Teacher Resources

Whether you need to prepare your students for a Zoo field trip or need an activity for your homeschooler, we have you covered. Designed to enhance lessons in biology, zoology, and ecology, these resources will help connect your learners to wildlife.

Educator Guides

Connect your learners to popular classroom topics like food webs, habitats, and more through these Exhibit Exploration guides.

The Exhibit Exploration Overview is a great place to start. Exhibits are paired with multiple life science topics so that each stop on your Zoo visit can reinforce your lesson. Once you have familiarized yourself with the topic icons, you’ll be ready to use the Exhibit Exploration guides.

Exhibit Exploration Guides offer suggestions on how to interpret various life science topics while viewing the exhibit. Find out how you can talk about habitats, adaptations, and animal behavior while enjoying the sights and sounds of our boisterous lemurs at the Lipman Lemur Forest, our graceful grazers at the African Savanna, and more.

Zoo Vocabulary offers a handy list of terms to support science and environmental literacy. Supplemental Sources provides suggestions for books and websites we love. Zoo Field Trip FAQs will help you prepare for a visit—from how to reserve a field trip date to where to eat lunch.

Exhibit Exploration Overview

Exhibit Exploration

Zoo Vocabulary

Supplemental Sources

Zoo Field Trip FAQs

World Rhino Day Classroom Activities


These fun, science-based activities will help support your wildlife lessons. Use them as pre-visit excitement-builders, post-visit reminders, fun assessment tools, or as rainy-day fun with your family.

Activities are grouped by grade level, but can be used however you like. Everyone can join in the fun of Zoo Bingo.

Kindergarten: Featuring fun Lesson Plans, Zoo Bingo, My Zoo Notes, and Zoo Syllables
Grades 1 and 2: Featuring engaging worksheets like Group the Vertebrates, Scavenger Hunt, Animals of Africa, and handy Student Explorer Logs
Grade 3: Featuring unique activities like Thumbs Up!, Wonder of Webs, Animath, and Insect Zoo Word Search
Grades 4 and 5: Featuring an Ethology Activity Packet, Animath, and more


Grades 1 and 2

Grade 3

Grades 4 and 5

Wild About Art & Science

This free program is designed to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for enhancing student learning in science and providing an outlet for artistic creativity. We provide grade-appropriate lessons and activities that focus on California biodiversity, and each grade learns about a different animal. The same lessons will be used each year so teachers can plan ahead and work the activities into their lesson plans.

While available for all teachers to reference, schools within the San Francisco Unified School District are encouraged to participate in the annual Wild About Art & Science Contest. Please see the Wild About Art & Science (WAAS) Flyer for specific contest details; submissions must be received by February 28, 2018.

One artwork from each grade, as well as a special day class, will be chosen by a panel of volunteer judges for a total of seven winning artists. Each student winner receives an invitation for their entire class to attend the WAAS Award Day at the Zoo, which includes special animal encounters, guided tours, lunch, and an award ceremony. Additionally, each teacher who submits their class's art will be entered into a drawing to win an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Zoo's education animal area.

What You Need to Do:

Have a Question?
e-mail artcontest@sfzoo.org or call (415) 753-8135.

WAAS Flyer 2017-18

Kindergarten (Desert Tortoise):

"Can You Dig It?" Lesson

Desert Tortoise Fact Sheet

Grade 1 (Barn Owl):

"Heads Down, Owl Sounds" Lesson

Barn Owl Fact Sheet

Grade 2 (Pollinators):

"Powerful Pollinators" Lesson

Pollinators Fact Sheet

Grade 3 (Tiger Salamander):

"Thin Skinned Amphibians" Lesson

Tiger Salamander Fact Sheet

Grade 4 (SF Garter Snake):

"Amazing Adaptations" Lesson

San Francisco Garter Snake Fact Sheet

Grade 5 (Sea Lion):

"Swimming for Food" Lesson

Sea Lions Fact Sheet

Playground Learning Guides

At the San Francisco Zoo we believe in the power of play, and at our one-of-a-kind Friend Family Playground, there are opportunities to learn around every branch, iceberg, and stream.

River's Edge

Polar Cap

Banyan Tree

Have a Question about Teacher Resources?
e-mail education@sfzoo.org or call (415) 753-7073.