Switch Zoo Lesson Plans
Language Arts and Science Lesson Plans
appleInterdisciplinary Lesson Plans - Grades 5-8
by Mary Paley, Kamila Smith, Kara Ford, and Neil Shapiro,
Philip Livingston Magnet Academy in Albany, New York

The result of a collaboration between four middle school teachers, these lesson plans are designed to be used either for an interdisciplinary activity, or for separate science and language arts projects. After making new animals, students will write stories, poems, persuasive essays, or field reports about them, based on their research into the characteristics of the real animals that make up their new creatures.

To read work written by seventh grade students using the interdisciplinary lesson plans, visit Seven Poems and a Story.

Creative Writing - Grades 2-4
Making new animals in Switch Zoo is fun way to motivate young students to develop writing skills and discover that writing can be fun. This plan are designed to foster creative thinking and expression. Students make new animals, then choose a favorite, learn about the characteristics of the animals that make up their new creature, write a story about the animal, and share their story.

Science - Grades 2-4
Take your budding scientists to a zoo like no other. This lesson plan is designed to expand students' knowledge of animals and develop critical thinking skills. The writing excercise will engage students in the creative application of that knowledge, as information about the characteristics of animals and their habitats is used to describe imaginary creatures.

Art Lesson Plans
animal drawingMedieval Art Mixed Breed Animals Lesson Plan - Grades 3-6
by Linda Woods, St. John's Lower School in Houston, Texas

animal drawingThis art lesson plan references fantastic beasts in myth and legend during the Middle Ages, and uses Switch Zoo to create mixed breed animals.

To see drawings created by fifth grade students using the lesson plan, visit the slideshow Mixed Breed Animals.

Field Trips
animal drawingThese fun, guided activities will teach your students how to make and name animals in Switch Zoo; write stories, poems, persuasive essays, or field reports about them; and explore the creative possibilities of making music from sampled sounds.

Make New Animals
Join this field trip for a tour of Switch Zoo and learn how to make and name new animals.

Creative Writing Field Trip to Switch Zoo
Learn how to make an animal in Switch Zoo, then write a story or poem about it. The field trip offers story ideas and walks students through the process of making an animal, and writing a title and story.

Explore Animal Music
On this field trip, your students will hear classical music 'performed' by animals. This exercise is designed to illustrate the creative possibilities of using sampled sounds as instruments. Also, check out "How the animal soundtracks were made" — an interview with the arranger.