It’s a Zoo …

I spent the day at the İzmir Wildlife Park today. It is a beautiful park split into different sections, and very well laid out. The area is spacious and very green with lots of trees and ponds in the grounds. The animal enclosures are safe but you also get the feeling that you’re very close to them. Some of the animals at the Wildlife Park are: Lions, tigers, pumas, gazelles, elephants, bears, wolves, hyenas, giraffe, ostriches, zebras, hippopotamus, monkeys, camel, and lots of different birds and birds of pray such as owls and eagles.

At present, their main attraction though is the newborn baby elephant called ”İzmir”. I saw it for the first time today and it was just soooo cute!

The İzmir Wildlife Park (or any modern zoo I guess) is a great place to spend a sunny spring Saturday with your family. It is also a super place to bring your students for a fun day of English! At my school the field trip to the İzmir Doğal Yaşam Parkı is a tradition for the 7th graders:

The Zoo Treasure-Hunt:

  • 6 teachers position themselves at different locations (“stations”) in the park. They are armed with a set of envelopes. One to give each team as they arrive at the station. The envelopes contain different kinds of English challenges that the teams must complete/solve successfully to get the clue for where their next station is located. They also get a certificate for each “completed” challenge.
  • The teams start at different locations to begin with and move from station to station according to their clues. The responsible teachers have planned each “route” that each team will end up taking but nobody else knows – the envelopes are sealed and the activities and clues are kept secret!
  • The winner is the team to first collect the 6 certificates.

Last year’s activities/challenges included:

  • Crossword puzzles, cryptograms, word searches, mazes, hidden message etc. (
  • Text + Reading comprehension questions (multiple choice)
  • Poetry Recital
  • Freeze Frames based on a written description

To plan the day is a bit of a job but it’s worth it! If there’s a zoo near you; try!