Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Panda Curriculum Guides for Grades 9-12

Activity Overview and Objectives

Get Acrobat ReaderEach of the following activities is available as an Adobe PDF file, which can be downloaded or opened using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader browser plug-in. If you cannot open or save the file, go to the external link iconAdobe website for more information.

Activity 1
pdf file iconInvestigating Behavior and Interdependence
Combining "fieldwork" and research, students will gain a better understanding of animal behavior and interdependence, through their focus on the interaction between two chosen species.

Activity 2
pdf file iconBiomes
Students will learn the term and different types of biomes. They will map out China's major biomes and select one on which to report, learning about plants and animals that live there. Starting with a discussion of giant pandas and their temperate forest habitat, this activity will likely broaden your students' horizons, helping them begin to picture the vast range of habitats and creatures living in China.

Activity 3
pdf file iconGiant Panda Landscape Activity
Students will juggle land-use planning issues relating to giant pandas and their interdependence with bamboo and other habitat characteristics, in the process learning about habitat fragmentation and other threats to giant pandas and other wildlife.

Activity 4
pdf file iconIslands of Uniqueness
Starting from classroom discussions of giant pandas and other Chinese wildlife, students will learn the terms divergence, endemism, and biological evolution and apply their budding knowledge of these topics through their investigations of remote corners of the globe famed for unique animals.

Activity 5
pdf file iconPanda Short Story
Students will draw upon their creativity and writing skills to write a short story that incorporates at its core a panda metaphor.

Activity 6
pdf file iconBamboo
Students will learn about bamboo, its diversity, distribution,
importance to giant pandas, and its many uses for humanity. They will report or speak on one selected aspect.

Activity 7
pdf file iconGiant Panda Behavior Watch
While at the Zoo, students will choose and observe one of the Zoo's giant pandas and three other species. They will present their data and compare rates of the various observed activities among the species.

Activity 8
pdf file iconWhat is an Endangered Species?
Drawing upon their eye for detail and research talents, students will research the national and international laws protecting an endangered species of their choice.

Activity 9
pdf file iconThe Bear Facts
By comparing and contrasting the natural history and threats facing giant pandas and another of the world's bear species, students will gain a better understanding of the animals and better appreciate their differences.

Activity 10
pdf file iconReintroductions
By researching the reintroduction of a wild animal, students will learn more about the costs of habitat destruction and of putting wildlife back from whence it came. Students will select a wild animal, report on its background (past), conservation efforts (present), and future.

Activity 11
pdf file iconGiant Panda Reintroduction Debate
By debating the pros and cons of giant panda reintroduction
possibilities, students will appreciate the complicated, ometimes controversial efforts involved in saving a species in this modern era.

Activity 12
pdf file iconZoos: Past and Present
Through surveys and research, students will learn about the evolution of zoos, from menageries to educational and conservation institutions.

Activity 13
pdf file iconAI, DNA Fingerprinting, and Cryopreservation
Students will investigate three modern techniques that geneticists use to breed endangered animals and identify them. Students will then follow up with coverage of how these techniques help people.