Fighting Extinction - Investigating Zoos

Fighting Extinction - Investigating Zoos

Lesson 2 of 4 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Foundation
  • Year 1 - 2
  • Science
  • Environmental
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Sustainability
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students investigate the role of conservation in zoos. They begin by finding out what conservation is and then look at a case study of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot. They then investigate animals and conservation further by working in groups to research an animal involved in a conservation program (if you are planning to visit a zoo after this lesson, then this animal can be found at the zoo you are visiting – alternative materials have been provided for those not visiting a zoo). Finally, students create an artwork of this animal in its natural habitat to share with classmates.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand what conservation is
  • understand why we need conservation programs for some animals

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • participate in class discussions
  • express an idea through drawing
  • conduct research
  • work independently and in groups

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions: 

Foundation Science:

  • Living things have basic needs, including food and water (ACSSU002)

Year 1 Science:

  • Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211)
  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022)

Year 2 Science:

  • Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU030)
  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE035)

Syllabus outcomes: STe-8NE, ST1-11LW, ST1-10LW

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinkingEthical Understanding 

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

Relevant parts of Foundation Science achievement standards: Students suggest how the environment affects them and other living things.

Relevant parts of Year 1 Science achievement standards: Students describe changes in their local environment and how different places meet the needs of living things.

Relevant parts of Year 2 Science achievement standards: Students describe changes to living things and describe examples of where science is used in people’s daily lives.

Unit of work: Fighting Extinction – Primary

Time required: 60-80 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in guided discussion, guide students through 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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