Introduce the zoo topic and explain to the class what they will be thinking about over the coming few weeks.
As an ice-breaker, sit the children in a large circle with one pupil in the middle without a chair. Label the pupils as one of three zoo animals - for example, monkey, lion and elephant. The child in the middle calls out the name of an animal, and everyone with that name must find another chair at the same time as the person in the middle.
Next, begin a discussion about a zoo. Have any of the children ever been to one? Ask them about their experiences. Talk about your experiences of going to a zoo. Discuss recent news stories connected with zoos, such as animals being born. Ask the children what their favourite animals are.
Ask them about some of the things they can see at a zoo, apart from animals, such as toilets, shops, bins and benches. Make a list on a whiteboard.
In groups of three or four, ask the children to design a zoo. Get them to think about where they would house the different animals and where they would put the cafe, toilets and so on.
Invite each group to present their ideas, and give pupils the opportunity to add details to their plans or remove or change items around. Talk about what they have done. For homework, ask each pupil to look at a different animal and try to find relevant drawings and newspaper cuttings.
Taking it further
In future weeks, ask children to pick an animal. Play musical chairs, but ask the pupils to move in the way their chosen animals would, including their facial expressions and the noises they make. Ask them to draw their chosen animal and list its characteristics, such as likes and dislikes and favourite food. Get them to play its character in a scenario, such as staff and customers in a fast-food restaurant.
In week three, look at the role of the zookeeper and ask the children to make masks of their chosen animal. In the last week, set them the task of devising and rehearsing a performance in their animal characters.
Where to find it
The lesson plan, including starters and games, was uploaded by Kath7770 and can be found at www.tes.co.ukthe-zoo
Visit zoo websites for plans and facilities to use as a template, such as Chester Zoo: www.chesterzoo.org.uk or London Zoo: www.zsl.org.