Guided sessions for classes 5-6

Animal-human relationship

Domestic animals – livestock – farm animals

What differentiates domestic animals, farm animals and wildlife from each other? Why do humans keep animals and how has this changed over time? What are the wild variants of our farm animals or domestic animals? Our tour mostly takes place outdoors to clarify these and other questions. We also visit the petting zoo where pupils are allowed to feed the farm animals. An independent study phase is scheduled for groups from Class 4 or higher – so please bring pens and paper with you.

Subject area:

  • Plants – animals – habitats
  • Comprehending and deducing species-specific requirements
  • Management of domestic animals, farm animals

Classification in the animal kingdom

Are we all predators?

Not only tigers, lions & co. are predators. Bears, seals and even meerkats also belong to this order. The pupils lean to differentiate between carnivores and predators. To answer the question of why meat eaters are not the same as predators, we not only clarify which animals belong to the order of predators and which are only exclusively meat-eating carnivores, but we also learn how we can recognise them.

Subject area:

  • Exploiting natural phenomena
  • Identifying animals and their typical characteristics

Pachyderms

Do all pachyderms really have thick skin? Where does the name come from? Which animal species can be classified as 'pachyderms'? Do they have any other similarities except the skin and the colouring? We consider and compare the body structure, the lifestyle and spread of these popular zoo animals and thereby clarify the actual degrees of the relationship between them.

Subject area:

  • Exploiting natural phenomena
  • Exploring and documenting the adaptedness of an animal to its habitat

Adapting to habitats

Adapting to life in the water

Animals have had to adapt to habitats in the water in different ways. How exactly does life differ on land than it does in the water? Using examples such as seals, hippos and penguins, we methodically work out the various adaptive capacities of each species to the water either on tour or as part of group work.

Subject area:

  • Exploiting natural phenomena
  • Exploring and documenting the adaptedness of an animal to its habitat

Polar excursion to the penguins

Do penguins only come from the Antarctic or can they be found in other parts of the world? We visit different penguin species and compare their different habitats and lifestyles with each other. The pupils can explore the anatomical specialisations of the penguins as well as their skills on land and in water.

Subject area:

  • Exploiting natural phenomena
  • Exploring and documenting the adaptedness of an animal to its habitat

Adapting to the Arctic Circle as a habitat compared to the desert

Mammals are able to adapt their physical structure and behaviour in many ways to endure extreme habitats such as the desert of the arctic regions. We look at the conditions of the very diverse habitats and clarify issues such as, among others: Which animals live there? Which physical characteristics do animals have that exhibit signs of adaptation? We also discuss ecological principles related to this.

Subject area 1

  • Exploiting natural phenomena
  • Exploring and documenting the adaptedness of an animal to its habitat

Subject area 2

  • Sun – weather – seasons
  • Adaptedness of an animal to its habitat: Animals of a climate zone

Rainforests, savannahs & deserts of Africa

Africa has many very diverse habitats We explore the connection between the individual habitats and their geographic location using a map. We then look at African wildlife and the different adaptations and strategies involved. Which typical adaptation features are there and how can we recognise the habitat of an animal at a glance?

Subject area 1

  • Exploiting natural phenomena
  • Exploring and documenting the adaptedness of an animal to its habitat

Subject area 2

  • Sun – weather – seasons
  • Adaptedness of an animal to its habitat: Animals of a climate zone

Adapting to seasons

The winter zoo tour

The Berlin winter can indeed be rather unpleasant for us humans. How do the zoo animals, which come from completely different climatic regions from around the world, endure the low temperatures? What do European animals do? The pupils learn the options the animals have to combat the cold, such as hibernating, remaining dormant and going into torpor. Please bring appropriate clothing yourselves as we don't want you to freeze!

Subject area:

  • Sun – weather – seasons
  • An animal's ability to adapt to the different seasonal conditions: Hibernating, remaining dormant, torpidity, migrations

Mobility

Movement patterns in the animal kingdom

Animals live by water, on land and in the air and each habitat has its own different demands when moving around it. What differentiates these habitats from each other and which challenges do they pose to the animals? Together we determine which parts of the body the animal uses for movement and the ways in which they move forward.

Subject area:

  • Body and movement
  • Describing types of movement and assigning examples
  • Running: Movement by soles, toes and tiptoes

Birds and other flying creatures

We turn our attention to the kings of the skies and look at birds and other creatures capable of flight. In doing so, we take a close look at the feather and wing structure of birds and draw comparisons to insect wings and wings of bats. Which conditions must animals fulfil in order to achieve lift? Who are the specialists among the aviators? Together we find out the answers to these and other questions.

Subject area 1

  • Exploiting natural phenomena
  • Exploring and documenting the adaptedness of an animal to its habitat

Subject area 2

  • Sun – weather – seasons
  • Adaptedness of an animal to its habitat: Animals of a climate zone

Nutrition

Show me your teeth!

... and then I'll know exactly what you are. You can quickly tell whether an animal is a carnivore or a herbivore by looking at their choppers, since morphological characteristics give clear indications on the diet of the animals. This guided session is possible with various mammal teeth types or various beak shapes and correspondingly leads either to the carnivores and hoofed animals or to the Bird House.

Subject area:

  • Body – health – development
  • Describing body characteristics as a means of adapting to the habitat: Herbivores and carnivores, insect and grain eaters

Sensory capabilities and sensory perceptions

The extraordinary capabilities of animals

Whether 'eyes like an eagle' or 'sniffer nose of a dog', some animals are known for their extremely good sensory perceptions and being true specialists in the animal kingdom. The focus of this guided session is observing the exceptional sensory capabilities of animals. We therefore deal with the following issues, among others: Which animal species and groups are capable of record-breaking achievements and how do the manage that exactly? We additionally look at the physiological records, such as the heart volume of a giraffe.

Subject area:

  • Body – health – development
  • Examination and description of the perception capabilities of the sensory organs
  • Sensory capabilities

Biodiversity and species conservation

Man as a consumer and competitor

Many habitats have a huge species diversity. The main enemy is: man. We use examples to highlight species diversity within a habitat and shed light on what effects human intervention has on a balanced ecosystem. We'll also explain which measures are being taken to conserve habitats and assess these together.

Subject area:

  • Plants – animals – habitats
  • Explaining anthropogenic changes within a habitat: Species diversity, extinction of species, bio-indicators, recreational behaviour as well as assessing the sustainability of measures of protection and conservation

On the go with the research team

Learn at the stations

A visit to the Predator House (carnivores) or the Monkey House (primates) will see us focus our attention on the issues of biodiversity, distribution, intelligence, training, etc. The pupils can expand their knowledge of species on this excursion through independent elaboration modeled on the method of station learning. Short presentations given by the pupils can be integrated into the independent study phase as desired.

Subject area:

  • World of the mighty – world of the minnows

Hunter and hunted – hunting and survival strategies in the animal kingdom

To aid in their permanent struggle for survival, both the hunter and the hunted are perfectly equipped and have developed specific behavioural strategies to survive. Both the predator and the prey often have a 'bag of tricks' to try to lead the other astray as a result of this development. Together we cast our eye over the animals to determine which methods and strategies are vital in helping the animals gain the upper hand.

Subject area:

  • Animal behaviour