ZOOCHECK - Keep it Wild!

Date:August 20, 2014 2:36 pm

Zoocheck is a Canadian charitable organization, presents Keep It Wild!

- in-class, animal-themed workshops for elementary school students.  Each workshop offers a unique learning experience by combining science and technology with compassion and advocacy towards animals and the environment.

Keep It Wild! workshops are designed to enrich and enhance the Ontario Science and Technology Curriculum. Through hands-on investigation, engaging activities, and discussion, students will investigate the characteristics, needs, adaptations, and habitats of different wild animals.

Our workshops place a special emphasis on Sustainability and Stewardship. Students are encouraged to think critically about animals and the environment, and to develop a sense of personal and societal responsibility Each workshop empowers students to take action, and make a difference in the lives of all wild animals.

Keep It Wild! Elementary School Workshops



Grade 1 Workshop on Animal Needs and Characteristics

  • Find out what makes elephants unique and what elephants need to survive life on the African savannah or in the Indian forest.
  • Elephants have trunks! Is it a nose? An arm? A snorkel? A trumpet? Check out how elephants use their trunks in amazing ways.
  •  Elephants need space! Predict how much space a real elephant would take up in your classroom and then work cooperatively to create a life-size elephant.
  • Elephants need to keep cool! Experiment with a life-size elephant ear replica and find out how elephants use their ears to cool off. Then experiment with mud and wrinkly skin and find out how wrinkles keep elephants cool too.


  • Elephants need food and water! Learn more about the herbivores and carnivores of Africa as you play Elephant Bingo.
  • Elephants need their family! Can you match up the elephants in the family tree of one herd?
  • Put it all together by comparing a wild habitat with a captive one, and then discover what you can do to help elephants in the wild and in captivity.
  • For more information about this workshop, please click here.


Grade 2 Workshop on Animal Adaptations

  • Discover how polar bears are superbly adapted for life in a cold world.
  • Experiment with blubber and ice water to find out how polar bears stay warm. 


  • Check out a polar bear's skull and teeth, and learn what it eats.
  • Try your best to see if you can jump as far as a polar bear can when it pounces on its prey.
  • Investigate how polar bears' feet are adapted for ice and snow. Who has better feet for walking in the Arctic, you or the polar bear?
  • Play "The Great Polar Bear Migration". Work cooperatively to hunt for seals as you cross the frozen ocean. Will you gain enough weight to survive?
  • Put it all together by comparing a captive habitat with a wild one, and find out why polar bears are ill-suited for life in captivity.
  • Best of all - find out what you can do to help Yupi, a captive polar bear living in Mexico.
  • For more information about this workshop, please click here.



Grade 1/2 Workshop on Animal Characteristics and Adaptations

  • Become a nature detective and learn all about Toronto's amazing urban wildlife through animal tracks and signs.
  • Check out the amazing differences in the tracks that animals like raccoons, squirrels, beavers, rabbits, coyotes and deer leave behind.  Choose your favourite track and make your own plaster cast of it to keep.
  • Create your own identification book of animal tracks.
  • Animals leave behind other signs too, not just tracks. Study some animal signs and find out who shed their skin, who chewed that stick, who built a nest, who left some food behind, and more. 
  • Learn how to tell the difference between a herbivore's and a carnivore's diet when you play a scat guessing game.
  • Put it all together and find out how exciting and challenging tracking wild animals can be.
  • Learn some great ways to show respect and kindness to the wild animals that share our city.
  • For more information about this workshop, please click here.


Grade 3 Workshop on Plants

  • Find out what to pack for a trip to the jungle, and whether any of these items are made from plants.
  • Measure, weigh, and dissect gorilla dung, and learn about the crucial role of the gorilla in seed dispersal.
  • Play gorilla trackers - can you find the plant clues that lead to the gorillas before habitat destruction or poaching destroy them?
  • Discover how gorillas, just like humans, use plants for food, shelter, tools and more.
  • Learn about the gorilla's herbivore diet and the plants that they eat.
  • Find out how to help gorillas and their threatened forests. 
  • Teacher Resource coming soon! 


Grade 4 Workshop on Habitats and Food Chains

  • Find out what a killer whale's ocean habitat is really like - it's a lot more than just salty water!
  • Play Krill: A Whale of a Game, and discover what food chains exist in the Antarctic Ocean.
  • Listen to the sounds a killer whale makes to communicate with its own pod, and find out how scientists study these calls using sound pictures called "spectrograms".
  • Discover how whales "see" in the ocean using echolocation. Experiment with tuning forks to understand how sound travels through a whale's jawbone. Find out if you can catch your prey by listening for echoes.
  • Learn how to identify individual whales in the wild by their saddle patches and dorsal fins.
  • Make some predictions about how far a killer whale can swim in one day, and how deep they can dive.
  • Then compare a captive orca habitat with an ocean habitat and learn more about helping both wild and captive orcas. 
  • For more information about this workshop, please click here.



   ** Great workshop option for Ontario Eco-schools!! **

Grade 4 Workshop on Habitats

    • Discover the devastating impact pollution has on the animals in a marine habitat.
    • Find out what it's like to become entangled in litter. Can you set yourself free?
    • Check out the contents of the stomach of a sperm whale who washed up on a beach in North Carolina.
    • Play an ocean feeding game - collect food items and see how many calories you need to stay alive. Can you survive once the "perils of plastic" invade your habitat?
    • Learn all about the albatross - where it lives, what it eats, and how it cares for its chicks. Then learn how to create a dichotomous key to classify what debris items albatross are likely to eat, and what impact ingested plastic has. 
    • Put it all together and discover the negative impact marine debris is having on ocean animals.
    • Then learn how you can protect wild animals by conserving and protecting their wild habitats.
    • For more information about this workshop, click here



Grade 5 Workshop on The Human Body

Learn all about organ systems and anatomy while exploring the similarities and diffferences between humans and their closest living relative, the chimpanzee.

  • Measure lung capacity and heart rate. How does it compare to a chimpanzee?
  • Compare the skeletal hand of a human to a chimpanzee's.
  • Try to beat a chimp at a memory game.
  • Discover what muscles help humans move bipedally and what muscles help chimpanzees move quadrupedally.
  • Compare the diet, teeth, and digestive system of a human to a chimpanzee.
  • Try to perform simple tasks without the use of your opposable thumb.
  • Who's stronger, you or a chimp? Use a dynamometer to measure your arm strength and find out.
  • Play a chromosome match-up game.
  • Check out human and chimpanzee fingerprints.
  • Identify emotions using facial expressions.
  • Learn more about chimps in captivity - in zoos and circuses, as pets, in the entertainment industry, in sanctuaries, and in research - and then learn how you can become an advocate for the chimpanzee!
  • Teacher's Resource coming soon.    

Please note that our workshops are intended for a single class. Due to the hands-on nature of our presentations, please limit class size to 25 students for primary classes and 35 students for junior classes. 




Classes | Workshops
Interpretive Program