Year levels

Year 9 & Year 10


$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during the school term)


Adaptations, Classification, Endangered Species, Human Impact

Bring science to life! Explore animal adaptations and features through the medium of puppetry, saving species along the way.

Program Description

In Play Your Part, students will learn about Victoria’s most endangered species, and how understanding of their behaviours and adaptations can be enhanced through the study of puppetry.

Students will study the structural features and adaptations of animals by learning manipulation and design techniques for a variety of puppets. They will observe animal behaviour and movement with the opportunity to apply this knowledge to a roving puppet presentation for Zoo visitors.

Performance can not only help build awareness of endangered animals, it provides an engaging way to understand complex scientific, design and technology concepts.

Students will learn:

  • How animals have adapted for survival and what makes them vulnerable to extinction
  • Design techniques used to make puppets
  • Storytelling, performance and audience interaction skills
  • Self-reflection abilities

Program resources

Activity Duration
Workshop with Melbourne Zoo teacher 40 minutes
Student-led inquiry Optional
Independent Observation Activity 30 minutes
Performance (optional) 20 minutes

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum F – 10

Science Understanding

The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (VCSSU120)

  • Students will learn about natural selection and the diversity of living things through observation and the study of puppet mechanisms

Perform devised and scripted drama making deliberate artistic choices and shaping design elements to unify dramatic meaning for an audience (VCADRP044)

  • Students will use the knowledge that they develop in their workshop and observation to inspire and inform an audience
Design and Technology

Critique needs or opportunities to develop design briefs and investigate and select an increasingly sophisticated range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment to develop design ideas (VCDSCD060)

  • Students will have the opportunity to study the design of the puppets and return to school with ideas they can put towards making their own puppets
Personal and Social Capability

Evaluate own and others’ contribution to group tasks, critiquing roles including leadership and provide useful feedback to peers, evaluate task achievement and make recommendations for improvements in relation to team goals (VCPSCSO050)

  • Students will take on various roles and collaborate to create a presentation which introduces the stories of Fighting Extinction species to Zoo visitors

Plan your excursion 

This is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection. BYO device would be beneficial for students to record observations to support their performances when they return to school.

The organising teacher should make themselves known to Admission Staff prior to entering the Zoo so that payment can be made. More information 

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