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Lesson Plan

Webcams in the Classroom: Animal Inquiry and Observation

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Webcams in the Classroom: Animal Inquiry and Observation

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Introduction: Two 30-minute sessions; thereafter: 20 minutes per session as needed
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology






Internet access, with appropriate browser plug-ins

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  • Provide an observation journal for student entries.

  • Explore the webcam sites listed in the Websites section and choose those which are best for your class. Note when the zoo indicates that the animals featured on the camera are typically active. Be prepared to choose an alternate camera if no animals appear within a reasonable length of time or the webcam is unavailable for some reason.

  • Install RealPlayer and/or Windows Media Player on your computers so that you can view the webcams. The page for the site(s) you choose will indicate the plug-in that you need to view the animals. These are free downloads, but you may need help from your network administrator to install the programs.

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