By Wanda Wierzbicki

Are you a teacher wishing you could take your class to The Toronto Zoo, but instead you and your students are all at home? Are you a parent trying to navigate online learning and wishing your child could experience something different? Check out the Toronto Zoo’s newest offering of Zoo To You.

The Toronto Zoo has created three YouTube videos that correspond to the Ontario School Curriculum: one for primary students (K-Grade 3), one for junior (Grades 4-6) and one for senior. Each YouTube video is approximately 30 minutes in length and takes the viewer through the Australasia Pavilion. The animals do not change but the topic discussed is different in each video. 

The primary video focuses on basic animal senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste, as well as animal movement, showcasing birds, turtles, fish and lizards. The video explores the concepts of simple classification, noting the differences between mammals like the tree kangaroo, reptiles like the turtles, snakes and Komodo dragon, birds in the aviary and fish in the Great Barrier Reef exhibit.

The junior video focuses on animal habitats and biodiversity – explaining that there are different kinds of biodiversity. There is biodiversity within a species – for example, humans have different coloured hair and eyes. There is biodiversity between species – for example, there are 14 species of kangaroos. Finally, there is biodiversity in habitat and Australia has temperate climates, arid deserts, humid rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef.

The senior video focuses on endangered animals and conservation. It covers the difficult topics of declining wildlife numbers and explores the reasons for habitat loss, due to farming and logging.

Each of these videos is narrated by a different Toronto Zoo staff member. The primary video has been viewed over 113,000 times, the junior video has been viewed 82,000 times and the senior one has had 23,000 views. Amazing work done by truly dedicated staff during these difficult times.

Take this wonderful opportunity to visit our Toronto Zoo from the comfort of your home. Find them on YouTube:

  • Virtual Learning with your Zoo – Primary Session
  • Virtual Learning with your Toronto Zoo – Junior Division
  • Virtual Learning at your Toronto Zoo – Senior Session