• Print out a class set of this page to use as an introduction to the question.
  • research materials on zoos


  • Students will write a persuasive essay after doing research to form an opinion on whether the keeping of undomesticated animals in zoos is beneficial for those animals.
  • Students will defend their essays and opinions in classroom debates.

Resource Instructions

1. Do a KWL on student knowledge of zoos and animals in them. Ask students for personal experiences visiting zoos.

2. Introduce students to the question by having them read and discuss the howstuffworks article, or something similar.

3. Have students research a particular animal, species of animal, history of zoos, or a specific zoo to come up with an opinion on the value of zoos.

4. Students will write a persuasive essay defending their opinion regarding the worth of zoos and defend their arguments in a class forum.


Students can produce a multimedia defense of their position on the pros or cons of zoos.

Students target a specific audience and write to that audience asking them to do specific steps that would add support to their position i.e. write a company, a zoo, a newspaper, an ngo, etc.


Is a student's position well supported in a logical, reasoned way?

Is the essay well-written?

Can the student support his/her position in the class?

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