To begin, the student chooses their own Zookeeper avatar from several choices (the ones below are just a sampling of what is available).
- Learn and Earn– This is the area where the students go to play learning activities and answer quizzes on a variety of subjects. They can earn “coins” here to use in other areas of the map.
- The Arcade– This is a fun area with over 20 games that students can spend their “coins” to play. The games are leveled by age and fun to play. My students were more interested in saving their money for purchasing zoo animals from the Zoo Shop.
- Milestones– This is where the students and parents can track the progress in the games and learning activities. This is also where parents can choose learning activities for their students, change the age floor (the level of learning for the student), and track the progress they are making.
- The BioDome– This is by far my children’s favorite part of ZooWhiz. With two aspiring zookeepers, this is the perfect motivation for them to learn. In the BioDome, students can purchase animals to stock their personal zoos. The wide range of animals is great for my animal fanatics (there are several animals that are available to premium membership holders only) and my favorite part is the information that comes with each animal that is purchased. They list scientific names of animals, where they live, what they eat and more. My children love having their own zoos and have learned some fun facts about their favorite animals.
What We Loved:
I was really pleased with our overall experience with ZooWhiz. It is a visually pleasing website that is super easy to navigate which is wonderful for students independent learning. I loved that my children wanted to play- they loved the Zoo aspect of the program and it was just the right motivation to keep them coming back.
My favorite thing about ZooWhiz was the leveling system for students. When you begin you choose an age floor (the level for your student). This is easy to change if needed, but I was so pleasantly surprised that the age range for my children was a correct choice. I have found on several online programs that either the lessons for their age range were much too easy or much too hard leading to boredom or frustration while playing. We had none of that in our experience with ZooWhiz. Both children had a good balance of questions with good review questions and questions that challenged them as well.
I think ZooWhiz makes a great supplement to any homeschooling curriculum and a great learning toy for all children. It is fun, interactive, and educational- really, what more could you ask? I know that it will be a staple in our learning resources for a long time to come.