Developing enrichment toys for the Roger Williams Zoo
Pine Point School

Students construct a large animal toy [rabbits, birds, small deer, etc.] out of edible materials to be placed in the habitats of carnivorous animal at the zoo.  These toys are filled with meats and nutritious supplements and then placed in open spaces for animals to stalk. Students and zoo keepers observe the animals’ behaviors as they stalk these toys.

• Students will understand the living and survival habits and behaviors of two predators [e.g. Asiatic Black Bear and Snow Leopard]
• Students will study those animals that are naturally hunted by the targeted predators.
• Students will learn the 3-D artistic elements of paper maché and the use of non-toxic paints.
• Students will about the nutritional needs of the predators.
• Students will learn about the emotional and psychological needs of the predators.
• Students will learn about the care of animals in a zoo.
• Students will learn to work cooperatively.
• Students will giver oral presentations of their findings
• Students will broaden their vocabulary for discussions about endangered species.
• Library research is needed; the librarian can assist in identifying resources appropriate for the students.
• In art, brown paper, newspaper, wheat paste, non toxic paints, and sketch pads are all necessary.
• The cooperation of a local zoo and the zookeepers is necessary.
1. Zookeepers visit the classroom to present the project, the expectations, background information about the animals at the zoo, material to be used in the enrichment toys, and observations dates.
2. The students research selected predators’ characteristics, habitats, and feeding behaviors and complete fact sheets regarding the animals. (Example: African Wild Dog and Snow Leopard)
3. The students construct primate puzzles, build forms for toys out of cardboard tubes and paper maché in the art room.
4. The students write stories about animals and discuss ways to protect endangered species.
5. The students take picture and videos of the toys as well as the animals as they stalk and consume.
6. The students reflect on their experiences and present a project to the school community.
• Research cards for student folder
• Drawings of animals and habitats
• Stories about animals
• Project presentations [each group of 3 or 4 student is responsible for reporting about one aspect of the project
• Teacher observations during group discussions and construction activities