A Day at the Zoo: Using an Online Map

Who doesn’t enjoy a trip to the zoo? See if you can get a map of a local zoo and modify the basic level tasks below according to the attractions and facilities available. You may also simply use the link I provide to the map of Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts.

Download and print out the map of Southwick’s Zoo. Choose from the following activities.

1.  Asking for Directions

List a half dozen tasks on the board (see suggestions below). In small groups, students will take turns asking the person on their left for directions. Encourage proper etiquette with use of “Excuse me” and “Thank you” as well as the possible responses “No problem” or “You’re welcome”.

  • (At the entrance): Ask how to get to the Kiddie Rides
  • (At the Parakeet Landing): Ask how to get to the Deer Forest
  • (At the Pony Rides): Ask how to get to the Train Station
  • (At the Yak area): Ask how to find the nearest restroom
  • (At the Alligator pond): Ask how to get to the Zebra Cafe
  • (At the Carousel): Ask how to get to the Earth Discovery Center

2. Interpreting a Map/ Question Formation

As a class, unscramble the questions below. Tip: Write one sentence scramble at a time on the board. After it is unscrambled, erase the scrambled version. Do no erase the question with correct word order. Simply list the next scramble below. You need to end up with 8 correctly worded questions. (You can add more if you’d like.)

  • What kinds of animals can visitors ride? <  <  RIDE / CAN/ ANIMALS/ VISITORS/ KINDS/ WHAT/ OF?
  • Can you have a birthday party at the zoo? < < ZOO/ PARTY/ YOU/ HAVE/ BIRTHDAY/ AT/ CAN/ THE/ YOU/ A?
  • Where can you receive medical help? < < YOU/ RECEIVE/ HELP/ CAN/ WHERE/ MEDICAL?
  • Where can you buy a salad? < < SALAD/ WHERE/ YOU/ BUY/ CAN/ A?
  • Where can you find souvenirs? < < WHERE/ FIND/ SOUVENIRS/ YOU/ CAN?
  • Is there a fee for parking? < < FOR/ A/ PARKING/ FEE/ THERE/ IS?
  • Are there any farm animals? < < ANY/ THERE/ ANIMALS/ ARE/ FARM?
  • Do I need a ticket to ride a camel? < < TO/ NEED/ RIDE/ DO/ CAMEL/ I/ TICKET/ A/ A?

After the questions are correctly written on the board, have students work in pairs or small groups to find the answers. If you wish, you can make it a timed game. See who can find all the answers first.

3. Forming a Plan

Have students work in pairs or small groups. Tell them they have only 90 minutes to enjoy the zoo. What will they do first? What attractions do they plan to enjoy? Will they stop and eat? Would they prefer a train ride to a walk in the deer forest? Have them agree on a group plan and then share their plans with the class. Provide prompts with the structures you wish to target. For example:

  • (infinitives) We plan to…/ We want to…
  • (sequence words) First, / Next, / Then,…
  • (“going to”) We’re going to…
  • (“will”) We’ll…/ Maybe we will…


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