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    1. Teach and Learn

      On this page: Animal Games | Lesson Plans | Resources | Visitors' Pages | Links

      Animal Games
      These animal-themed games make it fun to learn about animals' characteristics and habitats. You can even create new species!

      Switch Zoo
      Visitors to this unique zoo make new creatures by switching the animals' heads, legs, and tails. As students play, they can read about the animals that make up their switcheroos. Just click on any animal's name to open a profile that includes an interesting overview, as well as the animal's lifespan, diet, predators and threats, and habitat. Switch Zoo features 142 natural species in nine habitats.

      Original Switch Zoo Online
      Requires Adobe Flash Player. When prompted, allow Flash Player to run in your browser.

      screenshot from the Switch Zoo app Switch Zoo App
      For a great classroom experience, get the Switch Zoo app featuring larger images, animations, and sound effects. Students can save their animals and stories. Includes Randomizer, Photo Workshop, and Fast Facts.

      Switch Zoo App Advantages for School

      Click picture to see full size

      Build a Biome

      Build six of world's biomes by choosing the right plants, animal, temperature, and precipitation. Each biome you choose begins with a map and description. Win a postcard for each biome you build, and build all six to become a Biome Master.

      Please DO Feed the Animals Herbivore, Omnivore, Carnivore

      It's always feeding time at Switch Zoo, and we need your help sorting the animals by diet type to make sure they get the right food.

      Play Please DO Feed the Animals

      The games below run on Adobe Flash Player. To play them, allow Flash to run when you are prompted by your browser. Flash games are incompatible with tablets and mobile phones.

      Build an Online HabitatBuild an Online Habitat
      Match animals to the environment best suited for their survival. A compatibility meter and a thermometer help evaluate the environment.

      Feeding Time at Switch ZooFeeding Time at Switch Zoo
      Have fun learning about carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, and scavengers with three games based on animals' diets.

      Feeding time for a yellow-billed storkPlease DO Feed the Animals
      Learn the meaning of carnivore, herbivore and omnivore, then sort the animals according to their diet type. (Flash is not required.)

      Scavengers Hunt
      Can you spot a scavenger in a crowd? Find out by choosing scavengers and non-scavengers from groups of animals. The answers might surprise you.

      Meerkat Grab-a SnackMeerkat Grab-a-Snack
      Score points by catching insects, worms, scorpions and other meerkat delicacies when they pop out of holes in the ground.

      Where Do I Live?Where Do I Live?
      This animal geography game will challenge your knowledge of where animals live, as you move the animals to their natural homes. Use the Animal Homing Device to see the answer for animals you can't place.

      Lesson Plans
      For art, science, creative writing and persuasive writing projects. These lesson plans use Switch Zoo animals to spark interest and creativity.

      Field Trip - Make New Animals
      Field Trips
      Guided Tour: Make New Animals
      This guided, hands-on activity is a great way to learn how to make and name new animals in Switch Zoo.

      Field Trip: Creative Writing
      On this field trip, players are led through the process of making an animal and writing a short story or poem about it.

      Field Trip: Explore Animal Music
      An exploration of music created from recorded sounds of animals.

      Interdisciplinary Lesson PlansInterdisciplinary Lesson Plans
      The result of a collaboration between four middle school teachers, these lesson plans are designed to be used either for an interdisciplinary activity, or for separate science, creative writing or persuasive writing projects.

      Art teacher Linda Woods shares her great lesson plan that references fantastic beasts in myth and legend, and uses Switch Zoo to generate ideas. To see drawings created by fifth grade students using the lesson plan, go to Mixed Breed Animal Drawings.

      More Lesson Plans More Lesson Plans
      Visit the Lesson Plans page for simple science and creative writing plans for younger children, and links to Switch Zoo Lesson Plans off-site.

      For on-site research: 142 animal profiles and a US endangered species map.

      Animal ProfilesAnimal Profiles
      142 animal species inhabit Switch Zoo and they are all profiled here, so students have easy access to interesting facts about the real animals that make up their fictional combination animals. Use the Google search tool on any page to quickly find animals.

      Endangered Species MapEndangered Species Map
      This interactive map of the United States provides information about the endangered species of each state. The color key includes descriptions of the biomes.

      Visitors' Pages
      Switch Zoo visitors contribute funny and creative animal names, mixed animal drawings, stories and poems about the animals, and comments.

      student drawingStudent Drawings
      Enjoy this collection of beautiful "mixed-breed animals" created by students at St. John's Lower School, in Houston, Texas. Art teachers — don't miss the Art Lesson Plans.

      Stories and PoemsStories and Poems
      Students at Philip Livingston Magnet Academy in Albany, NY wrote these wonderful stories and poems. English teacher, Mary Paley, shares her Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans in the Lesson Plans section.

      Hall of NamesHall of Names
      A collection of funny and creative names visitors have given the animals they made at Switch Zoo.

      Visitors' CommentsVisitors' Comments
      A sampling of email received at Switch Zoo.

      Additional Resources

      Interesting and informative sites to conduct research on animals for stories, reports, and field guides.