Mussel Curriculum

Mussels are often out-of-sight and out-of-mind. But native mussels are important for healthy rivers and lakes. Sadly, freshwater mussels are the most at-risk group of animals in the United States. Five species native to Minnesota are listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Minnesota Zoo is working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to help mussel populations by rearing mussels for release into the wild. In addition, the Zoo is working to educate the public about these important species and their role in healthy ecosystems.

This curriculum guide is designed to provide lesson ideas and activities in order to incorporate native freshwater mussels and their importance to water quality into your existing curriculum. These lessons can be used individually or together, depending upon your time and resources. All lessons are aligned to address current curricular objectives and both state and national educational standards.

Kick-off Lesson

Zoo Quest Curriculum

STEM Quest Curriculum Guide: Analyzing Human Impact in Malaysia
STEM Quest is a curriculum guide meant to help students realize humans act as part of an ecosystem and use science, technology, engineering and math in the conservation and protection of habitats and species that live in Southeast Asia, specifically the country of Malaysia.  You and your students will learn about the positive and negative impacts of human engineering and technology and the consequences and destruction that animals now face in their natural habitat. This curriculum prepares students for STEM Trek

Minnesota Quest
Explore Minnesota’s biomes and discover how animals adapt to our unique landscape and climate with engaging, standards-based classroom activities.  This curriculum guide was developed for 6th-8th graders but can be easily adapted for older or younger students.  Bring along the accompanying Minnesota Trek, an on-site self-guided tour of the Medtronic Minnesota trail to focus your field trip learning.  This is a great complement to any unit on Minnesota history, wildlife, environments, or biology.  This curriculum prepares students for Minnesota Trek

Math Curriculum

We have updated our math curriculum! The following activities were designed to demonstrate how we use math, science, and engineering to connect people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife. There are four primary topics: Feeding Animals, Animal Measurements (AKA: Animal Shapes, Sizes and Weights), Animal Speeds, and Exhibit Design which you can use easily in your classroom. There is also a MN Zoo Field Trip worksheet to utilize on your next visit. It is a mixed of the primary topics but the students need to visit the exhibits to obtain some of the data needed for the solve problem. All together it creates a complete unit. The Minnesota Graduation Standards were considered carefully during the development of this packet.


At the Zoo
At Your School