Teacher Resources

Need activities to supplement your teaching?
Let the Red River Zoo be your scientific resource!

The Red River Zoo provides a variety of educational opportunities and programs for educators and students of all grade levels. These high quality, hands-on curriculum-based activities are excellent resources designed to assist educators and supplement lesson plans. Scientific concepts range from basic animal information to using scientific procedures to do scientific inquiry about our natural world. We can adapt any program to meet your educational needs.


  • What: We can prepare a box of resources that teachers can use to enhance their classroom curriculum. Resources include puppets, subject-specific books, posters, furs, feathers, skulls, sheets and videos.
  • Who: Teachers and informal eduators
  • Where: Can be picked up in the Education Barn at the Red River Zoo
  • When: Year-round, boxes can be loaned out for one week at a time
  • Cost: FREE with a $20 refundable deposit (shipping or delivering a box to your location requires additional fees). Please reserve your box at least one week before you wish to check it out.

Curriculum-based Activities

The materials provided in these activities have all been specifically designed to prepare students for their visit to the Red River Zoo. These activities are intended to be implemented before, during or after a visit to the Red River Zoo. They are aligned with the North Dakota science standards, and can be extended cross-curricularly to include language arts, art and social studies.

Download the following free, printable, self-guided materials to learn more.

Culture of Cranes

As a project, have students research the White-naped crane (Grus vipio), learn about the challenges of breeding them in captivity and what is being done around the world to save their species. Activities include mapping their habitat and creating a hand feeding puppet. Students will use the process of science inquiry, observation skills and knowledge of the basic concepts and principles of life science to complete this task.

North Dakota Science Standards: 2.2.2, 2.4.2, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.4.3, 4.2.2, 4.4.2., 4.4.4, 5.2.1-2, 5.4.3., 5.1.1, 5.1.2, 5.1.3, 6.1.1, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.4-5, 7.1.4, 7.4.6, 7.2.1, 9-10.1.2, 9-10.2.1, 9-10.2.3

Download Materials >

Living in a Pack

Learning how wolves communicate

Use this fun activity to describe the structure of a wolf pack, including the different roles of each wolf. Children will learn how wolves communicate with each other and be able to compare human families to a wolf pack.

North Dakota Science Standards: K.2.1, 1.4.2, 2.2.2, 3.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.4.4

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Oh Deer!

Raising Awareness About the White-lipped Deer, Cervus albirostris

By following this teacher's guide and using the provided picture templates, students will create signs that convey messages to the public that help protect the vulnerable White-lipped deer. This would be a great activity to do before visiting the deer at the zoo! Complete with printable clip-art sheet and glossary.

North Dakota Science Standards: K.4.1, 1.4.2, 2.4.2, 4.4.2, 7.4.6

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No Ordinary Cat!

Comparing our Domestic Cats to the Majestic Pallas' Cat

By following this teacher's guide, students will use their obervational skills to describe, compare and contrast the physical attributes of the Pallas Cat with domestic cats. Complete with worksheet, printable pictures, and glossary.

North Dakota Science Standards: K.4.1, 1.4.2, 2.4.2, 3.4.1, 3.4.3, 4.4.2, 4.4.3

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Oh Those Otters!

Designing an Otter Exhibit

As a project, have students research, design and create an exhibit for our River Otters! Students will use the process of science inquiry, observation skills and knowledge of the basic concepts and principles of life science to complete this task. Complete with printable activity sheet and extension activities.

North Dakota Science Standards: 3.2.2, 4.2.2, 5.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.4, 7.2.1, 8.2.4, 9-10.2.1, 11-12.2.1, 11-12.2.7

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Field Trips

  • What: Provide your students with an opportunity to see exotic wildlife in natural habitat exhibits. These outdoor exhibits feature animals and plants from Asia and the North American Great Plains.
  • Who: Students and educators of all ages
  • Where: Red River Zoo
  • When: Year-round. Contact us to arrange a dates and time.
  • Cost: For groups of 10 or more, students receive $1 off admission. One teacher per 10 students is free.

Zoo Careers Program

Has it always been your dream to work in a zoo? Maybe you just want to learn a little bit more about what it takes to be a zookeeper?

Check out our new Zoo Careers Program for middle and high school students interested in participating in career exploration at the Red River Zoo! Learn more about what working in a zoo is all about, what types of courses you will need to take in the future, and what you can do to gain experience right now.

  • What: You will be speaking with zoo staff, educators and zookeepers alike as you learn more about their day-to-day tasks and their career path. Excellent opportunity to ask questions and find out everything you wanted to know about working in a zoo setting.
  • Who: Teens 12+ who are interested in exploring animal-related careers, teachers, informal educators, parents
  • Where: Education Barn
  • When: Exact dates TBA, keep checking the website
  • Cost: Members $15, non-members $20

Professional Development

We will be offering a variety of professional development workshops just for educators. Feel free to contact us with a topic you would like presented. Date and price TBA

Through these and other public education programs, the Red River Zoo hopes to better educate the community about animals, the environment in which they live, and the many roles humans play.

Thank you for considering the zoo as a way to enrich you students' learning experiences. For additional information, please contact:
Stacey Hagreen, Education Director
701.277.9240 x309