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Conservation Classroom: Caring About Conservation

What is conservation? Why is it important? Caring About Conservation explores the meaning of "conservation," some of the animals Smithsonian scientists are trying to save, and what we can all do to protect wildlife.

This virtual school program is part of Conservation Classroom, a collection of monthly lessons for K-5 students. Each lesson has four elements: wonder (video), engage (live virtual program), act (activities), and connect (video). Follow along with all four parts or pick and choose the videos and activities you want to explore. 

Grades: K-5 

Standards: Supports NGSS K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3, K-2-ETS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2, 2-LS4-1, 3-LS2-1, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4, 3-5-ETS1-2 

Topics: conservation, sustainability, animals, wildlife, science

Cost: Free

I Wonder decorative thumbnail


I wonder... what is conservation? Bring your curiosity along on an adventure to discover what conservation means and what it has to do with animals.

A Panamanian golden frog hatchling climbs up the glass of its enclosure.


Air Date: September 20, 2023

In this free, live virtual program, students will learn about wildlife conservation and meet some of the animals Smithsonian scientists are working to save. Program is hosted in Zoom webinar. Recording will be made available approximately 48 hours after the live program. Please note: audio and video are disabled for participants but students can still engage via polls, chat, Q&A and emojis.

Access: ASL, live captions

Language: English, Spanish (simulcast)

Recording Passcode: i*!Y89NJ


Collage of sample educational activity sheets


During the program, follow along with a matching activity that identifies which actions save each listed species. Then, complete the post-program drawing activity to reveal how you will be a conservationist.

Teachers and adults, send your students' drawings to the Zoo's education team at

Conservation Matching

Conservationist Drawing

Career Connections text on an illustrated background with elephants, hearts, and checkmarks


Meet Mel, a conservation biologist who uses spy-like technology to study animals and discover how we can protect them.

For Educators

Educator's Materials

Conservation Classroom: Caring About Conservation ­­s best suited for grades K-5. The full lesson consists of two videos, a live program, and two activities. Refer to the Smithsonian Learning Lab collection to help teach this lesson.

Learning Lab

Letter to Guardians

After participating in the live program, print or send the following letter to guardians, explaining what their student learned in this lesson and how they can continue to engage from home.

Guardian Letter