Teach and Learn

On this page: Educational Games | Lesson Plans | Resources | Visitors' Pages | Links

Educational Games
These animal-themed games make it fun to learn about animals' characteristics and habitats. You can even create your own new species!

Switch Zoo - Make New Animals
Visitors to this unique zoo make their own new creatures by switching the animals' heads, legs and tails. While you play, you can read facts about the animals that make up your new beast.

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Your can learn more about the animals in Switch Zoo by reading their Profiles in the Resources section below.

Learn how to make new animals in Switch Zoo by taking the Guided Tour: Make New Animals. It's a hands-on, step-by-step guide so you will make animals while you learn!

How ToYou can also click the How To button on the fence in the game to open the How to Play panel and find out about everything you can do in the zoo.

Build an Online HabitatBuild an Online Habitat
Match animals to the environment best suited for their survival. A compatibility meter and a thermometer help evaluate the environment.

Build a Biome
Build a Biome
In the newest game at Switch Zoo, you can build six of world's biomes by choosing the right plants, animal, temperature range and precipitation. Each biome begins with a map and description to introduce the biome you're about to build: Arctic tundra, taiga, deciduous forest, grass savanna, tropical rainforest, or desert. Build all six biomes to become a Biome Master.

Feeding Time at Switch ZooFeeding Time at Switch Zoo
Have fun learning about carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, and scavengers with three games based on animals' diets.

Feeding time for a yellow-billed storkPlease DO Feed the Animals
Learn the meaning of carnivore, herbivore and omnivore, then sort the animals according to their diet type.

Scavengers HuntScavengers Hunt
Can you spot a scavenger in a crowd? Find out by choosing scavengers and non-scavengers from groups of animals. The answers might surprise you.

Meerkat Grab-a SnackMeerkat Grab-a-Snack
Score points by catching insects, worms, scorpions and other meerkat delicacies when they pop out of holes in the ground.

Where Do I Live?Where Do I Live?
This animal geography game will challenge your knowledge of where animals live, as you move the animals to their natural homes. Use the Animal Homing Device to see the answer for animals you can't place.

Lesson Plans
For art, science, creative writing and persuasive writing projects. These lesson plans use Switch Zoo animals to spark interest and creativity.

Field Trip - Make New Animals
Field Trips
Guided Tour: Make New Animals
This guided, hands-on activity is a great way for your students to learn how to make and name new animals in Switch Zoo.

Field Trip: Creative Writing
On this field trip, your students will be taken through the process of making an animal and writing a short story or poem about it.

Field Trip: Explore Animal Music
An exploration of music created from recorded sounds of animals.

Interdisciplinary Lesson PlansInterdisciplinary Lesson Plans
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, creative writing or persuasive writing projects.

Medieval Art Mixed Breed AnimalsMedieval Art Mixed Breed Animals
Art teacher Linda Woods shares her great lesson plan that references fantastic beasts in myth and legend, and uses Switch Zoo to generate ideas. To see drawings created by fifth grade students using the lesson plan, go to Mixed Breed Animal Drawings.

More Lesson PlansMore Lesson Plans
Visit the Lesson Plans page for simple science and creative writing plans for younger children, and links to Switch Zoo Lesson Plans off-site.

For on-site research: 142 animal profiles and a US endangered species map.

Animal ProfilesAnimal Profiles
142 animal species inhabit Switch Zoo and they are all profiled here, so students have easy access to interesting facts about the real animals that make up their fictional combination animals. Use the Google search tool on any page to quickly find animals.

Endangered Species MapEndangered Species Map
This interactive map of the United States provides information about the endangered species of each state. The color key includes descriptions of the biomes.

Visitors' Pages
Switch Zoo visitors contribute funny and creative animal names, mixed animal drawings, stories and poems about the animals, and comments.

Mixed Breed Animal DrawingsMixed Breed Animal Drawings
Enjoy this collection of beautiful "mixed-breed animals" created by students at St. John's Lower School, in Houston, Texas. Art teachers — don't miss the Art Lesson Plans.

Stories and PoemsStories and Poems
Students at Philip Livingston Magnet Academy in Albany, NY wrote these wonderful stories and poems. English teacher, Mary Paley, shares her Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans in the Lesson Plans section.

The Hall of NamesThe Hall of Names
A collection of funny and creative names visitors have given the animals they made at Switch Zoo.

Visitors' CommentsVisitors' Comments
A sampling of email received at Switch Zoo.

Links to Addional Resources
Animal Research Resources
Find a wealth of interesting and informative animal information sites to conduct research for stories, reports, and field guides.

Educators' Resources
These sites offer resources for teachers and other educational professionals.