Animal Behavior and Biology (Fall 2022)


Students will participate in brainstorming, learning, and designing with the purpose of recognizing the link between animal behavior and choices the zoo has made to nurture this biology.  During this event we will be discussing how we design training and habitats to benefit the animals we work with.  This event’s post activities are focused around project-based learning and directly relate back to the pre activity as a form of reflection. 

Activities offered for classrooms can be used by teachers as they apply to their class. Pre-activities and post-activities are meant to help support and enrich the learning that takes place during the Live Broadcast. All are optional but strongly encouraged in order to align with the standards provided.  

Date of Event: October 5, 2022 (video will posted soon)

Designed For: Middle School and High Schools Students (see NC Standard Course of Study alignments below).


  • The student will be able to identify the “why” for how the zoo designs both animal training and habitat structures. 
  • The student will learn the behaviors the North Carolina Zoo identifies in both grizzly bears and Hamadryas baboons as signature. 
  • The student will be able to defend an argumentative response in reference to their own design ideas following video presentations. 

Teacher Information (All Grades): 

Our Animal Behavior and Biology portion of our Living with Nature series will be broadcast via Zoom on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 10 am. It will last approximately 30 minutes. 

In order to set the foundation/stage for the Animal Behavior and Biology live/interactive event, students should have a basic understanding of habitats both as a zoo dwelling place and as a scientific term describing an area or type of area.   

Determine your goals for your class. Use the objectives listed above to decide what you’ll focus on for the duration of the interaction. There are many opportunities to create a cross-curricular event and experience for students. Consider teaming up with another content-area teacher. 

Prior to Event

The following activities are offered as suggestions to engage students’ prior knowledge and prepare them for their virtual trip to the North Carolina Zoo to learn about Animal Behavior and Biology. 

  1. Read articles - Consider the influences humans have on animals and their natural habitats. Take notes on what surprises you, concerns you, etc. 
  2. In your schoolyard find an animal and then make a complete list of all the behaviors you all see an animal doing in the school yard. For example, a squirrel, an ant, or a bird. 

During the Event

Bingo card and worksheet.

After the Event

  1. Have students map the space their pet, family, or classmates use and then complete an ethogram of their activities in that space. 
  2. Compare ethograms between different species of animals. What similarities and differences do you all notice?  
  3. Reflecting on the behaviors recorded of an animal in the school yard, create and defend an argument as to how you would design an exhibit or habitat for that particular animal. 


For questions or further information email 


NCSCOS Standards

  • Grade 6 - 6.L.2.3 Summarize how the abiotic factors (such as temperature, water, sunlight, and soil quality) of biomes (freshwater, marine, forest, grasslands, desert, Tundra) affect the ability of organisms to grow, survive and/or create their own food through photosynthesis.

NGSS Standards

  • MS-LS2-4 - Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations


NCSCOS Standards

  • 8.L.3.1 Explain how factors such as food, water, shelter, and space affect populations in an ecosystem

    8.L.5.2 Explain the relationship among a healthy diet, exercise, and the general health of the body (emphasis on the relationship between respiration and digestion).

NGSS Standards

  • MS-LS2-4 - Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.


NCCTE.AN51 - Environmental and Natural Resources I

  • NCCTE.AN51.01.00 - Investigate organizations related to the environmental and natural resources industry.


NCCTE.AN51.04.00 - Discuss the environmental and natural resources industry and its importance to the national, state, and local economy.

  • NCCTE.AN51.04.01 - Describe careers in the environmental and natural resources industry.
  • NCCTE.AN51.04.02 - Discuss the environmental and natural resources profession and its the importance to the economy.


NCCTE.AN51.05.00 - Explore the common career paths in environmental and natural resources.

  • NCCTE.AN51.05.01 - Analyze environmental and natural resource industry careers and related employment opportunities.
  • NCCTE.AN51.05.02 - Compare characteristics, preparation and credentials needed for employment in environmental and natural resources industry careers.

NCSCOS Standards

  • Bio2.1.2 Analyze the survival and reproductive success of organisms in terms of behavioral, structural, and reproductive adaptations.

    Bio 2.1.3 Explain various ways organisms interact with each other (including predation, competition, parasitism, mutualism) and with their environments resulting in stability within ecosystems.


NGSS Standard

  • HS-LS-2-8 - Evaluate evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species’ chances to survive and reproduce.