Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



CurriculumAligned with National Science Standards Grades 5 to 8

helps students make informed decisions to conserve temperate forests in the United States and central China, habitat of the endangered giant panda.

Through classroom activities, on-line simulations, and field investigations students learn about the important role temperate forests play in local and global ecosystems. Action steps culminate in a Class Conservation Action Plan.

Introduction Introduction 1M PDF
This includes national science and social studies standards alignments, suggestions for using the curriculum, and tips for integrating our interactives into your existing curricula.

Module 1 ~ In My Own Backyard 1.2M PDF
Students locate the biome in which they live, explore a local habitat, and conduct a biological inventory to assess habitat health and natural and human impacts to this habitat.
Module 1 Core Reading 115k PDF

Module 2 ~ Understanding Habitat: The Temperate Forest Biome 1.3M PDF
Students explore the temperate forest biome through A Walk in the Forest, a virtual forest field study, and through hands-on field studies in a local forest or woodland.
Module 2 Core Reading 355k PDF

Module 3 ~ Exploring the Temperate Forest: Biodiversity and Interdependence 1.1M PDF
Students examine flora and fauna from the two most biodiverse temperate forest regions, central China and Appalachia, and monitor the impacts of habitat loss and degradation on forest organisms and biodiversity.
Module 3 Core Reading 550k PDF

Module 4 ~ Smithsonian's National Zoological Park Research and Conservation 1.2M PDF
Students apply National Zoo scientific research, scientific knowledge, and their own observations to design the optimal zoo habitat in this interactive Design a Panda Habitat activity.
Module 4 Core Reading 405k PDF

Module 5 ~ Finding Common Ground: People, Pandas, and Conservation
875k PDF
Through a full-inquiry investigation involving a role play, debate, and Habitat Adventure: Panda Challenge game on the temperate forests of central China, students help create a viable conservation model that balances the needs of people and animals.
Module 5 Core Reading 260k PDF

Module 6 ~ What You Can Do! 1.3M PDF
Students put their knowledge into action by creating their own Class Conservation Action Plan, building on artifacts in their Habitat Journals and Action Plan Portfolios.
Module 6 Core Reading 130k PDF


Notes and Sources 60k PDF


Curriculum Resources

Appendix 1.7M PDF
Includes core student background readings for all modules.

Teacher Resources
Includes additional extension and supplemental activities.

Conservation Gallery

Send us your students' artifacts from Finding Common Ground and they might be spotlighted in our Gallery!

SOL Correlations

See how Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools (SOL) correlates with the national science standards for this curriculum. (PDF)