Giraffe Behaviour Study (KS2)

In Giraffe Behaviour Study pupils will work scientifically to collect real data on our herd of giraffes. At Giraffe Heights, students will work in groups and come face to face with our herd of giants to collect behavioural data using ethograms. The students will then use this data to create behaviour bar charts and to compare behaviours between different age groups in the herd. Group discussions will then allow students to elaborate on how this data could be used for the conservation of the species in the wild.

Giraffe heights at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Key Stage: KS2 (7-11 years old)

Duration: 45 min

Capacity: 30 students

Location: Giraffe heights

Please be aware that this session will be held outside. Students should wear appropriate clothing and footwear. 


National Curriculum links:

KS2 Science

Working scientifically

  • Identify and classify;
  • Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables;
  • Report on findings from enquiries, including oral explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions;

Living things and their habitats

  • Work of scientists;
  • Impact of humans (both positively and negatively) on environments.

Evolution and inheritance

  • Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

KS2 English

Spoken Language; Reading

  • Word reading;
  • Comprehension.


Intended learning outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • Work scientifically to collect real-time behavioural data using ethograms;
  • Create bar charts to illustrate their results;
  • Use scientific language to explain their results;
  • Describe how research can impact the conservation of animals in the wild.

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

For this session

Before your visit:

Watch noting down all different behaviours that you can see.

Recap with the group the following terms:

  • Habitat
  • Mammal
  • Conservation
  • Herbivore
  • Endangered

Download the previsit sheet to use whilst at the zoo:PDF icon Pre-visit sheet - Giraffe Behaviour Study (KS2) (595.23 KB)

While at the Zoo:

  • Spend five minutes at each of the following enclosures noting down all behaviours that you see the animal exhibiting. Use the Ethogram to note down each behaviour, describe the behaviour and how long the animal was seen doing this behaviour.


Link to session


Amur tiger

Mammal behaviour/ Forest habitat


African Penguin

Bird behaviour/Sea & cliff habitat

Right of Europe

Sea lion

Mammal behaviour/Sea habitat

Base camp

Ring tailed lemur

Mammal behaviour/Dry Forest habitat

Base camp

Whites Tree Frog

Amphibian/Rainforest habitat

Discovery Centre


After your visit:

  • With your completed ethograms, can you create any further bar charts? Organise the data to tell you different things. Compare the data for different animals – do all animals exhibit the same behaviours? Do different animals spend more or less time eating?
  • Collate the class information on all the giraffes that you collected in your session.
  • Create an activity budget pie chart for the time you watched the giraffes.  


Prepare for your Giraffe Behaviour Study (KS2) session with our information pack.

PDF icon Pre-visit sheet - Giraffe Behaviour Study (KS2) (595.23 KB)

Use this ethogram to record animal behvaiours:


noting down all different behaviours that you can see.