© 2003 Merry L. Morris

When your child is ready ...

to become a pretend zookeeper (in other words to have a small pet)

  1. Objectives:
    • Your child will learn what zookeepers do.
    • Your child will learn to ask zookeepers questions about their jobs.
    • Your child will learn the basics of animal care
    • Your child will develop planning skills
    • Your child will develop a sense of responsibility
  2. Activities which will lead to the desired outcome
    • Activities before the trip to the zoo
      • Read books about zookeepers to your child.
      • Visit a pet shop to see which pets are similar to ones found in the zoo and to decide which type your child wants to have as a pet.
      • Write a list of questions about the animal's care to ask a keeper at the zoo.
    • Activities during the trip to the zoo
      • Look at exhibits which display the type of animal most closely related to the type of pet your child wants. (For example, exhibits in the Bird House if your child wants a parakeet, exhibits in the Small Mammal House if your child wants a hamster, or exhibits in the reptile house if your child wants a turtle.)
      • Take photos of the exhibits.
      • Observe the keepers on their daily rounds.
      • Ask the keepers questions about the animal care.
  3. Activities after the trip to the zoo
    • Use the photos you took at the zoo as a guide for creating a home for your child's new pet.
    • Visit the pet shop and have your child find the necessary pet supplies which will help to create the new pet's home.
    • Have your child select his new pet.
    • Make a list of pet-care activities and create a schedule for your child to follow.
  4. Supplies for activities.
  5. Measure the outcome of the lesson.
    • Can your child list zookeeper duties?
    • Can your child ask zookeepers clear concise questions about their jobs duties?
    • Did your child contribute during the "planning for his new pet" stage of this lesson?
    • Does your child show that he understands the importance of a basic animal care routine by responsibly caring for his new pet?
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