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Spark Curiosity with Digital Resources from Shedd Aquarium for the School Year

Bring penguins, sharks and more aquatic life to the classroom virtually

October 08, 2020

Children on a video web chat participate in a tortoise animal program.

While heading back to school this fall looks different for classrooms across the country, Shedd Aquarium, a leader in science education and immersive, hands-on learning, is offering various ways to connect with the aquatic animal world. Adapted to seamlessly integrate into the classroom, whether e-learning or in-person this year, there are resources and programs specifically for educators and students. Make a splash with learners by bringing them eye-to-eye with animals at the aquarium with a virtual field trip or videos with engaging, hands-on activities and so much more.

Explore turtles, penguins, sharks and more from behind the scenes at Shedd– virtually! No matter what your classroom looks like this year, this virtual program is facilitated by Shedd educators and is designed for K-8 learners in virtual learning, in-person classes, hybrid classes, learning pods and homeschool groups. Each program is 50-minutes long, interactive and engaging, includes a question-and-answer session with an animal care expert and comes with grade-aligned pre- and post-field trip lessons. Expand your classroom's curricula with learning programs on animal behavior, habitats, adaptations, ecosystems and anatomy. Shedd's learning programs are designed to support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core Standards and CPS science curriculum, Amplify Science.

  • $125 for one classroom/$95 for an additional group in the same program
  • Available on select Tuesdays - Fridays and delivered via Zoom or Google Meet
  • Grades: K-8

Easily facilitate educational and engaging learning experiences, that bring classrooms and learners' eye to eye with animals at Shedd Aquarium and their remarkable underwater biology and aquatic biodiversity. These limited video series include grade and standards-aligned activities to accompany each episode that can be utilized in the classroom by educators or at home for families.

Stay Home with Shedd
In an effort to inspire the next generation of animal enthusiasts, the aquarium developed this limited video series that takes a deeper dive into kids’ favorite residents at Shedd, including penguins, turtles, sharks and fish. This digital learning initiative invites families, educators and learners to discover unique animal adaptations, explore their curiosities and foster a greater appreciation for our blue planet. Dive into mysteries surrounding some of visitors’ favorite animals – starting with penguins in the first episode answering questions like “why don’t penguins fly?” and “why are penguins are black and white?”

  • Free
  • Grades: 3-5

Sea Curious
Dive into questions about iconic animals with the kids’ video series from Shedd Aquarium, Sea Curious! Designed by kids for kids, each episode answers a question about animals by exploring and having adventures at the aquarium. Nine aquatic animal videos, each only 3-5 minutes long, ranging from topics like “do animals play?” or “what do animals eat?”

  • Free
  • Grades: K-5

Spark students’ interest in science and the natural world like never before with Shedd’s standards-aligned curricula exploring animal rescues and underwater beauty. These are free resources to customize and utilize to meet the needs of each classroom.

Underwater Beauty Interactive Learning
Every aquatic animal is beautiful. The differences in color, pattern and rhythms make the aquatic world diverse and uniquely evolved. Join Shedd in learning about why and how these animals look and act the way they do. The activities below can be enjoyed by a classroom and are NGSS and Common Core aligned.

  • Free
  • 3 interactive learning guides customized based on learning level (K-5, 6-8 and 9-12)
  • Grades: K-12

NextGen Animal Responders Curriculum
Shedd's NextGen Animal Responders curriculum guide leads learners through those questions and more with expert guidance and engaging activities. Incorporating Next Generation Science Standards, our inquiry-based curriculum guide offers an inside look at animal rescue and recovery efforts.

  • Free
  • 5 lesson plans
  • Grades: 6-8

Lesson Plans
While classrooms may not be able to visit Shedd as a group, educators can adapt our pre- or post-visit exhibit and trip lesson plans to fit the needs of each classroom.

  • Free
  • A variety of teacher guides and exhibit guides
  • Grades: K-12

PHOTOS/VIDEO: High resolution visuals of Shedd Aquarium’s learning programs are available for download:
Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez