What it is: Switcheroo Zoo is a site I learned about from Kevin Bibo on his outstanding blog Cal Teacher Blog. Switcheroo Zoo has fun interactive games and activities such as “Make New Animals” where students can create their own animal combinations, “Build an Online Habitat” where students choose animals and match them to the correct environment, “Switch Zoo Puzzles”, “Where do I Live” where students help return rescued animals to their homes, “Sound Match” where students match the animal song to the correct animal, “Meerkat Grab-a-Snack” where students help feed a Meerkat by catching food, and “Catch the Moment” where students take ‘pictures’ of wildlife. Switcheroo Zoo also has short films, sound clips, and photographs about animals for students to watch and listen to. Your students also have the opportunity to become a “Switch Zoo Guide” by completing the Switch Zoo Quest. Students play nine fun animal related games and activities to become a guide. When they finish, they will receive a Switch Zoo certificate of merit, a guide badge, and are added to the list of offical guides.
How to integrate Switcheroo Zoo into the classroom: Switcheroo Zoo is an awesome website for students to explore to learn more about animals and wildlife. This would be a great site to visit when studying animals and their habitats. There are three educational animal-themed games on the site that teach about animal characteristics and habitats. Switcheroo Zoo has an educational section that includes lesson plans for art, science, creative writing, and persuasive writing. In second grade at the school where I teach, students complete animal reports as an introduction to research. Switcheroo Zoo has on-site research with 142 animal profiles, a US endangered species map, and stories about unusual animal feats on a Zookeeper’s blog. This site is packed full of fun, useful activities, lessons, and resources! In a computer lab setting, students can research and play games individual. In the one or two classroom computer setting, students can visit Switcheroo Zoo as a science resource center. With the projector or an interactive whiteboard, complete the activities as a whole class or show the animal videos to your whole class.
Tips: This site does have some Google ads. I use these as an opportunity to teach my students how to spot ads on a website and discuss what the purpose of advertisements is.