Habitats, Features and Life Cycles Year 1-2

Year levels

Year 1, Year 2


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


Animal Features, Ecosystems / Habitats

Join us in Melbourne Zoo's Wild Lab and become a Wild Scientist for the day exploring the form and function of different animals and how to respect and care for their environment.

Program description

This program explores the natural world in our exciting outdoor laboratory. Students will become Wild Scientists and learn about what makes animals special. Using the power of inquiry, they will investigate the features and basic needs of animals. They will experiment, observe and test ideas to discover how to create a better world where all living things can thrive.

Students will learn: 

  • How to respect and care for animals
  • The special features animals have
  • How animals need food, water and shelter to survive
  • How animals grow and change

Program sequence

Before your visit


Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark students curiosity before their zoo visit. 

During your visit

Connect and Understand 

Students will be encouraged to gather information through investigations and consider questions. Able to engage all their senses, students can dive in to hands-on, minds-on, self-directed exploration. Guided discussion and rich investigations will help students to develop understandings of where animals live, their form and function, what they need to survive and how we can care for them and their habitats.  

Your zoo visit will include: Introduction (for arrivals between 9:40am – 10am)Zoo Teacher workshop (40 minutes) and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at the zoo. 

After your visit


Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning back at school. 


Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. 

Program maps and itineraries

Your booking confirmation email will list your group's education workshop time/s. Each workshop time has its own map and suggested daily itinerary. Digital maps will be provided to you on the day.

Program resources

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum F-2


Living things have a variety of external features and live in different places where their basic needs, including food, water and shelter, are met (VCSSU042)

  • Through problem-based inquiry learning, students are given the opportunity to explore animal and plant features, habitats and survival needs

Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (VCSSU043)

  • Students will explore animal life cycles through animal observations and hands-on activities

Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions (VCSIS051) 

  • Students will be encouraged to engage their senses: listening, observing, smelling and touching in order to explore living and non-living things. This will be supported through examining clues found throughout the Wild Lab, engaging in problem-based activities and being immersed in a unique, purpose built environment that encourages play-based learning and exploration

Plan your excursion 

This program is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for all weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection. 

School groups will enter Melbourne Zoo via the Rail Gate entrance. Organising teachers please check in with our Admissions team upon arrival. More Information. 

Book your education experience

Fill out an online form to request a booking for your zoo education experience

Request booking now

You will need to know the following to book your zoo excursion or online workshop:

  • Education program of your choice (if applicable)
  • Preferred date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level