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August 7, 2012

Last Day of Vacation and Zoo Maps

It's the last day of vacation and we decided to take the boys to the zoo. It's been a while since our zoo membership expired, but we still had one family pass that included parking. It was a good "cheap" outing. I was determined to not think about school or my to do list at all... That is until my boys grabbed zoo maps and I saw how they have changed them since the last time we visited.
The maps that I remember in past visits were huge - nowadays our zoo has a smaller size (aka laminator packet size after a slight trim).  There is so much we can do with a zoo map, and they are a free resource - so I grabbed a whole class set.  

Here are 4 activities I think I will do 
using my "soon to be laminated" stack of maps:

First thing I thought of using them for were for map practice - beginning of the year - North, South, East, West type of things.  We could do it for a whole class lesson, then they can work with a partner to share and find.
Then I thought of Science - how the first 2 units are ALL about ecosystems and how the animals are grouped by the different ecosystems.  This would work perfect as a resource for when we make our Ecosystem Dioramas.  

Of course with Math, these maps would work for reviewing grids and ordered pairs.  The top has letters, and the side of the map has numbers.

At the end of the year, these could also work when we make our Zoo Maps in Math - the students create their own zoo to review area and perimeter - the larger animals need more space than the smaller animals.  The kids love the activity.  

So, I guess I did think about school today - but I still had fun celebrating the end of summer with my little family.  Hope these ideas help you as well.  If you don't have a zoo near you, perhaps you could check online as many zoos have their maps in a printable format to download.  

Hope you had a great day!


  1. Ooooo I LOVE all of your ideas re: the maps! We have a family zoo pass and my son has been begging to go since we haven't been in about 2 weeks. Now I'm going to check out our maps when we return! Thanks for all of the awesome ideas!

  2. What great ideas! Glad you had a fun day with your family...:)

    Keep Calm & Imagine

    1. It was a perfect day - even my kids were on their best behavior!

  3. This is a great idea! We are right near the Bronx Zoo (walking distance to my delight I LOVE THE ZOO maybe too much) so my kiddies will have lots of prior knowledge to reference it. It would be so authentic!



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