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Each week, the Education World Great Sites for Teaching About ... page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. With the arrival of the new pandas in Washington, D.C., zoos are currently getting lots of attention. This week's sites are among the best on the Web for integrating a zoo study into your curriculum.

  1. Animalai
    Subtitled "India's Elephant Mountain," Animalai is a PBS Web site that celebrates this 600-square-mile wildlife sanctuary in southern India. The site provides considerable information about Asian elephants and the fact that they are considered sacred in India. Other animals discussed on the site include the great pied hornbill, the chital, the lion-tailed macaque, the guar, the dhole, and the nilgiri langur. Animalai is a great study of animals native to the Indian subcontinent!

  2. Belize Zoo
    This Central American zoo offers a virtual tour of its mammals, birds, and reptiles. And because the featured fauna here are all native to Belize, students are in for a real treat as they encounter jaguars, tapirs, toucans, macaws, iguanas, and boa constrictors. Each animal page offers a fact sheet, colorful pictures, sound clips, and QuickTime video clips to help make the virtual tour of the Belize Zoo an exciting, memorable learning experience!

  3. The Electronic Zoo
    Are you looking for a more behind-the-scenes look at the care of animals? The Electronic Zoo offers comprehensive veterinary information on all kinds of animals great and small. Imagine the possibilities for research as students learn what's involved in becoming a zoo specialist. Consider the endless potential for animal reports as students make use of the many links organized by animal classification. The NetVet links lead you to some pay services for quality information, but with everything that's free on this site, your best bet is to stick to the animal and veterinary links.

  4. Moscow Zoo
    If you want to see how a zoo is set up in Russia, this is the place to go! Just click on the button for the English version and you're quickly admitted into the world of the Moscow Zoo. Encourage critical thinking by asking your students to compare the Moscow Zoo with zoos in the United States. The site provides such information as the history of the zoo, the zoo specialists employed there, information for experts, and a virtual tour that includes all kinds of animals and exhibits.

  5. National Zoo
    The Washington (D.C.) zoo provides a truly engaging, interactive Web presence. You'll love the coverage of the arrival of the new pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. Be sure to check out the Panda Cams to see what they are doing in real time right on the Internet! Then enjoy all the live animal cams around the park: elephants, giraffes, lowland gorillas, Komodo dragons, mole rats, and more. The site also presents a daily orangutan language demonstration, online elephant and mole rat demonstrations, and the chance to meet a kiwi online!

  6. Oakland Zoo
    Here's a fun zoo page that makes the most of multimedia Web technologies to bring its excitement alive for young Web surfers. Animals A-Z offers fascinating facts about animals and the geographic regions in which they live in the wild, Cool Stuff presents stories and games that entertain and educate, and World Safari shows zoo animals in their natural habitats. Hints for Your Student Report provides great tips for writing an animal report, and Endangered Animals is sure to be a part of any classroom zoo study.

  7. St. Louis Zoo
    Did you know a baby zebra was born at the St. Louis Zoo on February 28, 2001? Find out more about its arrival on the zoo's Web site! You'll also want to check out the clickable zoo trail map, which allows online visitors to learn about the park layout while taking a virtual tour of the zoo and learning lots of information in the process. Be sure to check out the brand-new Monsanto Insectarium while you're touring! For those classes that want to make a commitment to their zoo friends, the zoo offers an online program for adopting an animal at the St. Louis Zoo.

  8. San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park
    The San Diego Zoo is one of the most heralded zoos in the country, and its Web site backs up that reputation with lots to see and do. Go straight to the E-Zoo and take in the kid-centered information about animals and their babies, plants, slide shows, Flash-based movies, games, science experiments, crafts, and recipes. San Diego has live Web cams that present video clips of such popular attractions as cheetah cubs, rhinoceroses, gorillas, chimps, giraffes, and even warthogs. The Kid's Territory presents stimulating topics, including Funny Facts and Inside Stories, If I Ran the Zoo, and Are Some Animals Bad?

  9. ZooNet
    ZooNet is a catalog of anything and everything that has to do with online zoological resources. The Animal Galleries offers countless links to pictures that bring you up close and personal with zoo animals from around the world. The ZooNet links present quick clicks to major zoo Web sites from the United States, Europe and Australia. In the ZooSpell section, kids can type in an animal name and get a beautiful picture and a fact sheet.

  10. Zoo in the Wild
    This Italian site provides the excitement of a zoo without bars. Across the top of the page, click a button to view a drop-down list of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Select a name and you're off to learn more. Click on For Children to be transported to a clickable map that allows students to learn more about animals. Be sure to click on the Animation link for a Shockwave-based virtual safari. The drawings are very child-like and sure to please!

Article by Walter McKenzie
Education World®
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