Wild Indonesia classroom resources
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Virtual Zoo

About the Author

Learning Objectives
Related Standards
Tools and Materials
Teaching Strategy
Methods of Presentation
Display Methods
Assessment Recommendations
Extensions and Adaptations

Subject: Social Studies

Grades: 3-8


Indonesia is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife that, over centuries, has adapted uniquely to its environment. The Indo-Malaysian region includes Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra. Many of the species found in Indonesia can be linked to China and Australia. Here is a list of a select few of such animals: orangutans live in the forests of Sumatra and Kalimantan; wild oxen, also known as banteng, are native to Kalimantan and the Ujung Kulon National Park in western Java; proboscis monkeys (bekanten) can be found only in Kalimantan; and elephants, tapir and siamangs (black gibbons) all inhabit Sumatra. By watching Wild Indonesia you will see some of the unique animals native to this island paradise.

Learning Objectives

In this lesson students will have the opportunity to create a virtual zoo from the animals of Indonesia. Students will discover how some of these animals have adapted to their environment in an extremely unique manner. Each student will be responsible for researching an animal(s), locating where it exists on a map of Indonesia, and report this back to the class. This is a collaborative project in which students will use the Wild Indonesia tapes, the Internet, and CD-ROMs.

Related Standards List

National Standards from the McRel Standards Database at http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/

Language Arts

  • Gathers and uses information for research purposes
  • Demonstrates competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning


  • Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
  • Understands how human actions modify the physical environment


  • Understands the basic concepts of the evolution of species
  • Knows about the diversity and unity that characterize life

Tools and Materials

  • A copy of the program Wild Indonesia, a television, and a VCR
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Any computer program that allows you to insert pictures and text. For example, Microsoft PowerPoint, HyperStudio, any HTML Editor, or word processing programs.
  • Franklin Science Institute Animal Hotlist at http://sln.fi.edu/tfi/hotlists/animals.html
  • Set of encyclopedias
  • (Optional) Microsoft Virtual Globe CD-ROM
  • (Optional) Microsoft Encarta CD-ROM

Time Needed

It is recommended that 4-5 hours of class time be scheduled to complete the entire lesson.

Teaching Strategy

  1. First, ask students to share their experiences of going to a zoo. Ask them what their favorite animals are and where these animals are found in the world. Can they tell you why these animals are only found in certain places? Do they know what it means for an animal to be endangered? Did they see a particular endangered animal? What is exciting about visiting a zoo? Are there ways to bring animals to lands they don't naturally exist in?

  2. Show the following clips from Wild Indonesia featuring animals in Indonesia, some if which are only found in Indonesia. Ask students to take notes about as many animals in the program as possible.

    • Where Worlds Collide 5:00 to 20:00 - Animals of Sumatra
    • Where Worlds Collide 38:00 to 42:00 - Coast of Bali sea life
    • Where Worlds Collide 44:00 to 52:00 - Animals of New Guinea
    • Mystery of Sulawesi 00:00 to 10:00 - Animals of Sulawesi

  3. Tell students that many of the animals in the video are unique to Indonesia. Because these animals live so far away, students are going to help bring these animals closer to their community by creating a "virtual" Indonesian zoo. Depending on the size of your class and resources, decide how many animals each student will be assigned and how many the zoo will.

  4. Have students make a list of all the animals they saw. Then, have them group the animals into different species, for example birds, fish, mammals, amphibians, etc. They can even create an endangered species area. The different species will denote the different sections of the zoo. Once the lists are complete, have students choose which animal(s) they'd like to be responsible for.

  5. Give students Activity Sheet 1 and read through the criteria with them. When working on the different sections of the zoo, have students work in groups.

  6. Now that students are familiar with the information they need to find, use the Internet and/or a CD-ROM encyclopedia to do their research about the animals found in Indonesia. Students might begin with one of the recommended links within the Wild Indonesia or Living Edens: Borneo sites. Students should also look for a map of Indonesia, pictures and sounds that they can save to their computers (or a disk) to be used in their virtual zoo.

  7. Once the students have their research complete they can use the computer to create a display for their animal. Include a "quick fact" box that gives the more general information about the animal along with a summary. At this time they should also include a picture of their animal and a map of the location in Indonesia the animal is found. If sounds of the animal are available, have them insert the sound at this point.

Display Methods

Computer: Beginner/Intermediate
Have your students use a word processing program to insert pictures and text of your virtual zoo. You can print out each animal and put together a virtual zoo book.

Computer: Advanced
If your class or lab has PowerPoint, HyperStudio, or an HTML editor, have students create their virtual zoo using these programs. Publish your virtual zoo on the Internet or an Intranet.

No Computers
Have students create a class zoo magazine/brochure that includes each animal with a quick fact box, summary, and picture. They can give a group presentation or display the brochure in the classroom or school.

Classroom Assessment

Students can be assessed in various ways. Assess your students on how complete their research and presentation of their animal(s) is. Students should find all the facts for Activity Sheet 1. Appropriate and responsible use of the Internet is another area of assessment. After individual assessment, students should be graded on how well they worked as a member of the entire project.

Extensions and Adaptations

  • Have students identify as many endangered species as they can think of , then have them find out what they can do to help these species.
  • Have students debate whether man's need for natural resources is more important than keeping a species off the endangered species list. They can take a class vote and then make a list of pros and cons for each side.
  • Have students research possible careers in the zoo industry and make a book of these careers to go along with the brochure or as a Web site to go along with the zoo site.

About the Author

Chris Hungerford is a technology teacher at EXCEL Alternative High School in Marshalltown, Iowa. Chris was named the Midwest Regional Teacher of the Year by Technology and Learning Magazine for 1998. Chris created a class called Virtual City that uses SimCity 2000 to help his students learn all about cities. Students in the class have real mayors in the United States as e-mail partners. In his spare time, Chris enjoys serving as a reserve deputy for his local sheriff's office.


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