The Zoo Debate

By Phillipa Werry (SJ L2 May 2017)

I am learning to identify and describe what the author wanted me to feel, think about or see.

• I can identify what I think the author’s purpose might be

• I can identify the big idea or message/s in the story through character actions or events

• I can describe the thoughts, feelings and actions in the story and link it to author’s purpose

• I can find evidence in the text to support my  thinking, feelings and observations

• I can identify how the illustrations help to get the author’s message across

Vocabulary Check:

Read the following excerpts from the text.  Write what you think the meaning of the word is using the rest of the sentence or paragraph to help you.  Then check in a dictionary for the correct definition.

Archaeologists have found the remains of a zoo in the ruins of a five-thousand-year-old Egyptian city.

My guess:

 I think they are a kind of scientist


A person who studies human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.

...their enclosures are more like their natural environment.

My guess:

I think it is a cage


An enclosure is something that closes you in, like a pen or a cage. When a cobra disappeared from an enclosure at the Bronx Zoo, the entire Reptile House had to be shut down until the snake was found. An enclosure can also be something that's included in an envelope with a cover letter of some sort.

Zoo staff say Anjalee is thriving.

My guess:

I think it means  growing.


prosperous and growing; flourishing

Use full sentences to answer the following questions:

What is a debate?  Use a dictionary to help you find the meaning.

A debate is a discussion or question.

What is the debate about in this article?  Who is for zoos and who is against?

Some people are against and some people are not against.

What message is the author trying to convey in this article?

That you're not right or wrong about animals and zoos.

What does the author want you to think about and learn from this article?

Some people like zoos and want to keep them and some people are against zoos and don't like the zoos and to learn about animals.

List the pros and cons of zoos in the table below

Pros (positives)

Cons (against)

  • Zoos teach people about animal and their natural environment.
  • Zoos allow people to see animals they would never be able to see normally.
  • Zookeepers and zoo vets care for the animals and work hard to give them a happy life.
  • Zoos help us to find out more about wild animals and how to protect them.
  • Zoos have special breeding programmes to help save endangered animals.
  • Zoos teach people to respect and love animals.
  • Zoos support conservation.

  • People can learn just as much about animals from books or television documentaries.
  • Most animals from breeding programmes stay in the zoo-they will never be put back into their natural environment, so the number of wild animals does not increase.
  • Some animals in zoo get bored and lonely.
  • Animals don't  belong in zoos- they have the right to be free.
  • Some zoos only want to keep big animals like elephants and tigers (because they are what visitors want to see) and not smaller, less exciting animals.
  • It cost a lot of money to keep animals in zoos.

After reading this article which side of the debate are you on? -  For zoos or against them?  Explain your answer by using examples and evidence from the text to back up your thinking.  You should write at least ONE paragraph.

I am against zoos because animals should be free and do what they want and not sit in their cage all day and be so bored and some animals get lonely and sad.