Fighting Extinction - Exploring Zoos and Conservation

Fighting Extinction - Exploring Zoos and Conservation

Lesson 3 of 4 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 3 - 4
  • Science
  • Environmental
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Sustainability
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this lesson, students investigate the role of conservation in zoos. They begin by exploring why we need to conserve living things and investigate conservation programs as having three key parts: 1. Breeding and release, 2. Reducing threats in the wild, and 3. Education and action. Students look at the Eastern Barred Bandicoot as a successful local conservation program and the Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU) as a successful international conservation program. Students then research an Australian animal involved in a conservation program and create a scientific poster based on their research.

Students will...

Learning intentions:

  • understand what conservation is
  • understand why we need conservation programs for some animals
  • understand what the main features of a conservation program are

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • participate in class discussions
  • work collaboratively
  • conduct research
  • create a poster to present research
  • apply critical thinking skills

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 3 Science:

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)
  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051)

Year 4 Science:

  • Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE062)

Syllabus outcomes: ST2-10LW, ST2-11LW

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinkingEthical Understanding 

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2, OI.7, OI.9

Relevant parts of Year 3 Science achievement standards: Students group living things based on observable features and describe how they can use science investigations to respond to questions.

Relevant parts of Year 4 Science achievement standards: Students describe relationships that assist the survival of living thing, and identify when science is used to understand the effect of their actions.

Unit of work: Fighting Extinction – Primary

Time required: 80 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in discussion, guide students through research and poster making activities

Resources required


  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving

Additional Info

This lesson has been developed in partnership with Zoos Victoria. Zoos Victoria is a zoo-based conservation organisation whose mission is to fight extinction and support Victorians to be the world’s most wildlife friendly community through being caring, informed and active. Zoos Victoria operate three zoos: Werribee Open Range ZooMelbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary. Click here to find out more about Zoos Victoria and their work on fighting extinction.

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