Lesson Plans

Are you ready to make some Conservation Theater? On this page you will find lesson plans for all ages. Click on the link and you will be connected to exciting interactive ways to connect people to science through the creation of original plays about conservation and natural science. Open the door to creativity to inspire the actors, writers and audience.

Quick links to:       Elementary             Teen           Adult             All Ages

Lesson Plan for Elementary School Learners.  

This lesson plan uses theater and elements of reading to introduce young people to the science of invasive species. This two hour lesson ends with a performance by the children of the classic book “The King, The Mice and The Cheese” by Gurney and Gurney.

“I learned that people need to learn to get along with animals” -Second grade camper after performing as the King

Link to Elementary Age Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan for Teens

This lesson was developed off of the above lesson plan for elementary aged learners. This lesson takes the invasive species science and the book “The King, The Mice and The Cheese” used for the younger students and adds elements specifically designed for teen learners. In this lesson plan the students research invasive species, decide which invasive species problem they would like to make into a show, write the show and perform it. These moments of autonomy bring the teens into the world of science and theater and inspire thoughtful discussions and fun.

Link to the Teen Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan for Adults

This lesson plan inspires adults to create their own play about evolutionary science. It is a two day session with some homework and science review between the session dates. The group will review the science and famous names behind evolution, watch videos to inspire creativity, brainstorm what evolution really means and develop short scripts to demonstrate evolutionary science for an adult audience. This lesson can be extended to include performances of the new plays.

“We can not pretend humans are the apex of perfection and that life on planet earth must adapt or die.” -Workshop participant during the brainstorm session

Link to Adult Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan for All Ages

This lesson plan combines inquiry with theater. Participants take a moment to explore the natural world around them in a short inquiry, discuss the science that they see and then create a short play or movement piece about what has inspired them from their brief inquiry. This lesson has been successfully used for teachers, students from 3rd-12th grades, park ranger interpretation specialists and international students in Peru. This is a terrific beginning Conservation Theater activity for someone leading a theater and science activity for the first time.

Link to All Age Lesson Plan

Ethogram Dance Lesson Plan-PreK to 4th grade

In this lesson plan students will observe animals and take notes like a scientist would either on their own or with the teachers help. Students who can write will do scientific ethograms. Students who can no write will have a simpler worksheet. After observing an animal, they will take what they observed and turn it into a dance or movement piece. This is a playful way to learn about scientific observations.

Link to Ethogram Lesson Plan

Wildlife Theater Lesson Plan

This document helps teachers use theater in the classroom and was developed by Bricken Sparacino and Jennie Inchausti. Sparacino and Inchausti were Wildlife Theater performers and instructors at the Central Park Zoo. They brainstormed ways to include the theatrical style of Wildlife Theater into a more traditional lesson plan. This plan inspires teachers to add elements of theater into their day to day teaching to help reach the kinesthetic learners in their classrooms and open the doors to scientific learning.

Link to Wildlife Theater Education Format


Enfironmental Study Center NYC 2016 PD for 3 to 5 grade teachers
Teachers workshop at the Environmental Study Center of NYC


2.Teen camp ends-8.7.15
Teens at the Central Park Zoo summer program theater elective











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