Animal Explorers

Grade Level: K–2

Animals come in different shapes, sizes and colors! Just like scientists, students will use observation skills to learn more about animal diversity. Working in small groups and using a tablet app, students will look for different kinds of animals, take their photos and then add their observations. After the field trip, you will receive an electronic copy of your students’ annotated photo albums.

Missions 1 and 2 are required to familiarize you and your students with the experience you’ll have at Shedd Aquarium. Missions 3 and 4 are suggested because we think they’re great ways to prepare students to get the most out of their field trip. We have also included post-trip activities for use in your classroom.

Continue to Mission 1 -->

This project was made possible in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
Institute of Museum and Library Services

NGSS Standard

2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.


Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS4.D. Biodiversity and Humans

There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water. (2-LS4-1)


Science and Engineering Practices

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Make observations (firsthand or from media) to collect data that can be used to make comparisons. (2-LS4-1)

Teacher Information

Where: For this experience, please meet us at the entrance to the Amazon Rising exhibit. We will give a brief orientation, and then your groups will be able to move through the exhibit at their own pace. We will collect your iPads at the end of the exhibit. Amazon Rising is U-shaped, so it is easy to navigate.

What: During this experience, students will be asked to find a variety of animal traits in the Amazon Rising exhibit. Each group will be given the chance to find and take photos of animals of different colors, sizes and patterns. Students will also be asked to observe animal shapes and movements. 

Tips for Success

Please be sure to have students divided into groups. We find that the activity works best in groups of three to five, but we understand that your group sizes may vary.

Because you will be in the Amazon Rising exhibit, you may find it helpful to show your students where the Amazon is located and study the weather patterns of the region.