Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Panda Curriculum Guides for Grades 5-8

Activity Overview and Objectives

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Activity 1
pdf file iconAnimal Classification
Using the giant panda as a guiding example, students will figure out how to classify three wild animals from domain down to genus and species (if possible).

Activity 2
pdf file iconSimilar Trees, Different Continents
Students will learn to identify local tree species that are similar to those occurring in giant panda habitat in China and prepare a leaf sampler showing four different types of leaves.

Activity 3
pdf file iconInterview Activity
Students will experience a broad array of viewpoints by collecting other people’s views on panda conservation issues.

Activity 4
pdf file iconGiant Panda's China Map Challenge
Students will research, plot on maps, and discuss Chinese cities, physical features, population, and biodiversity issues, with a special focus on the region in which giant pandas live.

Activity 5
pdf file iconPanda-monium: A Survival Game
Students will experience "firsthand" the hardships and fortunate times of the giant panda, with a particular emphasis on conservation-related issues.

Activity 6
pdf file iconChina Travel Convention
By assuming the role of China travel promoters, students will learn about Chinese geography, geology, history, and culture–and take a regional look at an expansive, complex country.

Activity 7
pdf file iconGiant Panda Role Play and Debate
Through fact-based role play and rational, level-headed debate, students will weigh the challenges and pros and cons of giant panda conservation and land use in giant panda habitat.

Activity 8
pdf file iconGiant Panda Behavior Watch
Objective & Overview: While at the Giant Panda Exhibit, students will choose and observe one of the Zoo's giant pandas and later "quantify" their "data" using either a bar graph or pie chart.

Activity 9
pdf file iconEndangered Species Survey
By researching the names, ranges, classification, and reasons for decline of 20 endangered species from around the world, students will learn more not only about the animals but also geography, ecology, and taxonomy.

Activity 10
pdf file iconThe Bear Facts
By researching basic natural history information about the world's bears, students will gain a better understanding of the unique giant panda and how it stands apart from its relatives.

Activity 11
pdf file iconGiant Panda Scrapbook
By perusing various media and assembling a scrapbook of press clippings, students will learn about giant pandas, zoo programs, and conservation.

Activity 12
pdf file iconGiant Panda Song
Through song, students will create lyrics relating to giant pandas and zoos.

Activity 13
pdf file iconGiant Panda P.R.
By developing a class public affairs campaign, students will increase their own awareness of conservation issues relating to giant pandas and other wildlife.

Activity 14
pdf file iconGiant Panda Heredity Exercise
Donning the imaginary coats of geneticists, students will try their hands at identifying bear DNA strands to determine the relatedness of species. While narrowly focused, this activity provides ample avenues for expanding discussions about genetics and zoo breeding.

pdf file iconAppendix