Classroom Conservation



Engage your classroom in wildlife conservation!

Wildlife conservation provides numerous opportunities for students to develop skills and expand their knowledge in meaningful ways. No matter what age group or subject you teach, with a little effort conservation can become a rewarding component of your curriculum.

Interested in engaging your classroom in conservation, but not sure where to start?

Here are some simple ways you can get your classroom involved in conservation.



Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat

Building a schoolyard wildlife habitat is a fun way to get students outside and learning about their local ecosystem. Help conserve local species by providing native plants, food, shelter, and water on school grounds. A schoolyard wildlife habitat fosters environmental stewardship amongst students and provides an outdoor classroom in which students can perform ongoing observations and citizen science. Our partner, National Wildlife Federation, has numerous resources on how to get started planning your schoolyard wildlife habitat. Wildlife Habitat Certification provides students with recognition for their efforts and a sign they can proudly display. Once your schoolyard habitat is complete your school is also eligible to receive a bronze level Eco-Schools USA award.


Challenge your students to design and implement their own conservation campaign. Conservation campaigns can take multiple forms and can involve many types of actions that raise awareness and support. After researching a particular conservation project or theme students can plan methods for getting the word out about their chosen topic. Campaigns can include actions like coordinating a special conservation outreach event, writing local politicians and media, creating informational posters to display, or even putting on a theatrical performance. The sky is the limit, encourage students to get creative and push themselves outside of their comfort zones in order to develop new skills.

Educational goals from any discipline can be weaved into developing a conservation campaign. A conservation campaign creates an important purpose behind student learning, making what they learn more personally meaningful. By engaging in a conservation campaign students are empowered to develop a voice within their community and to learn by doing.

Funds raised for conservation can be donated directly to Woodland Park Zoo here. Use the “Designation” box to direct where your school or classroom donations go. Your class can also opt to raise funds towards adopting an animal through the ZooParent program.

Wondering where to get started? Learn about the many conservation projects supported by Woodland Park Zoo.


Here are some ideas based on the conservation efforts of classrooms around the world:

  • Dioramas, posters, poetry, plays and even videos designed by students can be used to raise awareness and support in a diverse, creative, and emotionally engaging way.
  • Other creative projects like storybooks, postcards, or notepads can be designed by students with multiple copies printed. These printed materials can then be sold to raise support for the conservation project they are related to.
  • Encourage students to reach out to local newspapers, radio stations, and politicians about their conservation campaign.
  • Put on a conservation fair or parade at your school or in your community which can feature not only one but multiple conservation projects of interest.


Local Educator in Action

Endangered Species at Martha Lake Elementary

First grade instructor Nancy Webster of Martha Lake Elementary has been engaging her school in conservation through a unique endangered species project for over a decade. For this project each student chooses an endangered animal to become an expert in and draws a picture of that animal. All of these drawings are then used in the design of notepads which students sell to community members in order to raise money to support conservation at Woodland Park Zoo. In addition to their fundraising efforts students continue to research their chosen animal, culminating in a report which they present. Students also participate in a docent-led visit to the zoo where they continue to learn about the habitats and animals that they are studying and supporting. This multi-faceted project has become a unifying part of the first-grade experience at Martha Lake Elementary.

For additional details on this project see the lesson outline here   


Have a great success story to share of a classroom or school-driven conservation campaign?
Fill out our conservation campaign survey and share your story with us. Inspiring stories will occasionally be posted here or on the Woodland Park Zoo blog.

Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

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Seattle Parks & Recreation
Association of Zoos & Aquariums

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