The Vertebrates Workshop

The Vertebrates Workshop

Activity designed for primary years five and six students.

 

Interactively, the students learn the main characteristics of the vertebrates, with the help of a work script and employing interactive panels, biological materials from the animals in our collection, magnifying binoculars and other resources.

 

In this way, the students have the leading role in their own learning.

When the workshop finishes, the group can spend the rest of the day at the Zoo, until closing time.

Duration: 2 hours

Start time: 10.00 am – 12.00 pm

To get the most out of The Vertebrates Workshop at the Zoo, we suggest studying the following aspects at school before the visit:

 

To understand the students’ interests and increase motivation about the animals:

  • Look at x-rays and name the principal bones.
  • Make a mural in class where you write down and/or draw the things that the students want to know about vertebrates.
  • Put a box in the classroom where students can place the questions they may have at any time and later study them. 
  • Collect books, stories, songs, photos, cards, worksheets or other materials about the animals that the children can obtain.
  • Bring in videos, CDs or other materials on electronic supports about these animals. 
  • Visit the animal files on the website for the Barcelona Zoo.

 

To observe animals:

  • Take a field trip to observe animals, looking for spoor, prints, burrows, excrements, listening to birdsong, as well as collecting feathers and abandoned nests, so that students can deduct the presence of vertebrates in our natural environment.
  • Ask students who have a pet and vertebrate to prepare, individually or in groups, an explanation about this animal to present to their classmates with the help of photographs or the animal itself. 

 

As specific objectives:

  • Learn about the differences between vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as the representation and distribution of these animals in nature.
  • Discover the main classes of vertebrates.  
  • Learn about the existence of endangered animals on every continent.
  • Identify the principal parts of vertebrates' skeletons.
  • Knowledge of the existence of aquatic, land and flying vertebrates.

The Vertebrates Workshop at the Zoo teaches students about the main characteristics of vertebrates, with teaching adapted to their age and focusing on participation. 

 

This workshop is presented in a specially equipped classroom, where the educator (biologist) explains the outline of the activity and supervises its running. 
First, a 14-minute video is shown about the characteristics of vertebrates. The class group is divided into five sub-groups, where each group will work on one aspect about vertebrates, with the support of diverse materials, an interactive panel and a work guide. All students move around the different displays.

 

The contents studied are:

  • Introduction to the classification of vertebrates, highlighting the fact that they are a very small group of the animal world.
  • Comparison between the different outside layers of vertebrates using magnifying binoculars.
  • Study of vertebrate reproduction types: oviparity, ovoviviparity and viviparity.
  • Discovery of the senses that are most used by each class of vertebrates, using the recorded sounds of different animals, different smells and tastes and touch.

 

The tour of the grounds is done with the teacher. We suggest making stops, which can be prepared by visiting the animal files and the virtual visitavailable on this web page, at the following facilities:

  • The Aviary.
  • The hyacinth macaw, the largest psittacidae and that at the greatest risk of extinction.
  • The Nicobar pigeon, a columbiform bird in serious danger.
  • The kangaroo, an example of a marsupial mammal.
  • The gnu, an example of bovidae.
  • The deer,  an example of an autochthonous cervid.
  • The dolphin or sea lion, examples of aquatic mammals.
  • The pinguin,  an example of an aquatic bird.
  • The Terrarium, where students can observe a snake, a turtle and a crocodrile.
  • The chimpanzees chimpanzees and drills, examples of seriously endangered primates. 
  • TheIberian wolf, an autochthonous canine now extinct in Catalonia.
  • The otter, an example of an autochthonous mammal that has been successfully reintroduced with the collaboration of the Barcelona Zoo. 
  • The African canine in serious danger. 

Suggestions about activities to do after The Vertebrates Workshop at the Barcelona Zoo: 

 

Social and natural sciences space:

  • Make a list of five species of vertebrates and five invertebrates that are found in neighbourhood or city markets.
  • Classify the animals above into their corresponding classes.
  • Make a list of five species of vertebrates and five invertebrates that are found in the schoolyard or in a nearby garden or square. Classify the animals above into their corresponding classes.
  • Group illustrations of animals by their outside layers. 
  • Identify the sounds of some animals.
  • Identify smells with your eyes closed.
  • Prepare a dossier about an endangered species including sections such as their biology, habitat, past and present distribution, the causes of their reduction or extinction and possible protection methods. 

 

Evaluation of learning obtained:

  • When looking at photographs, flash cards or videos of animals, students must establish: if they are vertebrates or not, their type of external layer, reproduction type and their most highly developed sensory organs.

The Vertebrates Workshop at the Zoo has been designed for students in year 5 and 6 of primary school in which they learn about the main characteristics of vertebrates in a very participative and entertaining way. 

 

CURRICULUM INTEGRATION OF THE VERTEBRATES WORKSHOP

 

CROSS-CUTTING CURRICULUM AREAS

Education in favour of the environment.

 

RELATIONSHIP TO THE CURRICULUM DISCIPLINES

Living beings and their relationship to the environment.

OBJECTIVES

With respect to knowledge, facts and ideas:

Study the main characteristics of vertebrates: classification, external layers, reproduction and sensory organs.


With respect to procedures:

Introduction to the study of taxonomy and classification, done in small groups.


With respect to attitudes and values:

  • To foster respect for animals through being better informed.
  • To awaken students’ awareness about protecting nature.

Departament d'Educació del Zoo
Pg. Circumval.lació, 3
08003 Barcelona 

 

E-mailescolazoo@bsmsa.cat
Ph: 902 45 75 45 
Fax: 932 252 563 

 

Secretary’s office hours:
Monday to Friday: 9.00 am to 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm