Look and Touch Workshop
Activity designed for primary year three, four, five and six students.
By active participation, students will learn about the needs of animals in captivity, how to handle them and the importance of not having wild animals as pets. They also reflect on the problem of illegal animal trafficking.
This activity is done with the support of living animals from our Zoo collection, which the students observe, touch and feed.
We must stress that the species observed in this activity are those that accept prudent handling, without ever damaging their physical or mental health in any way and preserving their wellbeing.
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
Let's get ready
To get the most out of the Look & Touch 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:
- Make a list of the different activities involved in taking care of a pet.
- Put a box in the classroom where students can place the questions they may have at any time and later study them.
- Look for an animal shop that has a ‘red point’ and discover what it is and what it involves.
- 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.
To observe animals:
- Take an outing to a dog pound or a shelter for abandoned animals and discuss the consequences of using animals badly.
- Ask students who have a pet to prepare, individually or in groups, an explanation about taking care of this animal to present to their classmates with the help of photographs or the animal itself.
As specific objectives:
- Present the concept of wild animal and domestic animal and learn to identify them.
- Learn about the main characteristics of pets.
- Knowledge of the existence of animals suitable for having at home and others that are not.
- Become aware of the responsibility involved in having an animal.
- Introduction to behaviour problems that domestic breeding has on animals.
Come to the Zoo
The Look & Touch Workshop at the Zoo teaches students about the main characteristics of domestic animals in an entertaining and participative way that is adapted to their ages.
This workshop is presented in two specially equipped classrooms, the giraffe stable and the Terrarium, where the educator (biologist) explains the outline of the activity and supervises its running.
Firstly, they take a guided tour towards the giraffe classroom, where the differences between wild and domestic animals are explained. In the giraffe classroom, students touch and feed different domestic animals. They also observe other species up close.
Moving along to the Terrarium classroom, they handle several amphibians and reptiles: lizards, snakes and turtles. Introduction to the programmes on reproduction in captivity and reintroduction of the Majorcan midwife toad and Herman’s tortoise.
The contents studied are:
- Introduction about what you should do and what you should never do when you have a pet. Responsible ownership.
- Introduction to the problem of breeding in captivity with respect to animal behaviour and animal behaviour enrichment systems.
- Comparison and handling of several animals: meal worms, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, lizards, snakes and tortoises.
- Observation of abandoned and confiscated animals: titis and cockatoos. Reflection about having animals at home: species that you can keep and species that are not recommended.
- Introduction to the concept of protecting and conservation of species.
What we learned?
Suggestions about activities to do after the Look & Touch Workshop at the Barcelona Zoo:
Social and natural sciences space:
- Make a list of correct and incorrect attitudes for taking care of pets.
- Classify the previous animals by whether or not people can have them as pets.
- Have students prepare ‘lectures’ about domestic animals: requirements with regard to space, exercise, cleaning, etc., individually or in groups, and then present them to their classmates.
- Make a book or album about animals that you can have at home, using all the contents that have been studied.
- Look for similarities and differences between domestic and wild animals.
Evaluation of learning obtained:
- Using different photos of animals, students have to say whether you can have them as domestic animals and why.
The Look & Touch Workshop at the Zoo has been designed for students in year 3, 4, 5 and 6 of primary school in which they discover the needs of domestic and wild animals in an entertaining and participative manner.
CURRICULUM INTEGRATION OF THE LOOK & TOUCH ACTIVITY
CROSS-CUTTING CURRICULUM AREAS
Education in defence of the environment.
RELATIONSHIP TO THE CURRICULUM DISCIPLINES
Living beings and their relationship to the environment.
With respect to knowledge, facts and ideas:
- Study the characteristics of the animals you can have at home and those you cannot.
- Study the problems caused by illegal trading in exotic animals.
With respect to procedures:
Start learning about the proper care of animals.
With respect to attitudes and values:
- To foster respect for animals through being better informed.
- To foster responsible attitudes about owning pets.
- To awaken students’ awareness about protecting nature.