Animal Classification and Adaptations

Year levels

Year 7, Year 8


$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during school terms)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students


Adaptations, Classification, Human Impact

Immerse yourself in skull specimens, biological artefacts and real-world animal observations to understand the complex world of animal classification and adaptation.

Program description

It’s much easier to grasp the concepts of classification and adaptations when you’re up close and personal with a Snow Leopard’s skull and other artefacts… 

In Animal Classification and Adaptations, students will learn valuable observation and classification skills to organise animals into groups based on shared characteristics. 

With student and teacher resources to enhance the learning experience before, during and after your zoo visit, Animal Classification and Adaptations brings the science of the animal kingdom to life. Students will be challenged to classify animals, determine what adaptations they have to help them survive and what threats they are facing in the wild. By understanding what animals require to thrive in the wild, students will learn how they can adapt their behaviour to ensure species survival. 

Students will learn: 

  • How to observe the structural and behavioural adaptations of animals to group and classify animals in various ways 
  • About the food webs and food chains animals need to thrive in their environment 
  • The impact of humans on places, habitats and ecosystems 

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 

Analyse skulls, explore artefacts and visit zoo exhibits to understand the complex world of animal classification and adaptation. Students can use their newfound understanding of animal classification to organise the diversity of the animal kingdom at Melbourne Zoo. Students will learn how their understanding of animal adaptations and classification can help them to save wildlife. 

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 resources


Animal Classification and Adaptations Teaching Guide *coming soon*

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 7-8


There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (VCSSU091)  

  • Students will learn about classification systems and, through facilitated observations of organisms living and once living, note the differences and classify in a range of ways 

Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs and can be affected by human activity (VCECU011)  

  • Students will learn about the fragile nature of food webs, the roles of predators, prey and primary consumers and how humans can have a positive and negative environmental impact on these 

Identify, analyse and explain interconnections within places and between places and identify and explain changes resulting from these interconnections (VCGGC101)  

  • Students will learn about the impact of humans on places, habitats and ecosystems and what effect these impacts may have 

Plan your excursion 

Animal Classifications and Adaptations is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for 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. 

All onsite excursion bookings are subject to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and as such are subject to change in line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice. We will be in contact with all teachers prior to their booked date if we need to clarify any new requirements. 

Book your excursion

Call (03) 9340 2788

You will need the following to book your excursion:

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