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


Teacher Classes at Brookfield Zoo


Science Stories

December 6 at the Chicago Botanic Garden and December 7 at Brookfield Zoo. 8:30 - 4:30 both days. All grades, $140, 15 CPDUs, 1 optional Graduate Credit ($100 through Aurora University) PLEASE NOTE: this is a Saturday-Sunday class.

Throughout history humankind has created stories to explain scientific facts and events. Groundhog Day, Jack Frost, the myth of Persephone who brings spring, or the story of the beautiful Snow Queen are all explainations for waether. Folk tales like the African story of the Greedy Zebra tell us how animals got their colors, horns, body coverings, and shapes. Identiry patterns in nature, make observations to explain science and create stories to help students understand the natural world.

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



The Good Life: Animal Behavior and Training

January 30 (4:30 – 10:00 p.m.) and 31 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), All grades, $140, 1 optional graduate science credit ($100 through Aurora University), 15 CPDU’s
NGSS LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Investigate work done in zoos to ensure quality of life for our animal residents. Meet staff who help encourage natural behaviors and the craftspeople who create animal “toys’ and environments. Observe habitats and animals from Dolphins In Action to Tropic World. Training and enrichment programs improve animal husbandry and the environment in which our animals live. Apply concepts to enrich your classroom and address diverse learners.




The Evolution of Behavior: Courtship and Choice

February 6 (4:30 – 10:00 p.m.) and 7 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), Grades 4-12, $140, 1 optional graduate science credit ($100 through Aurora University,) 15 CPDU’s.
NGSS L2 Social Interactions and Group Behavior.

Identify patterns in behavior that lead to successful mate choice in many species. Observe animals that use monogamy, polygamy and other systems of pairing. Learn about a wide range of courtship behaviors and strategies for selecting a mate. Talk to animals care experts and learn how zoos and cooperate with other institutions to maintain genetic diversity and choose mates for animals. Apply class content to the development of instructional lessons.




Nature’s Giants

February 20 (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 21, (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), All Grades, $140. 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Aurora University) 15 CPDU’s. 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Aurora University) 15 CPDU’s
NGSS LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Investigate the idea of “bigness.” How do some of the planet’s largest animals make their way in the world? We explain the phenomena in terms of concepts in an introduction to animal and plant size, comparing marine mammals, bison, camels and gorillas, baobab trees, bamboo and saguaro cactus with smaller species. Make a special visit to some giant animals! Your lesson plan assignment will include the adaptation of field trip lessons for special needs and literacy skill development. Take away activities, animal footprints and handprints, and a CD with images of nature’s giant species!




Deserts

February 27 (4:00-10:00 p.m.) and 28, (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). Grades K - 9, $140, 1 optional graduate credit ($100, Aurora University), 15 CPDU’s.
NGSS ESS2 Earth’s Systems

Inside warm desert exhibits and a cozy classroom, we’ll spend a winter weekend meeting desert animals and the staff that care for them. Identify deserts worldwide and investigate the survival strategies and adaptations that have been developed by desert inhabitants: both plant and animal! Apply concepts to create hands-on science and art activities, get assessment ideas and receive materials, desert plants and PowerPoint images for use in your classroom.




Conservation Leaders

March 6 (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 7, (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), All Grades, $140, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Aurora University.) 15 CPDU’s.
NGSS ESS3 Earth and Human activity.

Engage in activities and design strategies and projects that will help you become a conservation leader for your students. Staff from S.C.A.R.C.E. will help us investigate ways to conserve, recycle and reuse resources. Find out about animals that have found new, “recycled” lives at Brookfield Zoo.




Reptiles and Birds

April 24 (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 25, (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), all grades, $140. 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Aurora University.) 15 CPDU’s.

Beautiful, amazing and engaging, reptiles and birds inspire affection and delight or fear and aversion in people. Investigate information and theories including the fact that many scientists now believe that birds are reptiles! Observe and analyze behaviors and discuss facts about these amazing creatures with Zoo scientists and animal care staff.




Engineering and NGSS for All Learners

May 15 (4:30-10:00 p.m.) and 16, (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), grades K-6, $140. 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Aurora University) 15 CPDUs

Educators can reach ALL students with engineering: the science of solving problems. Clever and fun hands–on activities will help us cultivate a deep understanding of the engineering practices as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards relating to the K-12 classroom.  Engaging professional discussion and collaboration coupled with hands-on experiences and planning aligned with NGSS and Common Core will prepare educators to take engineering back into the classroom with confidence.




Ecology

June 22-26 (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) Grades 3-12, $350, 3 optional graduate science credits ($300 through Aurora University.) 45 CPDU’s.
NGSS ESS2 Earth’s Systems

This biology class will focus on ecology: what ecology is, the levels of organization, and how energy moves throughout the environment. Apply concepts to teach about food chains and food webs, the nutrient cycles that exist on our planet, and how the species and ecosystems of the Earth are shaped, by the process of succession. Investigate the community interactions one can see in the vast array of ecosystems on our planet, and how those ecosystems come together to form the biomes that organisms call home. We will also identify the impact that humans have on this Earth, and draw conclusions about the things we do daily (both good and bad) that can have lasting and sometimes irreversible effects. Class includes lecture / discussion sessions with Brookfield Zoo animal care staff and scientists and special animal tours.




Ocean Explorers

July 6- 10- (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. all days.) All Grades, $350, 45 CPDUs, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Aurora University.)
NGSS LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Our most popular summer class is back! We focus on ocean animals: bottlenose dolphins, penguins, seals, sea lions, and more. Behind the scenes visits include the Living Coast and an early visit to Stingray Bay. Talks from animal care staff and scientists help you to carry out a behavioral observation and create inquiry questions and apply concepts in your teaching. The fee includes curriculum materials.




Picture Book Science

July 13- 17 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day. 3 graduate credit hours (Aurora University $300), 45 CPDU’s. $350 grades K-9.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating information
Common Core: Reading Standards for Informational Text

Have trouble finding the time to fit in science? Love to use picture books in your classroom? This is your class! Make more time and expand content knowledge in science all while learning literacy skills. Come learn about this great way to integrate science within your curriculum and identify key science and literacy concepts through the use of picture books. Sample lessons, learn to pick effective books, plan a unit and take resources back to your classroom.




Primates

July 20-24 to 12, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day. All grades, $350, 3 optional graduate science hours ($300, Aurora University), 45 CPDUs.
NGSS LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
NGSS L2 Social Interactions and Group Behavior

In this course we investigate primate conservation and behavior through direct observation providing a foundation for understanding research methods and conservation issues. Callimicos, Spider Monkeys, Brown Capuchins, White Cheeked Gibbons, Orangutans, Mandrills, Mangabeys, Lowland Gorillas and other primates 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.




Zoo Careers

July 27- 31, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day. All grades, $350, 3 optional graduate science hours ($300, Aurora University), 45 CPDUs.
NGSS ESS3 Earth and Human Activity
LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
Common Core Math: Apply Geometric Concepts in Modeling Situations

The modern Zoo is a little city. Careers include veterinarians, animal care specialists, chefs, photographers, scientists, nutritionists, horticulturalists, police, artists, electricians and more! Information from talks and behind the scenes observations will be applied in activities that connect to your classroom.




Art In The Zoo

August 3-7, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day. $350, All grades. 3 graduate credit hours (Aurora University $300), 45 CPDU’s.
Common Core Math: Apply Geometric Concepts in Modeling Situations
Common Core Literature: Key Ideas and Details. Read closely to make logical inferences

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. Our Brookfield Zoo photographer will help you to take your own “award winning” photos and resident artists and exhibit designers will share their expertise and stories. Art techniques help Zoos plan, estimate, design, model and estimate animal and exhibit needs. Plan ways to connect art with your science and literacy lessons, ESL classes, focused field trips and more.