Educational Activities You Can Do at Home
The Smithsonian's National Zoo is committed to supporting teachers, students and families around the globe as they face unprecedented new learning challenges. We are actively developing new materials to help learners of all ages respond to this challenging period, so check back frequently.
Below, you will find resources to engage learners in grades pre-K to 12 with science, the natural world, wildlife and conservation.
Animal Webcam Activities
The Zoo's live animal webcams make it easy to check in with African lions, Asian elephants, giant pandas and naked mole-rats, even when the Zoo is closed. Download the Webcam Activities packet to engage your child or classroom in looking closely and thinking deeply about animal behavior and habitats. This packet has games, worksheets and activities tied to key Next Generation Science Standards for grades K-5.
Target age: Activities meet Next Generation Science Standards for grades K-5, but are enjoyable by all.
Follow That Bird
A middle school science and technology curriculum unit that teaches core science concepts through student exploration of bird tracking tools, the data Smithsonian scientists collect with these tools, and how this information is used to support wildlife conservation.
Target age: Lessons meet Next Generation Science Standards for middle school.
Bridging the Americas
This cross-cultural environmental education program connects elementary students from North America and Latin America through the shared observation and enjoyment of local birds. To access online teacher resources, use password bta4teachers.
Target age: Open to grade 2, 3 and 4 classrooms in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
Wildlife Career Videos
“Other Duties As Assigned: the Secret World of Zoo Jobs” is a series of four playful videos that show you what it really means when you say “I want to work at a zoo.” In each video a different staff member takes you behind the scenes of his or her job and answers questions from curious students.
Target age: Early middle school; can be enjoyed by any grade.
Online Zoo Highlights Tour
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Zoo in person soon, but until then, take a virtual visit to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo with our online tour that offers interactive features to help you learn more about the incredible animals in our care.
Target age: All grades. Available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese.
ZooCrew Family Guide
This educational activity booklet will engage children and adults together in learning about the different animals at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo with games, activities, animal facts and stories about Zoo scientists at work!
Target age: Pre-K to grade 6. Also available in Spanish.
Lesson plans for middle school and high school educators and games and activities for animal lovers of all ages, using camera trap images of wildlife across the globe!
Target age: Middle and high school; some games and activities appropriate for younger grades.
Bird Migration Game
Help Wanda the Wood Thrush travel from her winter home in Costa Rica to her summer home in Maryland.
Target age: Grades K-5
Bird Nest Identification
Can you name the nester? Use the research hints to analyze nest photos and discover which bird built the pictured nest.
Target age: Middle and high school