Usually when we visit a zoo, there's a purpose behind the visit: to attend a class for homeschoolers, to practice photography skills, or to learn about animals in general or a specific location (e.g., the ocean, Africa, northern climates).
If we are unfamiliar with a zoo, we try to take a look at the map of the facility before visiting. This helps determine what we absolutely want to see.
Olivia looking at the map of the zoo
she will be visiting this week.
For example, Sophia and Olivia will be going to a zoo this week. They each are enrolled in the 4-H Wildlife Biology project. So, they have selected 1-2 animals that they want to learn more about and photograph while at the zoo.
The map of the zoo and notes about what to do and
learn about while there.
They also are both doing the 4-H Photography project so they looked at the maps and selected four animals that they want to spend more time photographing.
Sophia determining what animals she wanted to photograph
for her 4-H Photography project.
By taking some time ahead of the visit, the girls will get more out of their visit and be able to use the information learned and photographs taken for 4-H projects that they will exhibit in July.
One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can spend as much or as little time as we want at the zoo and watching each of the animals. We are able to spend the needed time reading informational signs as well as taking our time photographing the animals.
By learning about animals - some who we have learned whose status is endangered or at the critical level - we become aware of other issues of importance - deforestation, destruction of land because of development (houses and businesses), and global warming. Caring for our environment and making smarter choices that benefit the Earth are results of visiting zoos.
The field trips to the zoo - although educational - are fun as well. We come away from the visits always wanting to learn more about various animals and wildlife that we saw...and eager to return.