School Programs

wildlife conservation society

Learning is an adventure when you choose one of Queens Zoo’s education programs. We offer a wide range of programs to enhance science curricula, educate and inspire diverse communities so they come to appreciate the wonders of wildlife and wild places of the Americas. All classroom programs are one hour.

Programs for Pre-K & K

QZ Education

Animal Alphabet

Your students' animal alphabet adventure will begin with a rousing rendition of the alphabet song & then continue with up-close visits from amazing animals. Students will learn about different animals & their adaptations while using their knowledge of the alphabet.

(Science: 4.LE - 1.1a, c, 2a, 5.2d & Biology: 1.2a, 1.2b)

QZ Education

Zoo Math

Students will get a sneak peek inside the life of a zoo keeper! While experiencing diverse animal life & zoo keeping tasks, your students will not only have fun using their math skills, but also see them applied to real life experiences. Through close-up meetings with animals, this program will reinforce students' recognition of numerals & help them examine the different relationships among numbers.

(Math: PK - CC.1.3, 3a, 4: MD.2; K - CC.4, 4a, 5; MD.3 & Science: 1.2a, 1.2b)

QZ Education

Living Creatures

In this exciting program students will learn the difference between living & non-living organisms. Through group work & animal encounters, students will come away with a better understanding of the five characteristics we use to know if an organism is living.

(Science: 4.LE - 1.1a, c, 2a, 5.2d & Biology: 1.2a, 1.2b)

Elementary Programs

1st & 2nd Grade

QZ Education

Wild Adaptations

Elephants are enormous & squirrels are small. Some animals are long & thin while others are round like a ball. Students will take part in a variety of activities & animal encounters regarding size, shape, & color adaptations. Students will leave with a better understanding of animal adaptations & how they help animals survive in the wild.

(Science: 3.1c, 3.2b, S1.1a, 3.2b)

QZ Education

Animal Survival Needs

In this program, students will explore what a habitat is. Students will recognize what animals need to get from their habitat to survive& how they get it. From a snake's tongue to an owl's ears, up-close observations of animals in the classroom, along with visits to zoo exhibits, will allow students to compare the similarities & differences among animals.

(Science: 5.2a, 5.2b, 5.2c, 5.2d, 5.2e, 5.2f, 5.2g)

QZ Education

What Animals Eat

What R U Munchin'? Just like us, animals eat different things. Through up-close observations of animals in the classroom & visits to the zoo, students will compare the similarities & differences between animals & their diets. This program focuses on food webs & will help students gain a better understanding of producers & consumers through exciting hands-on activities.

(Science: 4.2b, 6.1a, 6.1b, 6.1c, 6.1d, 6.2b & Biology: 7.2a, 7.2b)

QZ Education

Furry Friends

Your students will experience a fun-filled program devoted entirely to our fellow mammals. Students will begin this program by sorting photos that demonstrate the amazing diversity of mammals. After that, students will use exploration boxes to discover the unique characteristics of mammals & learn what sets them apart from other classes of animals. Up-close encounters with some furry friends, along with visits to zoo exhibits, make this program an excellent learning opportunity.

(Science: 5.1b, 5.2e, 4.2a)

3rd - 5th Grades

QZ Education

Ecosystems & Biomes

In this program students will learn about the differences between habitats, ecosystems, & biomes. Students will gain an understanding for how ecosystems interact in biomes around the world by participating in group activities & animal demonstrations.

(Science: 4.2b, 6.1e, 6.1f, 6.2b & Biology: 6.3a, 6.3b, 6.3c, 7.2a, 7.2b, 7.1b, 7.1c)

QZ Education

World of Mammals

Not your average mammal's class! Students will learn about the differences between mammals & other classes of animals by investigating different animal characteristics during group activities & up-close animal encounters. Students will also learn about different families of mammals from rodents to pinnipeds!

(Science: 5.1a, 5.1b, 5.2e, 4.2a)

QZ Education

Keeping It Local

Embark on a local wildlife expedition! Students will explore the urban wildlife they can find all around them in the city through an exploration of zoo grounds. Students will participate in hands-on learning activities, as well as up-close animal encounters that will help show them why these animals are so important to us in the big city.

(Science: 5.1b, 5.2a, 5.2b, 5.2c, 5.2d, 5.2e, 5.2f, 5.2g)

QZ Education

Endangered Wildlife*

*5th grade only

Through hands on activities and exploration students will discover the meaning of animal endangerment and extinction and how people have changed the natural world over time. Students will discuss issues involved with the development and protection of wildlife areas. They will learn how they can help animals around the world and take a conservation pledge!

(Science: 3.1i, 3.1j, 3.1k, 6.1e, 6.1f)

6th - 8th Grades

QZ Education

Endangered Wildlife

What are the major causes of wildlife endangerment & extinction? How have people changed the natural world over time? In this program, students will learn the answers to these questions by investigating Threats to Wildlife Boxes & visiting the zoo’s exhibits. Students will discuss issues involved with the development & protection of wildlife areas. They will learn how they can help animals around the world & take a conservation pledge!

(Science: 3.1i, 3.1j, 3.1k, 3.1l, 6.1e, 6.1f, 7.1a, 7.1b, 7.1c)

QZ Education

Enriching Experiences

Zookeepers spend a great deal of time providing their animals with behavioral enrichment. Learn about the different foods, toys, & activities that the keepers give to the animals daily that enhance their physical & mental well-being. Through observations & the use of ethograms, students will learn how these things positively affect an animal's behavior.

(Science: 5.2b, 5.2c, 6.1e)

QZ Education


What better way to study biology than the study of birds? Students will learn about bird characteristics, bird adaptations, & the role birds play in ecosystems. Students will get to dissect owl pellets, meet two animals, view local bird life, & visit the many birds we have here at the Queens Zoo.

(Science: 5.2a, 5.2b, 5.2c, 5.2d, 5.2e, 5.2f, 5.2g)

High School

QZ Education

Animal Behavior at the Zoo

Caring for the Zoo's animals requires many different responsibilities. Before an animal is even seen at the zoo, researchers must spend time in the field observing its behaviors. Students will learn about animal behavior studies, as well as conduct a mini study themselves. Based on their observations, research, & pre-existing knowledge they will create an exhibit for the animal. Students will put their critical thinking to good use!

(Science: 5.1b, 5.2a, 5.2b, 5.2c, 5.2d, 5.2e, 5.2f, 5.2g)

QZ Education

Wildlife Careers

There is an amazing diversity of wildlife careers to be found in a modern zoo. Your students will leave this program feeling inspired by the endless career opportunities in the zoo & wildlife fields. Students will meet animals & visit naturalistic exhibits to explore the multitude of careers involved in the care & conservation of animals.

(Science: 5.2b, 5.2c, 6.1e, 7.1a, 7.1b, 7.1c)

All programs are 60 minutes in length. Due to their great popularity, Education Department programs are scheduled well in advance. We recommend that you contact the Education Department as early as possible to schedule a program. In some cases, space may be available on shorter notice.


$225 per class. A class is defined as up to 25 students & 7 adults (including the teacher) for Pre-K & K & up to 35 students & 7 adults (including the teacher) for 1st grade & older.

Fees include Zoo admission for each class and one adult for every five children, including teachers and school staff. Scheduled programs must be pre-paid by the school or district. Payment can be made by check, credit card or school purchase order. Under no circumstances will classes be offered without full payment or purchase order.

Guided Tours

In addition to our curriculum based programs, the Queens Zoo offers guided tours lead by our trained Wildlife Guides. Tours last 60 minutes and include an overview of all of the animal exhibits. The fee for a tour is $175 per class. For more information call 800-433-4149.

School Reservations and Information

Program Registration

  • To make a reservation, please call the Education Department at 800-433-4149, Monday through Friday, between 9:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. Reservations for school programs are handled by phone only at this time.
  • Maximum program class size is 35 students for 1st grade and up and 25 students for Pre-K and Kindergarten. Schools are not allowed to combine classes to reach the maximum class size. One adult for every ten students is required, with a maximum of one adult for every five children.
  • We welcome students with special needs. Please be sure to mention special needs or disabilities when registering so that we can place your class in a wheelchair-accessible classroom. We require one adult for every two students in special education classes (maximum class size of 12 students).
  • A confirmation letter with program information, including session dates, times, and classroom locations, will be sent to you. Present this letter at the front entrance gate to the Zoo on the date(s) of the scheduled session(s). Instructors will meet you at this gate to bring you to the appropriate classroom for your program.
  • Payment in full is due at least 4 weeks prior to the visit date.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received by the Queens Zoo Education Department in writing, by mail or FAX (718-271-4441). Cancellations made at least 4 weeks in advance will receive a 50% refund. There are no refunds for programs cancelled less than four weeks prior to the scheduled date of program. Please note that any request to reschedule your class is equivalent to a cancellation.

Late Arrivals

Due to a very full schedule, programs will not be extended for late-arriving groups beyond the scheduled end time. Staff will make every attempt to cover as much material as possible in the time available. Please obtain information on how to locate the Zoo in advance of your trip. Directions to the Zoo and a copy of the Zoo Map are available online at

Weather Conditions

All programs are held as scheduled (regardless of weather) unless field trips are cancelled by the Chancellor’s office. Please encourage your class to dress appropriately for outdoor activities. Attempts to reschedule your classes will be made at the earliest available date but cannot be guaranteed.

Queens Zoo Admission Policy for Visits Only

All schools not participating in an Education Department program do not need to pre-register your group visit. Payment can be made in cash, personal or school check on the day of your trip. For additional information contact the Registrar at 800-433-4149.