Docent Tours & Classroom Safaris

We make a connection to you!

School Group Tours Guided by our Docents.

  • All Docent tours meet Colorado Academic Standards & Common Core State Standards.
  • Choose from a variety of on-site educational tours which includes a pre-visit Safari to your school.
  • View lists below for a one-of-a-kind learning experience.
  • Classroom only FREE Zoopeteer program presentations are offered off-season, introducing early-on animal education to grades K-2.
  • Learn more about CMZ Docents.
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FREE Zoopeteer’s Programs for Grades K – 2

Want to have your students totally entertained and learn key science concepts about animals that are grounded in the Colorado Academic Standards? Then the Zoopeteer Programs are for your students! The Zoopeteers introduce the exciting world of animals, their characteristics and habitats, through an entertaining and very educational puppet presentation by the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Auxiliary performing troupe.

Target Audience: Kindergarten, First and Second Grades.
 

Colorado Life Science Standards

Kindergarten Standard 2: Organisms can be described and sorted by their physical characteristics.
First Grade Standard 2: An organism is a living things that has physical characteristics to help it survive.
Second Grade Standard 2: Organisms depend on their habitat’s nonliving parts to satisfy their needs.

Colorado Geography Standards

First Grade Standard 2: Geographic tools such as maps and globes represent places.
Second Grade Standard 2: Geographic terms and tools are used to describe space and place.
 

Zoopeteer Program Choices:

Kindergarten programs

  • “Hippo-NOT-umus” – Children will laugh and learn watching this puppet show based on a story that tells how important adaptations such as the elephant’s trunk are to an animal’s life. Portly the hippo tries to be other animals but finds that his own life is best for him.
  • “Bear Cub is Lost” – Some animals invite a lost bear cub to share their homes and food.

First Grade programs

  • “What’s My Habitat?” – This Zoopeteer Presentation discusses habitats and opens with three animals in the wrong habitats. After they find their correct habitats, they play a guessing game with clues about other animals and where they live.
  • “Home for Polar Bear” – An unhappy polar bear magically visits various habitats and finally discovers that an Arctic home is best for him.
  • “The Arctic” – Ms. Docent and Cheyenne, the giraffe, take a wrong turn while searching for other giraffes and end up at the North Pole where they discover some very different animals.
  • “The Waterhole” – Ms. Docent and Cheyenne meet several animals at a waterhole in Africa (Kenya) and learn about these creatures and their surroundings.

Second Grade programs

  • “The Brave Little Tree Frog” – An adventurous tree frog, with help from his friends, journeys across South America to save the rain forests.
  • “Colorado Wild” – Ms. Docent and Cheyenne visit the different life zones of Colorado learning about the animals and plants in each zone.

Dates & Times:

– Dates offered: October through March only.
– Days offered: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday (no Wednesdays).
– Zoopeteer Program: 35-45 minutes per presentation.

Details & Requirements:

  • Call and schedule as early as possible for availability, as days and times are limited and fill up quickly.
  • All shows are presented from a portable stage requiring 12 square feet of space plus sitting room, in one location for all presentations.
  • Teachers should coordinate show times and select a presentation at their grade levels.
  • Zoopeteers prefer to present more than one show in a given day and generally do not return to the same school during the performance season.

Cost

FREE (student or adult)
Although there is no charge for these Zoopeteer Presentations (a public service of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Auxiliary), a donation to the program would be gratefully received to cover costs of the stage, props and puppets for our Zoopeteers.

 

To Schedule a FREE Zoopeteer Program For Grades K-2:

Contact: Sue Sallee, Zoopeteer Coordinator at 719-599-8758 or zoodocentsallee@gmail.com

 


Docent-Led Tours & Classroom Safaris for Grades K – 12:

Zoo Tour & Classroom Safari Combos

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Docents offer educational programs that address Colorado Academic Standards. Packages for Kindergarten – 12th Grade include a Classroom Safari, a vocabulary and concept list, and a 1 – 1.5 hour long tour of the Zoo. Introduction and emphasis on the program theme is first provided with the Classroom Safari and then followed with a Zoo tour. Programs are adjusted to meet your curriculum and grade level.

Days & Times

– Days offered: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday (no Wednesdays).
– Classroom Safari: 45 minute Powerpoint presentation at your school with showing of biofacts to the students.
– Docent-Led Tour: 60 minutes K & 1st Grade; 90 minutes 2nd Grade & up.
Docent-Led Zoo Tours are scheduled 4-7 days after the Classroom Safari.

Details & Requirements

  • Book at least 2 weeks prior to requested date, call early for availability.
  • Schedule the Docent-led Tour 4-7 days after the Classroom Safari.
  • One (1) adult chaperone and/or teacher per group of students are $0.75 each. Students are to be supervised by their chaperone after the docent led tour and while on zoo grounds.
  • Additional adults with the group receive $2 off current admission price. They must prepay the teacher prior to the tour.
  • Adults paying at the front gate will pay the regular Zoo admission and may NOT join the Docent-Led tour. These adults will have to meet up with the groups at the drop off area after the tour.
  • Children under the age of 3 are $0.75
  • We are unable to accept passes or Zoo Memberships in place of admission fees for Docent-Led Tours.

 

Cost

Year round: $11.75 per child
(Includes a $0.75 donation to Quarters for Conservation).

Payment Methods & Requirements:

PAYMENT IS DUE IN FULL ONE WEEK PRIOR TO TOUR DATE
Cash, in-state check, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover are accepted.
Please have one person pay for the entire group.

Title One Scholarship Information:

For Title One Schools seeking information about scholarship funding, please view the Opportunity Fund Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions. To access the Opportunity Fund Scholarship Application. Opportunity Fund scholarships have limited availability.

Rescheduling:

If you have a problem with your scheduled date and need to change/cancel your tour and/or classroom safari please contact Marie Poyzer at 719-576-2664 as soon as possible to reschedule. In the event of inclement weather and/or late starts, it is your responsibility to cancel the tour 24 hours in advance and reschedule your tour by calling Marie Poyzer. The CMZ Docent Auxiliary does NOT cancel tours, only the schools can do this. By calling in advance, we can notify our Docents that the safari/tour has been cancelled. We will do our best to reschedule your classroom safari and/or tour.

Download Docent Teacher’s Guide

Download / Print – TEACHER’S GUIDE – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Docent Auxiliary Classroom Safaris, Tours, & Programs 2017-2018 PDF
This guide is intended to be a hardcopy version of the information provided on this Docent Tours webpage.
 

To Schedule a Docent-Led Tour & Classroom Safari:

Contact: Marie Poyzer at 719-576-2664 or docentzootours@gmail.com
Please leave your name, your school’s name, as well as, your best contact phone number. Calls will be returned as soon as possible.


 

Docent-Led Tours & Classroom Safari Program Details:

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Grades K and 1

Kindergarten – Coats and Colors Docent-Led Zoo Tour & Classroom Safari

Colorado Life Science Standard 1
Standard 1: Organisms can be described and sorted by their physical characteristics.

Essential Questions:

What do living things have in common?
What characteristics are useful for sorting and classifying organisms?

Description:

The Kindergarten Coats and Colors Tour focuses on making connections with patterns in the natural world. Students will learn many ways to sort and classify organisms based on their physical characteristics. They will understand what makes an animal’s covering important (protection, warmth, camouflage, attraction/identification, movement, and communication).

Classroom Safari:

A 45 minute visit to your classroom by a CMZ Docent which includes a Powerpoint presentation, hands-on bio-facts, activities, and a vocabulary list

Docent-Led Zoo Tour:

60 minute Docent-led tour, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

6-8 students per Docent-Led tour group at the Zoo.


 

First Grade – Coats and Colors Docent-Led Zoo Tour & Classroom Safari

Colorado Life Science Standards 1 & 2 (builds on Kindergarten Standard)

Standard 1: Offspring have characteristics that are similar to but not exactly like their parent’s characteristics.
Standard 2: An organism is a living that that has physical characteristics to help it survive.

Essential Questions:

In what ways do offspring resemble their parents?
What helps a specific animal survive?

Description:

The First Grade Coats and Colors Tour focuses on offspring and their resemblance to parents. Students will learn to identify physical characteristics in order to compare and contrast animals and their babies. Students will understand how adaptations can increase an animal’s chance for survival.

Classroom Safari:

A 45 minute visit to your classroom by a CMZ Docent which includes a Powerpoint presentation, hands-on bio-facts, activities, and a vocabulary list

Docent-Led Zoo Tour:

60 minute Docent-led tours, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

6-8 students per Docent-Led Tour group at the Zoo.

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Grades 2 and Up

African Rift Valley (ARV) Docent-Led Zoo Tour & Classroom Safari

Target Grade: 2nd Grade

Colorado Life Science Standards:
Standard 1: Organisms depend on their habitat’s nonliving parts to satisfy their needs.
Standard 2: Each plant or animal has different structures or behaviors that serve different functions.
Content Area: Social Studies
Geography Standard 2: People in communities manage, modify and depend on their environment.

Essential Questions:

How do living things depend on their environment?
How can a single environment support a variety of living things?
How do available resources and their uses create change in a community?

Description:

The focus of the African Rift Valley Tour is on the animals, their ecosystems, and their connection to the Maasai people of the Rift Valley. Students learn about the unique features of the valley, including kopjes, baobab trees, water holes, soda lakes, and the savannah, and how living things depend on their environment.

Classroom Safari:

A 45 minute visit to your classroom by a CMZ Docent which includes a Powerpoint presentation, hands-on bio facts, activities and a vocabulary list

Docent-Led Zoo Tour:

90 minute Docent-led tour, with scheduled station stops, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

6-8 students per Docent-Led tour group at the Zoo.

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Grades 3 and Up

Amazing Mammals Docent-Led Zoo Tour & Classroom Safari

Target Grades: 3rd Grade & Up

Colorado Life Science Standard 1(4th Grade):
All living things share similar characteristics, but they also have differences that can be described and classified.

Colorado Life Science Standard 1 (5th Grade):
All organisms have structures and systems with separate functions.

Essential Questions:

How are individuals in a related species similar and different?
What different structures do animals use to carry out the same functions?

Description:

This tour emphasizes mammalian characteristics, adaptations, basic needs and habitats around the world. Students learn about similarities and differences between mammals ~ what adaptations make a mammal arboreal, terrestrial, or aquatic? What are the structural differences between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores? What behavioral differences do we find between diurnal and nocturnal mammals? These questions and more will guide our exploration of mammals at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Classroom Safari:

A 45 minute visit to your classroom by a CMZ Docent which includes a Powerpoint presentation, hands-on bio facts, activities and a vocabulary list

Docent-Led Zoo Tour:

90 minute Docent-led tour, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

6-8 students per Docent-Led tour group at the Zoo.


 

Life Cycles Docent-Led Zoo Tour & Classroom Safari

Target Grades: 3rd Grade & Up

Colorado Life Science Standard 1: The duration and timing of life cycle events such as reproduction and longevity vary across organisms and species.

Essential Questions:

How are life cycles from a variety of organisms similar and different?
How does an organism change during its life cycle?

Description:

The Life Cycles Tour focuses on how life cycles among living organisms vary depending on the species, how they reproduce and how long they will survive/live in their environment. Students will learn to identify how living things grow, develop and change during their life time due to their genetic make-up and the environment in which they live. The tour will examine the life cycles of insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Classroom Safari:

A 45 minute visit to your classroom by a CMZ Docent which includes a Powerpoint presentation, hands-on bio facts, activities and a vocabulary list

Docent-Led Zoo Tour:

90 minute Docent-led tour with hands-on station stops, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

7-10 students per Docent-Led tour group at the Zoo.

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Grades 4 and Up

Colorado Life Zones Docent-Led Zoo Tour & Classroom Safari

Target Grades: 4th Grade & Up

Colorado Life Science Standard 1: All living things share similar characteristics, but they also have differences that can be described and classified.
Colorado Life Science Geography Standard 1: Use several types of geographic tools to answer questions about the geography of Colorado.

Essential Questions:

How are individuals in a related species similar and different?
How are resources shared among organisms in a specific ecosystem or habitat?
How do non-living components of an ecosystem influence living components?
How are the regions of Colorado defined by geography?

Description:

This tour compliments the fourth grade study of Colorado by stressing the life zones found in our great state. Students will identify and describe local regions (life zones) in Colorado, looking at the resources shared and by its living and non-living components. Many of these can be seen from the side of Cheyenne Mountain! Your class will get an up close look at many of Colorado’s native plant and animal species in our fabulous Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit.

Classroom Safari:

A 45 minute visit to your classroom by a CMZ Docent which includes a Powerpoint presentation, hands-on bio facts, activities and a vocabulary list

Docent-Led Zoo Tour:

90 minute Docent-led tour with hands-on station stops, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

7-10 students per Docent-Led tour group at the Zoo.


 

Ecology – The Study of Our Environment Docent-Led Zoo Tour & Classroom Safari

Target Grades: 4th Grade and Up

Colorado Life Science Standard (5th Grade)
1: All organisms have structures and systems with separate functions.

Colorado Life Science Standard (6th Grade)
1: Changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms, populations, and entire species.
2: Organisms interact with each other and their environment in various ways that create a flow of energy and cycling of matter in an ecosystem.

Essential Questions for 5th:

How do plants and animals carry out processes necessary for life?
What different structures do plants and animals use to carry out the same functions?
What adaptations or characteristics help humans survive?

Essential Questions for 6th:

How do ecosystems changes affect biodiversity?
How does biodiversity contribute to an ecosystem’s equilibrium?

Description:

This tour is designed to be a custom fit for your class and its focus of study. Ecology examines structures and adaptations necessary for species survival at the lower grade levels and moves into biodiversity and energy flow as students master necessary concepts. We will discuss the needs of your students before the safari and tour to be sure your class masters the standards and learns about the concepts using real life examples at the Zoo.

Classroom Safari:

A 45 minute visit to your classroom by a CMZ Docent which includes a Powerpoint presentation, hands-on bio facts, activities and a vocabulary list

Docent-Led Zoo Tour:

90 minute Docent-led tour, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

7-10 students per Docent-Led tour group at the Zoo.

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Grades 6 and Up

Zoogeography Docent-Led Zoo Tour & Classroom Safari

Target Grades: 6th Grade & Up

Colorado Life Science Standard (6th Grade)
1: Changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms, populations, and entire species.
Colorado Life Science Standard (7th Grade)
5. Multiple lines of evidence show the evolution of organisms over geologic time.

Description:

This tour focuses on the worldwide distribution of animals by exploring their ecosystems. The tour addresses how animals change over time, that is, genetic change in population over time. Docents will discuss with students the influence of the earth’s climatic conditions and help them make connections to the scientific principles that help to explain the factors that contribute to diversity and adaptation.

Classroom Safari:

A 45 minute visit to your classroom by a CMZ Docent which includes a Powerpoint presentation, hands-on bio facts, activities and a vocabulary list

Docent-Led Zoo Tour:

90 minute Docent-led tour, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

7-10 students per Docent-Led tour group at the Zoo.


 

Endangered Species Docent-Led Tour & Classroom Safari


Target Grades: 6th Grade & Up

Colorado Life Science Standards:
6th grade standard 1: Changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms, populations, and entire species.
6th grade standard 2: Organisms interact with each other and their environment in various ways that create a flow of energy and cycling of matter in an ecosystem.
7th grade standard 1: Individual organisms with certain traits are more likely than others to survive and have offspring in a specific environment.
7th grade standard 5: Multiple lines of evidence show the evolution of organisms over geologic time.
8th grade standard 1: Human activities can deliberately or inadvertently alter ecosystems and their resiliency.

Essential Questions:

How do ecosystem changes affect biodiversity?
How does biodiversity contribute to an ecosystem’s equilibrium?
What is the relationship between an organism’s traits and its potential for survival and reproduction?
How is the word “adaptation” different in everyday usage than in biology?
What are the consequences of a species going extinct?
Do humans have a unique responsibility to the ecosystems in which they live?

Description

The middle school level Endangered Species Tour emphasizes the causes of endangerment from natural and human influences. Docents will discuss how low birth rate, slow maturation, narrow dietary habits, isolation, and loss of biodiversity contribute to endangerment. Students will learn how changes in the ecosystem, loss of habitat from natural disasters, and human activities play a large role in threatening a species’ survival. Docents will explain how the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo participates in conservation efforts through successful breeding and reintroduction programs.

Classroom Safari:

A 45 minute visit to your classroom by a CMZ Docent which includes a Powerpoint presentation, hands-on bio facts, activities and a vocabulary list

Docent-Led Zoo Tour:

90 minute Docent-led tour, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

7-10 students per Docent-Led tour group at the Zoo.

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Grades 9 and Up

Advanced Mammal Biology Zoo Docent-Led Tour Only

Target Grades: 9th Grade & Up

Colorado Life Science Standard (High School)
1: Matter tends to be cycled within an ecosystem, while energy is transformed and eventually exits an ecosystem.
2: The size and persistence of populations depend on their interactions with each other and on the abiotic factors in an ecosystem.
7: Physical and behavioral characteristics of an organism are influenced to varying degrees by heritable genes, many of which encode instructions for the production of proteins.

Essential Questions:

How does a change in abiotic factors influence the stability or progression of an ecosystem?
What happens when the cycling of matter in ecosystems is disrupted?
How do keystone species maintain balance in ecosystems?
How is the succession of local organisms altered in an area that is disturbed or destroyed?
Why is it possible for a cell from one species to express genes from another species as in genetic modification of organisms?
How is it possible to distinguish learned behaviors from instinctual behaviors such as imprinting etiquette, and suckling by mammals?

Description:

As students visit some of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s animals, docents will discuss physiological and structural systems in greater depth than in the Amazing Mammals Tour. Students learn about behavioral adaptations for survival in a variety of ecosystems and how the classification of animals into taxonomic groups is largely dependent on structural similarities. Students will hear about the advances of scientific research that steadily clarify the relationships of species to each other.

Classroom Safari:

No Classroom Safaris are offered to upper grades. A vocabulary list will be sent to the teacher with concepts covered on the Docent-Led Zoo Tour

Zoo Docent-Led Tour:

90 minute Docent-led tour, scheduled 4-7 days after Classroom Safari

Ratio:

7-10 students per Docent-Led tour group at the Zoo.

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Custom Docent Zoo Tours & Classroom Safaris

Planning a “specialized” animal science unit with your students?
The CMZ Docent Auxiliary will work with you to adapt one of our tours and specialize it to fit your course of study. Please discuss your needs with the Zoo Docent you contact for scheduling your Docent-Led Tour and Classroom Safari.