Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Virtual Zoo to You

Virtual Zoo to You offers education programs on a variety of topics brought to you virtually. Sample subject areas include adaptations, habitats and endangered species. Our programs are designed for specified age groups and grades according to the New York State Learning Standards. We have programs available for ages 3 through adult. Virtual Zoo to You is not suitable for children under the age of 3. Please see our curriculum list below for specific program details. Also, please note that most program themes can be adapted to suit both older and younger aged students. We can also design a program to your specific topic needs or on subject matter not included on our curriculum list. Simply mention your request when you reserve your Virtual Zoo to You program and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs.


Amazing Adaptations

Why do tigers have such big teeth? How far can an owl its head? In this program, discover how animals survive in their environments using specific body parts or behaviors known as adaptations.

Target Age/Grade: Pre-K through high school
NGSS: 1-LS1-1; 2-LS4-1; 3-LS2-1; 3-LS3-2; 3-LS4-3; 3-LS4-4; 4-LS1-1; MS-LS1-4; MS-LS4-4; MS-LS4-6; HS-LS1-2; HS-LS2-8; HS-LS4-2; HS-LS4-3

Animal Coverings

Why are birds covered with feathers? Why do turtles have shells? Learn about the different types of coverings, the animals that have them, and how it helps them to survive.

Target Age/Grade: Pre-K through 1st grade
NGSS: 1-LS1-1

Animal Movement

Animals rely on different parts of their body to move, which aids in their survival. Learn about the different body parts of animals and even see a few zoo animals move using different parts of their bodies. Learn how to move their own bodies in ways that some animals do.

Target Age/Grade: Pre-K through 1st grade
NGSS: 1-LS1-1

Animal Enrichment

Have you ever wondered if animals get bored like humans do?  Explore different tools that the zoo uses to enrich the lives of the animals that call it home. You can also learn how to enrich the lives of animals that live in and around your home.

Target Age/Grade: Ages 12 and up

Animal Needs

Why don’t wild animals make good pets? While some animals live with people and rely on people to take care of them, wild animals must search for food, water, and shelter to survive. Explore the differences between domestic pets and animals in the wild and discover how you can make a better pet owner.

Target Age/Grade: Kindergarten
NGSS: K-LS1-1; K-ESS3-1

Animal Senses

Animals move and use their senses just like us. See for yourself how some different animals move, smell, hear, and feel and use a few of your own senses to learn how they survive in the wild!

Target Age/Grade: Pre-K

Beastly Builders

From dens to dams, holes and hives, animals have different ways of finding and making shelter. Explore many types of homes animals build in the wild and how we re-create them here at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

Target Age/Grade: Kindergarten
NGSS: K-ESS2-2; K-ESS3-3


From penguin poop to vulture vomit, the Zoo can be a pretty gross place! We will explore the icky, yucky, gross side of working with animals, and find out why a little gross can be a good thing!

Target Age/Grade: Grades 1-4
NGSS:  1-LS1-1; 3-LS4-3; 4-LS1-1

Going Native

While we might not have large and impressive wildlife like elephants and lions roaming the countryside, the wildlife that can be found in the state of New York is still diverse and interesting to learn about. The animals we share our neighborhoods with can give us brief glimpses into the lives that go on around us every day.

Target Age/Grade: K-3rd Grade
NGSS: K-ESS3-1; 2-LS4-1; 3-LS3-2; 3-LS4-4

At Home in My Biome

Grasslands, deserts, forests…these are just some of the places our animals call home. Discover more about biomes and how their qualities determine what animals live there. Great for all ages.

Target Age/Grade: K through high school
NGSS: K-ESS3-1; 2-LS2-2; 2-LS4-1; 3-LS2-1; 3-LS4-3; 3-LS4-4; 4-LS1-1; 5-LS1-1; 5-ESS3-1; MS-LS2-1; MS-LS2-4; MS-LS4-6; MS-ESS3-3; HS-LS2-1; HS-LS2-6; HS-LS2-7; HS-LS2-8; HS-LS4-2

Life Cycles

What changes happen when animals grow? Many animals go through a series of changes from birth to death. Students will compare a variety of animal life cycles and learn what changes occur to them between egg and adult.

Target Age/Grade: Pre-K through high school
NGSS: 1-LS1-2; 1-LS3-1; 3-LS1-1; 3-LS3-1; MS-LS1-4; HS-LS1-4

Animal Myths Busted!

Can an owl turn its head all the way around? Do porcupines shoot their quills? Can turtles leave their shells? Find out by joining us as we present and analyze some myths and misconceptions about animals found at the zoo!

Target Age/Grade: Pre-K through 4th
NGSS: 1-LS1-1; 3-LS2-1; 3-LS3-2; 3-LS4-2; 4-LS1-1

Predator vs. Prey

What is a predator? What is a prey? Learn how the ability to get food and avoid becoming food is linked to survival. Meet both types of animals here at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

Target Age/Grade: Pre-K through high school
NGSS: K-LS1-1; K-ESS3-1; 3-LS2-1; 3-LS4-2; 3-LS4-4; 4-LS1-1; 5-PS3-1; 5-LS2-1; MS-LS2-1; MS-LS2-3; MS-LS2-4; MS-LS4-4; HS-LS2-1; HS-LS2-2; HS-LS2-6; HS-LS4-2


Tropical rainforests are one of the most diverse environments on earth, with over half of our known plant and animal species residing there. You will explore the layers of rainforest and the animals that inhabit them. Learn how humans depend on this unique habitat.

Target Age/Grade: 3 – high school
NGSS: 3-LS3-2; 3-LS4-3; 3-LS4-4; 4-LS1-1; 5-LS2-1; 5-ESS3-1; MS-LS2-1; MS-LS2-3; MS-LS2-4; MS-LS2-5; MS-LS4-4; MS-ESS3-3; HS-LS2-1; HS-LS2-2; HS-LS2-6; HS-LS2-7

Species Survival

Why do animals become endangered or extinct? How are AZA accredited institutions, like the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, helping to save animals from extinction? Discover what part humans play and how you can help.

Target Age/Grade: 3rd– high school
NGSS: 3-LS4-1; 3-LS4-4; 5-LS2-1; 5-ESS3-1; MS-LS2-1; MS-LS2-2; MS-LS2-4; MS-ESS3-3; HS-LS2-1; HS-LS2-2; HS-LS2-6; HS-LS2-7; HS-LS4-6

The Scoop on Poop

All animals poop! Here at the zoo we have many species which all have their own way of doing their business. From nesting to seed spreading, fertilization to food, learn the reasons why it’s important.

Target Age/Grade: 1st – middle school
NGSS: 1-LS1-1; 4-LS1-1; 5-PS3-1; 5-LS2-1; MS-LS2-3


Join us as we explore the clues left behind by animals as they go about their lives. We will also investigate the many ways tracking animals can help us learn about identification, behavior, and conservation.

Target Age/Grade: 1st – middle school
NGSS: 1-LS1-1; 4-LS1-1; 5-PS3-1; 5-LS2-1; MS-LS2-3

Wild Careers!

Have you ever thought about working at the zoo? From education to zoo keeping, there is something for everyone here! Explore all your options and learn how you can get others “close enough to care.”

Target Age/Grade: Ages 12 and up

Want to know more about Virtual Zoo to You?

Zoo to You has a very flexible schedule: weekdays, evenings, and even weekends! Please call (315) 435-8511 x8559 to check for availability.

Zoo to You strives to integrate its message of increasing participants’ awareness of the animal kingdom and encourage them to be environmentally conscious into what lessons or subject matter your facility is teaching. Please click here for a list of program options and the standards they align with. If you do not see a theme that meets the needs of your group, please ask to speak to the Education Program Manager who may be able to arrange for or design a specialized program for your organization. 

Each program lasts approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour while Pre-K programs are generally 30 minutes. The educator adjusts the length of each program based on the interest of the participants.

Each virtual program can accommodate up to 100 participants. The facilitator will customize the program to the size of the group.


We request that each program is booked a minimum of two weeks in advance. That being said, we recommend that you reserve your program as soon as possible as dates book quickly. Spring (April-June) and Summer (July-August) are the busiest times of year for Zoo to You, and these dates fill up weeks or even months in advance. Call the Zoo at (315) 435-8511 x8559 to reserve a program today!

The education collection at the zoo has a variety of small animals that are specifically chosen for outreach programming. The types of animals we may use depend on the topic of the program and animal availability. Due to zoo protocol regarding animal care and scheduling, we are unable to make any guarantees on which types of animals are brought for a program. However, we will strive to bring a variety of animals suitable for your group. If you are scheduling multiple Zoo to You visits for your group, please let us know if you would like us to bring different animals for each visit, so that we may give your group a unique experience each time.

Generally, Zoo to You will present 3 or 4 animals during your program. Our programs are designed to give the members of your group the chance to spend time learning about these amazing creatures and to see the animals up close.

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