It seems that all little kids love animals. They love watching animal videos. They love reading animal books and making the accompanying sounds. And they love the zoo. If the zoo is too far away or too expensive for a trip right now, you can still take your little people to the zoo with a fun unit study. These ideas will help you plan your own At the Zoo unit study. *If you need help with planning a unit study, you can find a free printable unit study planner at this post.
Books to readRoar at the Zoo from Parragon Books- a board book with animal sound buttons
The View at the Zoo by Kathleen Long Bostrom- a rhyming story about the opening of the zoo and the visitors that arrive
My Visit to the Zoo by Aliki- an up close look at the animals of the zoo
Zoo by Gail Gibbons- a look at the workings of the zoo with great pictures and plain, easy-to-understand words from one of my favorite authors for little ones
If Anything Ever Goes Wrong at the Zoo by Mary Jane Kendrick- a cute story about a little girl who offers to take charge of the zoo's residents if anything ever goes wrong at the zoo
'Twas the Day Before Zoo Day by Catherine Ipcizade- an adaptation of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas where all of the animals and zookeepers are preparing for the upcoming Zoo Day
Z is for Zookeeper: a Zoo Alphabet by Marie and Roland Smith- an alphabet book written around the theme of what you'll find at the zoo
I Want to Be a Zookeeper by Dan Liebman- a book with real photographs of a variety of people who work as keepers in the zoo
Curious George Goes to the Zoo by H.A.Rey- a story of the mischievous little monkey and his adventures at the zoo
1,2,3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle- an introduction to numbers and counting with the animals from the zoo in typical great illustrations from Eric Carle
Learning activitiesIf you're actually headed to the zoo during your study, pick up some free printable zoo scavenger sheets from 123 Homeschool 4 Me.
This I Spy Zoo Animals from School Time Snippets is another great way to hunt for animals at the zoo.
Get kids moving with zoo themed yoga poses.
Playdough to Plato has some great animal and zoo themed finger puppets and rhymes to use them with.
You can use these free animal report sheets to write about an animal you find at the zoo or a zoo animal that you research. There are report printables for a variety of ages, including preschool and kindergarten as well as older kids.
There are some zoo themed words to add to a word wall here. You do have to have a Teachers Pay Teachers account, but the printable is free.
Zoo animal BINGO would be fun to use during a trip to the zoo. But you could also play it by just printing an extra copy, cutting it apart and drawing the pictures randomly from a cup.
Make a leopard paper-plate craft to go along with another zoo themed book- Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire.
Crafts and snacks
I Heart Crafty Things has some cute giraffe finger puppets to make.
Have some zoo snack mix after a day of reading zoo books and doing activities.
Make lions, and tigers, and bears (oh, my!) with these cute paper plate crafts.
These cute monkey sandwiches- along with sliced bananas- would make a cute zoo themed snack or lunch.
Other resourcesHomeschool Share has a free unit study/lapbook for the zoo.
This cute YouTube video has lots of zoo animals to go along with the ABCs.
If you can't take a trip to the zoo, this Zoo Safari video from PBS would be a good way to meet many zoo animals and talk about them.