This lesson was created using the Nortel LearniT 6E + S template for integrating technology within the curriculum.


Students will use various technology tools to build fact plaques for a virtual zoo. To complete this project, students will need to conduct research, summarize their findings, and review the contributions of others using a wiki. They will also create multimedia fact sheets to tell about the animals they have included in the zoo.

Feel free to provide the students with all the information in the Engage through Evaluate sections. All other information is provided for planning purposes and need not be given to students.

Technology Integration:

Collaborative writing using a wiki, online research, social bookmarking, and web content creation.

Prerequisite Experience:

In order for this project to be successful, students will need practice authoring content in a wiki as well as creating content on NOTE: It might be beneficial to have students add content to the wiki by copying and pasting from an outside source. Many wikis don’t work well with multiple editors on the same page at the same time.

For students unfamiliar with a wiki, this video from Common Craft might be a helpful introduction.

If you are unfamiliar with Glogster and how it works, check out this video. Here is a lot of information about what a Glog is and how it can be beneficial A document from Glogster about its educational use can be found here

Students should also be somewhat familiar with search strategies and how to find appropriate information and resources. Common Craft has another excellent video that might help students to develop good search strategies.

A trip to the zoo will provide the students with the background information needed to complete this assignment. If a trip to the zoo is not feasible, the teacher can take the students on a virtual field trip to a zoo. Materials for conducting virtual field trips can be found at

Teacher Prep Time:

2-3 hours

Tasks the teacher will need to accomplish ahead of time:

-Create a wiki for the project (here is a comparison chart of wiki providers to help you decide NOTE: is the preferred wiki provider for this project because it allows close integration with Glogster for easy embedding. Wikispaces also offers free premium wikis for K-12 education at

-Your beginning wiki will have only three pages: a page for planning, a directions/help page, and a home page. As the project progresses, students will create more pages, adding to the structure of the site.

-Sign up for a free classroom account at and create accounts for all your students

-For collaborative research, you might sign up for an educator account at and then create accounts for all your students. If using Diigo, it would also be helpful to install the Diigo toolbar to help with information gathering and organization. This is an optional step, but may help make the research stage easier.

-Watch the following videos to familiarize yourself with some tools you will be using. These videos should also have links on the wiki help page so students can access them at any time.

Estimated Time for Completion:

12-15 hours


Computers with Internet access Other research materials


After visiting a zoo, the students will develop a further understanding of how living things are categorized by organizing a virtual zoo. Students will collaborate to research and create multimedia fact sheets for various animals that they might find in the zoo. The finished product will be a public wiki site that will serve as a showcase for the students’ work.

If time permits, this project can be expanded to include more animals as well as conservation issues.

Students might also be interested in providing virtual guides to help visitors to the site learn more about the animals in the zoo. Glogster allows users to embed video captured by a web cam. For schools with tighter privacy restrictions, allows students to create speaking, animated avatars that can then be embedded into a web page or Glog.

Time Management Tips:

To help with efficiency in working on the project, it will be beneficial to give the students the opportunity to practice using the various tools included with this project. Students should also be aware of basic operations with the computer including copy/paste functions and basic word processing and typing to help make the project go more smoothly. It would also be beneficial for students to watch the video tutorials on search, wikis, and Glogster.

Students should be encouraged to work on their own or in small groups of two or three.


Student projects will be assessed by peer evaluations as well as a rubric. See included documentation for samples.


A trip to the zoo can be a fun and interesting way to spend your time. Zoos have animals from all over the world and they give you the chance to see things that you might never have had the chance to see. Zoos are also important because of the work they do for preserving different animals.

  • Have you ever wondered why zoos are set up they way they are?
  • How do zookeepers pick out the animals they are going to keep in the zoo?
  • Why do they put the animals in the places they choose?

In your small group of 3-4 students, talk about the class’s recent trip to the zoo.

  • What are some of the exhibits from the trip that you liked best? Why did you like them?
  • What are some things that you learned?
  • What would you like to know more about?
Take some time to explore What are some similarities and differences between this zoo and the zoo you visited?

Make a list of animals that you would like to include in a zoo. Paste the names of these animals into the wiki planning page. As the whole group completes the list, individual students/groups will sign up to research different animals in the list. Choose an animal to research, then create a page in the wiki for your animal. This wiki page will serve as your gathering place for information about your animal. After you create a page for your animal, make a link to it in the list of animals on the planning page. Some important questions you will want to answer in your research are:
1. Where does this animal live?
2. What does it eat?
3. What is the animal’s scientific (Latin) name?
4. Why is this animal included in the zoo?
5. Is the animal endangered?
6. What are some interesting facts about this animal?

Be sure to keep track of the information you gather. When you find information on a website, copy the web address (URL) and the date that you accessed the information. Feel free to find videos, pictures, audio clips, or anything else that might have some information about your animal. Still keep track of the locations of this information, as well.

Check the research done by others to make sure it is correct. If you find something that is not correct, change the information and include a link to where the information came from.

Repeat this process until a satisfactory amount of animals have been researched.


Discuss the following questions with your class:

  • What kinds of animals did we decide to research?
  • What are some different categories we can place our animals into?
  • Are there any gaps in the information that we have gathered? If so, how can we fill them?
Zoos can be set up in a variety of ways. Animals can be grouped according to geography (where the animals live in nature), habitat, species (big cats, bears, etc.), diet, or other characteristics. This makes it easy for visitors to find the animals they are looking for. Your list of animals will need to be divided up into groups so that visitors to your zoo will be able to find animals they are looking for. What patterns do you see in the list of animals you have researched? After some group discussion, your teacher will create headings for the different groups of animals the class has decided upon.


Now we are going to take the information we have gathered to the next level by making fact sheets for the various animals in our zoo. We are going to use the website to create multimedia fact sheets that include videos, audio, text, and images.

As a whole group, the class will determine who will create sheets for the animals. Assignments will be posted to the wiki for easy reference. Using the information gathered in the explore phase, create your fact sheet in Glogster. When your fact sheet is finished, embed it above the documented research in the wiki on the page created for the animal.

If time permits, feel free to create a glog for another animal in the list that has not been selected.


See the attached evaluation forms: Peer review checklist and Final Checklist


Zoos rely on experts to care for the animals that are housed there. They provide specialized diets, living spaces, activities, and other aspects of care for the animals at the zoo. Using what you have already learned, write or type step-by-step instructions for caring for the animals in your zoo. Include such things as type/amount of food, frequency of feeding, bathing, habitat needs, interactions with other animals, etc. in your instructions. Proof read other students’ contributions, then use to create an animated zookeeper who will share information
about how to care for the animal on that page.

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