Animal Behaviour Workshop

Animal Behaviour Workshop

The Animal Behaviour Workshop at the Zoo is an activity that presents the study of vertebrates’ behaviour.


The collection of animals at our Zoo includes solitary and gregarious species, with innate and learned behaviours that have different levels of complexity. The study and observation of these animals leads to better understanding of different behavioural types and to eliminate anthropomorphic interpretations.


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

Duration: 2 hours

Start time: 10.00 am – 10.30 am – 12.00 am – 12.30 pm – 2.00 pm

To get the most out of the Animal Behaviour 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: 

  • Put a box in the classroom where students can place the questions they may have at any time and later study them.
  • Collect photographs, magazine articles, cards, worksheets and other materials about animal behaviour that the students can obtain. 
  • Bring in videos, CDs or other materials on electronic supports about this subject.


To observe animals: 

  • Ask students who have a pet and vertebrate to prepare, individually or in groups, an explanation about its behaviour during the reproduction period to present to their classmates with the help of photographs or the animal itself. 


As specific objectives: 

  • Present the idea of animal behaviour and identify the most common types of behaviour.
  • Innate and learned behaviour.

The Animal Behaviour Workshop at the Zoo reveals the different types of behaviours adopted by vertebrates in an entertaining and informative manner adapted to the students' ages. 


  1. Short presentation with slides of different aspects of animal behaviour. 
  2. Observation and handling of different objects coming from animals in our collection. 
  3. Guided tour by a Zoo educator (biologist) of the Zoo to learn more about the following contents: 
    • Introduction to innate and learned behaviour.
    • Chemical, acoustic and visual communication.
    • Territoriality and hierarchy.
    • Courting and courtship displays. 
    • Aggressiveness and submission.

Suggestions for activities to do after the Animal Behaviour Workshop at the Barcelona Zoo: 


Natural sciences space:   

  • Make an individual dossier of different animal behaviours with at least one example of each behavioural type.
  • Do a group project on some aspect of animal behaviour.
  • Compare different behavioural strategies to obtain the same objective, reproduction for example.
  • Look for similarities and differences between the behaviour of primates and humans.
  • Make a record sheet to observe the behaviour of a species selected by the students.


Evaluation of learning obtained: 

  • Create an imaginary situation and explain how different species would behave in this case.
  • Describe the learned and innate behaviour and give at least two examples of each.



Education in favour of the environment. 


Living organisms. 



With respect to knowledge, facts and ideas: 

Introduce the concepts of animal behaviour, innate behaviour and learned behaviour. 

With respect to procedures: 

Learn to carefully observe animals’ behaviour and draw conclusions.  

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
Ph: 902 45 75 45 
Fax: 932 252 563 


Secretary's office hours:
Monday to friday: fomr 9.00 am to 1.30 and 3.00 pm to 4.30