Teeth & Diets

From tigers to elephants, the Teeth & Diets session brings pupils up close with a range of skulls. Pupils will be encouraged to compare and contrast the differences between herbivores, carnivores and omnivores in investigatory group work. Pupils will report on their conclusions and the tools that they used to come to a conclusive answer on the identity of the skull. Once pupils have experienced the forensic way in which to tell animals apart from their teeth we investigate the nutritional requirements of animals in captivity.

Education Session materials at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Key Stage:  KS2 (Year 3-6, 7-11 years old)

Duration:  45 min

Capacity: 35 students


National Curriculum links:

KS2 Science

Working scientifically

  • Gather and record data to help answering questions;
  • Make systematic and careful observations and where appropriate take accurate measurements using standard units and a range of equipment;
  • Record findings using simple scientific language;
  • Grouping, sorting and classifying and use of simple keys

Animals, including humans

  • Describe the basic needs of animals for survival;
  • Identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition and they they get nutrition from what they eat;
  • Identify different types of teeth and their functions;
  • Compare the teeth of carnivores and herbivores and suggest reasons for their differences

KS 2 English

Spoken Language; Reading – word reading; comprehension;

Writing – Transcription; vocabulary


Intended learning outcomes:

Pupils will be able to:

  • Use appropriate language to name and describe the functions of different types of teeth
  • Investigate objects from the natural world using a range of scientific tools and will go through a knowledge based decision making process
  • Verbalise how and why they came up with their conclusions
  • Identify the nutritional needs of a range of animals
  • Use knowledge acquired in the session to make predictions about artefacts

Many objects from the natural world used in this session are loaned to us by HM Revenue and Customs.

Please be aware that though we aim to use a live animal in this session, we do not guarantee that they will be present – animals can fall ill or be unwilling to be handled and their welfare is ZSL’s first priority. 


For this session

Before your visit:

While at the Zoo:

  • Make sure you visit these fantastic animals at the Zoo - will you get a chance to see their teeth?


Link to session


Sea lions

Teeth for catching fish

Sea lion splash



Giraffe Heights

Brown Bear






Red River Hogs




After your visit:

  • Pupils to make a list of all the food items that they ate in one day. The next day the pupils can draw the different teeth and corresponding food items for the food that they eat in one day – linking this to healthy lifestyles and human function
  • Create a food chain for one meal that you had yesterday. Include in the food chain where the food came from and the average nutritional content of that meal – see our download for an example food grid

CREST Award Scheme

CREST Awards

CREST Star is a scheme enabling primary school children aged from 5 – 11 to solve STEM problems through practical activity.

Participating in Teeth & Diets, a CREST Star linked activity, can help your students achieve a British Science Association CREST award.