teacher's Guide for grades 4-8. See also the K-3 Teacher's Guide.

A teacher's guide for grades 4-8. See also the K-3 Teacher's Guide.

Exploring Our Oceans
A unit from the Yale New Haven Teachers Institute.

Coral Reef WebQuest
For AP Enviro-Science.

Contrasts in Blue: Life on the Caribbean Coral Reef and the Rocky Coast of Maine
Three lesson plans for grades 3-8 from the Smithsonian Institute.  

Coral Cam Lesson Plans
Fifteen lesson plans on topics related to coral reefs. Most are adaptable to a variety of grade levels.

Sea Shells
A K-2 lesson plan. See also Shells.

Horseshoe Crab Fun
An activity from the NWF.

Biomes: Freshwater and Seawater
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from Discovery Education. See also Acquatic Habitats for another middle-grade lesson plan from Discovery Education.

All About Fish
Teaching materials from the Wisconsin DNR.

The Minnesota Fish Quiz
Not a lesson plan, but this interactive, online quiz is a fun way to learn about Minnesota fish species and may be just what you need to motivate the boys in your classroom this spring!

How Many Fish Are in that Pond?
A high school lesson plan in which students learn about sampling and statistical methods used in estimating wildlife populations.

Fish and Ladders
A lesson plan for grades 5-8 about the spawning migration of Chinook Salmon. See the high school version of this lesson.

Creative Writing: I am a Fish
A lesson plan integrating science and creative writing. For an incredible amount of information on fish, go to Fishbase.

Fish is a Fish
A lesson plan for preK-grade 2.

Fish Sense
A lesson plan from the Minnesota DNR. See their other similar lesson plans.

Fish Dissection Lesson Plan
See also Perch Dissection.

Science - Fish Knowledge
Lesson plans from the Wisconsin DNR.

Getting to Know Some of Pennsylvania's Fishes
A lesson plan for grades 4-5.

Having Fish in the Classroom
A resource.

Fish Information Service (FINS)
An elaborate site providing information for aquarists.

Animals: Mammals Lesson Plans
(Lesson plans for fish/marine animals are listed above. Scroll past mammals for lesson plans on farm animals,   reptiles/amphibians, birds, insects, or spiders.

Animal Lesson Plans
Twelve lessons from Discovery Education  including a K-5 lesson titled Animal Classification.

What's a Mammal
A K-5 lesson plan. See also Magnificent Mammals.

Oh Deer!
A simulation in which students learn about the interdependence between animals and their habitat. 

Wildlife Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans for all grade levels from Penn State.

Wildlife Management Activity Guide Index
Lesson plans from the National park Service.

Bats Live
Many lesson plans for a variety of grade levels. See also Bats in the Classroom: Activities Across the Curriculum.

North American Bear Center
Many lesson plans and activities. See also Bears/Hibernation for a Pre-K activity.

Polar Bears
A literature-based 1st-grade lesson plan.  See also Why Polar Bears Are White.


A high school lesson plan from The Discovery Channel School.

The North American Bison Lesson Plan
For grades 3-5.

Tracking the Buffalo
Background information and classroom materials.

Big Cats
A lesson plan for grades 6-8.

A lesson plan for grades 6-8 in which students learn about characteristics of dogs and dog breeds. See also Breeds of Dogs and Dogs at Work.

Endangered Species 1: Why Are Species Endangered?
A lesson plan from Science Net Links. See also
Endangered Species 2: Working to Save Endangered Species

ABC of Endangered Species
A lesson plan for grades K-6 from Education World. See also Illustrating Endangered Species.

Endangered Species of PA
A high school lesson plan from Penn State University.

Schoolyard Habitats
Activity guides from the National Wildlife Federation.

Farm Animals
Names of Farm Animals and Sounds They Make
A K-2 lesson plan.  

Farm Animal Immigrants
A 5th-grade lesson plan in which students will identify a rare or endangered farm animal, locate its country of origin on a world map, and determine why it was an imported.

Fun at the Farm
Elementary-level activities.

Farm Animals Lesson Plan
For ESL.

Farm Animals
A "movement and music" lesson plan.

Sheep to Sweaters
An idea for an activity from Crayola.

All About Chickens
Chicken activities.

The Perfect Cow?
A high school lesson plan

The Story of Milk: From the Cow to the Cup
A K-2 lesson plan. See also Discover Dairy.

Wow that Cow: Cattle Byproducts
A lesson plan for grades K-4. See also Ultimate Harvesting Machine for a K-3 lesson.

Reptiles and Amphibians
Reviled and Revered
Reptiles and amphibians from the Smithsonian Institution. Scroll down the page for 5 lesson plans and resources.  Take a look at the Reptile Data Base for information about snakes and other reptiles.

Reptile Adaptation
A K-5 lesson plan from Discovery Education.

All About Reptiles
An elementary lesson plan.

Herp Care Collection
Advice for keeping a reptile in your home or classroom.

Amphibian Species of the World
A comprehensive resource from the American Museum of Natural History.

Amphibians and Reptiles

A 2nd-grade unit.

A middle school lesson plan from Discovery Education. See also Basic facts about Snakes.

Ambush Warriors
A  lesson plan on snakes for grades 7-8. See also The Guide to Snake Sightings Around your Home and Dealing with Snakes.

Come Out of Your Shell: All About Turtles
A preschool to grade 2 lesson plan. See also Tremendous Turtles.

Turtles and Tortoises
A lesson plan for grades 3-5.

Sea Turtles Classrooms
Interactive virtual learning.

Quick Color Wonder Turtle
An activity from Crayola.

All About Frogs
A lesson plan from Scholastic.

Frogs and Toads Are Different (But Still Friends)
An 2nd-grade lesson plan using the book, Frog and Toad Are Friends.
See also Comparing and Contrasting with Frog and Toad.

Frogs: Fact and Folklore
A middle school lesson plan from Discovery Education.|

Life Cycle of a Frog
An elementary lesson plan. See also The Frog Life Cycle.
The Mysterious Tadpole
Activities for using the book by this title with your 4th-graders.

Frog Dissection
See also Dissecting a Virtual Frog.

Raptor Center
Great site from the Minnesota Raptor Center.

Birds by Inquiry
A kindergarten lesson plan from Learn NC.

Birds through the Seasons
A 2nd-grade unit from Core Knowledge.

All About Birds WebQuest

Hummingbird Projects and Activities
Several Activities from Operation Ruby Throat.

Watch the Birdie
A 6-week unit for grades 5-6 in which students develop language arts skills while studying North American birds.

Follow that Bird
 Several middle school lesson plans from the Smithsonian. See also On the Fly: Studying Bird Migration and Behavior.

Massive Migrations
A lesson plan from the National Wildlife Federation.

Lesson Plans About Migration
Several lesson plans from Migration Science and Mystery.

Bridges to the Natural World
A curriculum guide for grades K-6 from New Jersey Audubon.

A high school lesson plan from Discovery Education.

Birding Basics
A primary-grade lesson plan. See also Birding Basics for grades 4-7 activity.

Make Way for the Ducklings Art Lesson
A lesson plan for grades 1-3 for this classic book by Robert McCloskey. See also Make Way for the Ducklings: A Bird's Eyeview of Geography.

Mr. Popper's Penguins
A lesson plan for this book by Richard and Florence Atwater. See also Demonstrating Comprehension through Journal Writing for another lesson plan using this book.

Tacky the Penguin
A synopsis, discussion, group activity and home activity for Helen Lester's Tacky the Penguin.  See also Penguins: Everything You Need, A to Z Themes - Winter.

Winter Animals
A primary-grade lesson plan about penguins from Scholastic.

Insects (general/lesson collections/lifecycle/characteristics, bees, butterflies, insect information and pictures)

Iowa State Entomology Index of Internet Resources
directory and search engine of insect-related resources on the Internet.

Insectlopedia Lesson Plans
A huge collection of insect lesson plans.

What's Bugging You?
Ideas for lesson plans and activities from Education World.

Using Live Insects in the Classroom
Information and activities from the Kentucky Bug Connection.

Insect Models
An Internet-based K-2 lesson plan.

Insect Mania
An elaborate 2nd-grade unit from Core Knowledge. See also Insects for another 2nd-grade unit.

The Ants Go Marching . . . into Your Lesson Plans!
Lesson ideas from Education World. See also The Ants Go Marching for a primary-grade lesson plan from Scholastic.

The Insect World
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from Discovery Education.

Inventing Insects
: A Creative Lesson Plan
A pre-K activity from Scholastic,

Insect Anatomy
A discovery-based lesson plan for grades 6-9.

Insects of the World
A WebQuest complete with an evaluation rubric. See also Creepy Crawly Insect Collection.

Plants and Animals: Partners in Pollination
Three lesson plans for grades 3-8 from the Smithsonian Institute.

Africanized Honey Bees
Sets of lesson plans about bees for all grade levels.

Honey Bees and Pollination
A lesson plan for grades 4-6.

Solitary and Social Bees
Another lesson plan for grades 4-6.

A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from Discovery Education. See also Pollination Parties.

Bee Unit Study
Information and activities for a primary-grade unit.

Butterfly Website: Butterfly Teaching Tools

Scroll down the page to find many lesson plans. Click on gallery to see butterfly images.

Life Cycles of Butterflies
A lesson plan for grades K-1. See other Butterfly Teaching Tools.

Monarch Butterflies
Eight days of primary-grade activities.

Butterfly Cycle
A 2nd-grade art lesson plan that uses Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Butterfly WebQuest
Appears to be elementary level.

A Butterfly's Home
A lesson plan for grades K-2 on creating a butterfly garden.

Butterfly Symmetry
An activity from Scholastic.

Good source for insect information from Orkin.

Iowa State University Entomology Image Gallery
More great insect pictures!

Be Nice to Spiders
A primary-grade lesson plan from Scholastic.


An elementary unit with seven lesson plans.   

Now We Know Spiders
One lesson plan from the above unit using the book Anansi the Spider by G. McDermott.

Under the Spell of Spiders
Activities for ages 5-8 from the Smithsonian.

Spider Web Engineering STEM Challenge
A 2-period lesson plan.

A Spider WebQuest
See also Spider WebQuest.

Museums and Museum Lesson Plans

The links below take you to museums and lesson plans about museum collections.

How to Plan a Field Trip Like a Pro
Good source of information

Art Museum Field Trip
from teachers
. See also Going to the Art Museum.

20 Wonderful Online Museums

Plan a virtual field trip! See also Take a Virtual Field Trip -  Without Leaving Your Classroom.

Art Museums Worldwide

National Park Service - Teaching with Museum Collections
Many lesson plans from museums at U.S. National Psrks!

Guggenheim Museum
Pick New York, Bilbao, Venice, Berlin, or Las Vegas!

Digital Museums of Canada
Online cultural content.

The Smithsonian Institute
As good as you'd expect it to be! Find educational resources in their Learning Lab.

Colonial Williamsburg
Take a virtual field trip.

National Canal Museum
See their educational resources.

University of Pennsylvania Museum (archaeology and anthropology)

Institute of Nautical Archeology
Visit their virtual museum and see over 1000 images.

UC Museum of Paleontology (Dinosaurs!!)
See their K-12 resources, including lesson plans.

Oakland Museum of California
Explore the art, history, and natural science of California.

Franklin Institute Science Museum

The Field Museum (Chicago)
See their many Learning Resources.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
See their Free Online Learning resources.

Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art
Nice online exhibits.
Whitney Museum of American Art
See their excellent Teaching Materials.

Metropolitan Art Museum -  New York
See their many lesson plans.

San Diego Art Museum
See their collection of lesson plans.       

Chicago Art Institute
See their resources for teachers.

Museum of Modern Art
See their resources for teachers.

Milwaukee Museum
See their Educator Guide.

Mystic Seaport Museum
See their lesson plans.

Minnesota History Center
From the Minnesota Historical Society.

Minnesota Children's Museum

The Science Museum of Minnesota

Minnesota Transportation Museum

Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum

US Holocaust Museum
They have many excellent online tools for teaching about the holocaust.

International Spy Museum - Washington, D.C.
They offer a variety of lesson plans and activities "from the Civil War to 9/11."

USS Hornet Museum
Bring an aircraft carrier to your classroom!

The National World War II Museum
See their Educator Resources.

Atomic Bomb Museum
See also Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

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