Here are some resources we use as stimulus for our Zoo STEM Teach PD – take a look and see how you might use them in your classroom setting?

Please note that we only recommend picture books and resources that we use in our teaching and as part of the Zoo STEM Teach approach. All opinions expressed about these resources are our own. We use affiliate links and you’re helping our project create innovative teaching and learning when you use them! Thanks!


The founding activity from 2021 that set Zoo STEM Teach in motion.
A STEM design challenge with a heart of conservation suing the powerful picture book: Last, The Story of a While Rhino by Nicola Davies. Download this PowerPoint Presentation for an example of using World Rhino Day for STEM thinking and learning with a design and technologies focus.
Watch the 8-minute video with Zoos SA Ungulate Keeper Haidee Kinter, to inform and provide context for your STEM design challenge:

Red Panda Escape

This clip we use as a stimulus for the “Red Panda Escape” task – how DID Ravi escape from the Adelaide zoo? Maths connections – measurement and science connections – habitats, enclosure design and animal needs.
For a UK setting -


Ethograms have wonderful science and maths connections. For science we use ethograms to study animal behaviour. For mathematics, we can use this data to apply statistical understandings to analyse behaviour and the impact of weather or time on behavioural aspects of animals.

Zoo Resources

Some zoos around Australia offer wonderful, free resources for education. Here are some of our favourites:
Zoos SA:
Zoos Victoria:
Taronga Zoo:

Picture Books

Picture books are well documented as a tool to increase engagement and access to STEM thinking and working (Russo and Russo 2018).

A Lion in the Night
Pamela Allen

Maths Connections: Positional and locational language
A to Z of Endangered Animals
Jennifer Cossins

Maths Connections: statistics and data, critical mathematics
Science Connections: endangered species
Animals Close Up
DK Books

Can We Save the Tigers
Martin Jenkins

Maths Connections: Tiger population statistics and critical mathematics
Science Connections: Conservation, Habitats
Dear Zoo
Rod Campbell

Science Connections: purpose of zoos
Diary of a Wombat
Jackie French and Bruce Whately

Maths Connections: time and sequencing
Science Connections: animal behaviour
From Head to Toe
Eric Carle

Girrafe is Lost
Roger Priddy

Maths Connections: Positional and locational language
Science Connections: Purpose of zoos
How Machines Work
David Macaulay

Maths Connections: Measurement
Science Connections: Physics
Technology Connections: Design Thinking
I Am Not A Penguin
Liz Wong

Maths Connections: classification and application to classification of shapes
Science Connections: classification
If Tigers Disappeared
Lily Williams

Maths Connections: Mapping, population numbers (data), measurement (area), critical mathematics (human impact on tiger population)
Science Connections: Habitats and habitat destruction
Last, The Story of a White Rhino
Nicola Davies

Science Connections: Conservation
Technology Connections: ACTDEP005 – Explore needs or opportunities for designing and the technologies needed to realise designed solutions (F-2 – Investigate and define)
Little Tigers
Jo Weaver

Maths Connections: positional language, population and statistics
Science Connections: Conservation, habitat destruction, animal's needs
Look After Us
Rod Campbell

Science Connections: Conservation (F-2)
More Life Size Zoo
Teruyuki Komiya

Maths Connections: Measurement and Size
Passionate About Penguins
Owen Davey

Maths Connections: statistics about penguins
Poo in the Zoo
Smallman and Grey

Maths Connections: Weight of animals and weight of poo – investigation about the amount of poo for different animals and comparisons of relative weights
Science Connections: Ecology
Technology Connections: design thinking
The Ultimate Animal Counting Book
Jennifer Cossins

Maths Connections: Number sense and counting (F-2)
The Who, What Why of Zoology
Lucy Letherland and Jules Howard

Maths Connections: data and statistics and measurement
Science Connections: Purpose of Zoos
Tug of War
Naomi Howarth

Maths Connections: Animals weights (F-3)
What Do They Do with All Poo from All the Animals at the Zoo?
Ahn Do

Maths Connections: Weight of animals and weight of poo – investigation about the amount of poo for different animals and comparisons of relative weight.
Science Connections: Ecology
Technology Connections: design thinking

What people are saying...

"From my experience from the Zoo, I was able to develop my understanding on how mathematics surrounds us in everyday life and how mathematics can be fun, engaging and stimulating. In addition to this, the Zoo experience provided me with more information on how STEM knowledge is facilitated through the exploration of animals, enclosures and ecosystems."

Third Year Pre-service Teacher

"In experiencing the zoo from a student and teacher perspective, I engaged with all of the non-obvious math connections there are. It was engaging to view how these resources could be turned into effective STEM activities, and why this way of learning benefits student engagement and leadership."

Third Year Pre-service Teacher