Home School Program

September 5, 2018


The Utica Zoo Home School Program is a STEM-based program that utilizes activities, crafts, powerpoint presentations, as well as live animals to teach attending children about a range of animal-related topics. Our homeschool class may be used to fulfill a science credit, depending on specific grade level or requirements.

All classes are held in the zoo’s Auditorium for approximately one hour. 

11:00am; K – 2nd Grade (students must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the program)

1:00pm; 3rd Grade & up (students may be dropped off – sign in will be required)

The cost is $7.00/child for members, $7.00/child plus adult admission for non-members. $5.00 for any additional child.

Pre-registration is required. For more information, or to register your child, Contact Nicolette Hajdasz at birthdayparties@uticazoo.org or by phone at 315-738-0472 ext. 34.


September 20th – Introduction to program & ‘Classification Stations’

Welcome back to homeschool at the zoo! We will do a quick reintroduction to our homeschool program followed by some classification activities and a meet n’ greet with some live animals from the animal groups that we discuss.

October 25th – ‘Preparing for winter’

How do you prepare for winter? This month we will talk about the many ways that our native animals prepare themselves for the harsh winter months here in upstate New York. There will be some live animal meet n’ greets with our resident native creatures, as well as a little-guided exploration to a native animals exhibit to learn about how we keep our animals warm here at the zoo.

This class will include a small pumpkin to paint or take home to carve (paint will be provided during the class).

November 8th – ‘Animal Coverings’

Have you ever thought about why an animal might be covered with either fur, feathers, or scales? We will discuss the many different ways that animals keep themselves safe in their environment, as well as meet some live animals from around the world with unique coverings.

December 6thWhat’s that track!?

This month we will explore animal tracks, and what makes each one unique. We will learn ways to identify tracks in our own backyards, and each child will take home their own animal track identification card. A live animal meet n’ greet will take place, as well as a track hunt (weather dependent).

A holiday-themed craft will be provided at the end of each session for those that would like to participate.

January 24th, 2019 – Hopping into the New Year!

Let’s learn about animal movement! Some animals strut, some waddle, some slither; we will learn about the many unique ways that animals move around, as well as meet some live animals, so that we can observe how each one moves differently. Other related activities will be included for each age group.

February 28th, 2019 – Wetland wonders

This month we will get a jump on spring and discuss wetlands. Wetlands are a very vital part of many ecosystems, which means we need to do our best to conserve them. We will have a special guest from the Solid Waste Authority coming in to speak to students about the importance of properly disposing of our garbage and recyclables, since misuse of these things could greatly affect the health of our local wetland environments. A live animal meet n’ greet with a wetland animal will take place as well.

March 21st, 2019 – Endangered or Invasive?

This month we will be talking about the importance of conserving endangered species, as well as watching out for invasive species. We will meet an animal from both groups, and do some related activities to help us better understand how animals become either endangered or invasive.

April 25th – TBA

May 23rd – TBA

June 13th – TBA


Utica Zoo Home School Program Materials

NEW this year! Many times, Home School learners will want to revisit material from class at home. We have made it much easier for you to download and print class materials. 

Check back here after each class to download materials for review!

September 20th – Introduction to program & ‘Classification Stations’

DOWNLOAD: Classifications-Quick Quiz

DOWNLOAD:  Classifications-Quick Quiz-Answer Key

DOWNLOAD: Animal Classification Lesson

October 25th – ‘Preparing for winter’

DOWNLOAD: Hibernation Fact Sheet

November 8th – ‘Animal Coverings’

DOWNLOAD: Animal Coverings-Teacher’s Edition

DOWNLOAD: Animal Coverings Handout

DOWNLOAD: Coverings Craft

December 6th – What’s That Track?

January 24th – Hopping into the New year!

February 28th – Wetland Wonders

March 21st – Endangered of Invasive?

April 25th – TBA

May 23rd – TBA

June 13th – TBA