Teacher Classes at Brookfield Zoo

Ready for a change of pace? Take a teacher workshop at Brookfield Zoo!

Our expert educators will inform, entertain, and engage you as you explore a wide range of topics. The following classes carry ISBE credit (CPDUs) at no additional charge. Many provide optional graduate credit for an additional fee.

Refund Policy
All class fees include a $40 nonrefundable registration fee for 1-hour graduate classes and a $75 nonrefundable registration fee for 3-hour graduate classes. Class fees, minus the nonrefundable registration fee, can be refunded or transferred to another teacher class if we receive notice of this request at least two weeks prior to the date of the original class.

Have you checked out our new Advanced Inquiry Program Master’s degree? It’s fun and exciting, includes travel abroad, and is very affordable. Check it out at www.czs.org/aip

For questions, contact Lanis Petrik at 708-688-8372 or Lanis.Petrik@czs.org., or Julie Wozniak at 708-688-8367 or Julie.Wozniak@czs.org


2014 Teacher Classes at Brookfield Zoo


Animal Alphabet

February 7 (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 8, (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), Grades Pre-K to 5, $140, 15 CPDU's, 1 optional Graduate Credit ($100) through Aurora University)

From Aardvarks to Kangaroos and from Lions to Zebras, we will explore the world of animals at Brookfield Zoo. Focus on stories, facts and observations that will help you engage children in literacy, math and science. Take away images of our beautiful animals and a collection of footprints to share with your class.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Zoo Stories

February 21 (4:30 - 10:00 p.m. and 22 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), All Grades, $140, 15 CPDUs, 1 optional Graduate Credit ($100 through Aurora University)

Where do zoo animals come from and why do we have animals in captivity? Learn about the role zoos play in conservation and education and engaging stories of our wonderful animal residents. You'll hear how Brookfield Zoo saved 2 orphaned baby brown bears, why Tapeko dolphin raised her grandson, and take home a video about animals that we have returned to the wild. We'll make books and explore techniques for teaching reading and writing.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



From Rhinos To Bison: The World Of Solitary And Social Species

March 8 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) and 9, (8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.), All Grades, $140, 15 CPDUs, 1 optional Graduate Credit ($100 through Aurora University.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SATURDAY/SUNDAY CLASS.

Join us for this conference style class as we hear talks from the experts in the field of animal care and behavior. We also will tour exhibit areas with keeper staff and participate in activities designed to help your students understand the world of differences between animals that live in herds, families, packs and prides and those who live alone for most of their lives.


Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Differentiated Classroom

March 14 (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 15, (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), All Grades, $140, 1 optional graduate credit ($100, Aurora University), 15 CPDUs.

Explore fun and engaging activities and plans to help develop materials and assessment measures so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability. Get techniques for effective teaching that involve providing different students with different avenues to acquiring content; to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas. Experienced elementary and high school teachers will share their favorite ideas.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Spring Science

March 21 (4:30 - 10:00 p.m.) and 22 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). All Grades, $140, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 Aurora University), 15 CPDUs.

As the world around us wakens, we'll see baby animals, budding trees and returning birds. While March may be snowy, you'll notice cardinals proclaiming their territories from the tops of tall trees and buds beginning to swell. Explore new life at Brookfield Zoo and see how the forest is changing with the longer days and milder weather of spring. Learn the difference between maple syrup and maple sap, received a CD of animals and their babies, and curriculum materials.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Zoo Math

March 28 (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 29, 2014 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), Grades 2 to 9, $140, 1 optional graduate credit ($100, Aurora University), 15 CPDUs.

Math at the zoo can go beyond just counting animals. Experience activities that can be used or adapted for your classroom or focused field trips. Activities include animal observations, tallies and graphs of student inquiries, the “Banana Lab,” animal Venn diagrams, and more.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Anatomy And Adaptations

April 11, (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 12, 2014 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), Grades 5 to 11, $140,15 CPDUs, 1 optional Graduate Credit ($100 through Aurora University)

A “crash (and fun!) course” on comparative anatomy will encompass both invertebrate and vertebrate anatomy and adaptations that make them better fit for their environments.  Numerous specimens like skulls, pelts, bones and more will be used for a great hands-on experience. Use an inquiry approach to design an activity for a unit on animal anatomy! This lab and observation based class will explore the adaptations that have evolved to make animals successful in their ecosystems.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Ecosystems on the Edge

April 25 (4:30 - 10:00 p.m.) and 26 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). All Grades, $140, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 Aurora University), 15 CPDUs.

Your students know what an ecosystem is but what about species that depend on the edge of the forest, oceans, or rivers? How do man made edges like roads and fences affect species? Activities are designed to guide your students as they explore ecosystems, fragmentation, edge effects, and edge and inerior species. Design an African nature presere. Receive images of "edge species" including white tailed deer, penguins, elk, dragonflirs, and more!

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Animal Heads And Noses, Tails And Toes

May 9, (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 10, (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), Grades Pre-K to 5, $140, 15 DPCUs, 1 optional Graduate Credit ($100 through Aurora University)

Antlers and horns, prehensile trunks and tails, feet that make footprints large enough for a kindergartner to sit inside: animals have amazing adaptations! Observe Brookfield Zoo animals and learn about nature’s clever structures and the animals that posses them. Take away activities, information and close up pictures of animal features.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Wetlands And Water Quality

May 16, (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 17, 2014 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), Grades 5 - 11, $140, 15 CPDUs, 1 optional Graduate Credit ($100 through aurora University)

Study water quality at Brookfield Zoo in lakes, ponds and exhibits. Learn more about the animals and plants that inhabit our local wetlands and how Brookfield Zoo is working to conserve endangered species in nature and care for our water dwelling animals at the Zoo.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Wild Places

May 30 (4:30 - 10:00 p.m.) and 31 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). Grades K-9, $140, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 Aurora University), 15 CPDUs.

Discover a wealth of natural habitats right here in the Chicago area. Get materials and activities for teaching about habitats and develop assessments for your classroom. Learn how the Chicago area ranks with Yellowstone National Park and the Florida Keys as one of the top 10 places in North America for seeing a great diversity of wild plant and animal species. This workshop introduces teachers to natural areas and habitat resources in northeastern Illinois. Activities include slides and discussions, hands-on animal observations and on-site field experiences. Content is designed around Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Chicago Wilderness materials that highlight natural sites and significant biodiversity within a short day trip of Chicago area schools. Participants receive the Chicago Wilderness video.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Zoo Genetics

June 13 (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 14, 2014 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), Grades 5 -12, $140,15 CPDUs, 1 optional Graduate Credit ($100 through Aurora University)

From the entertainingly named “Who’s Your Daddy?” to cutting out and
arranging chromosomes into actual karyotypes, your students can explore the principles of genetics using engaging Brookfield Zoo animal research and activities. Visit our resident animal species to observe genetic and environmental differences.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Animal Seasons

June 16-20, 2014 (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. each day), Pre-K to 5th grade,, $350, 3 optional Aurora University Graduate Credits ($300), 45 CPDU’s.

Do polar bears like our warm Chicago summers? How does the giraffe herd greet the first sunny days of spring? Discover survival strategies for seasonal change, observe our “summer animals”, and explore the ways in which people and animals both cope with (and enjoy!) the seasons. Class will include animal observations, guided inquiries, classroom activities, songs, nature walks and more.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Art in the Zoo

June 23 - 27, 8:30 - 4:30 each day. 3 optional graduate credit hours (Aurora University $300) 45 CPDUs, $350. All grades.

No talent is needed to learn about the art that has been created at Brookfield Zoo. From art deco signage and buildings dating back to the Zoo's opening in 1934 to the latest in Zoo exhibits and signs of the 21st Century, we'll discover art, illustrations, statues and photographs. The Brookfield Zoo's photographer will help you to take your own "awarding winning" photos and resident artists and exhibit designers will share their expertise and stories. Plan ways to incorporate art into your science and literacy lessons, ESL classes, focused field trips, and more.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Zoo Expeditions: Carnivores

July 7- 11 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. all days.) All Grades, $350, 45 CPDUs, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Aurora University.)

In this course we investigate carnivore conservation and behavior through direct observation providing a foundation for understanding research methods and conservation issues. Lions, wolves, painted dogs, tigers, leopards and other carnivores are ideal for comparative studies on topics ranging from social structure to communication. Meet scientists, curators, and animals keepers who will share information and stories.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Animal Behavior

July 14-18, 2014 (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. each day), Grades 5–12, $350, 3 optional graduate credits ($300, Aurora University) or 3 optional graduate science credits ($345, Benedictine University), 45 CPDU’s,.

Animal behavior is a concept that students can readily grasp. What does an animal do? Why does it do that? What does the behavior mean? By emphasizing the practical applications and methods of behavioral research – including its relationship to conservation, the human impact on natural populations – we offer entrée into the scientific method using inquiry: asking questions, seeking answers (collecting data) and formulating answers (interpreting data). Course includes a curriculum packet and video.

Registration for this program has closed. Take a look at our other programs and check back next quarter for new program offerings.



Be A Scientist!

July 21-25, 2014 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. all days.) Grades 3-12, $350, 45 CPDUs, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Aurora University.)

Your students will study the lives of amazing scientists and then plan their own expeditions! Map skills, math skills, content knowledge about countries, species and ecosystems all contribute to their plans. Construct this interdisciplinary project for use in your own classroom and take an imaginary journey to places like the savannahs of Kenya, the rain forests of Bolivia or the vanishing forests of Asia.




Ocean Explorers

July 28- August 1, 2014 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. all days.) All Grades, $350, 45 CPDUs, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Aurora University.)

Our most popular summer class is back! We focus on ocean animals: bottlenose dolphins, penguins, seals, sea lions, and more. Have a private visit to Stingray Bay and talks from animal care staff and scientists. Carry out a behavioral observation and develop inquiry questions for use with your students. The fee includes curriculum materials.