Minibeast Investigate!

Have you ever wondered what roams between the exotic species at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo? In Minibeast Investigate! pupils will will work scientifically to collect real data on native species found in our specially designed wildlife habitat. Pupils will explore habitats to uncover native species and work in small groups to identify animals using keys. This session will include engaging activities that develops pupils understanding of food chains, use of scientific keys and collecting data skills.


Key Stage: KS2 (7-11 years old)

Duration: 45 min

Capacity: 35 students

Location: Wildlife learning space – next to schools lunchroom


National Curriculum links:

KS2 Science

Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4)

Working scientifically

  • Asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquires to answer them.
  • Gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions.
  • Recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables.
  • Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Living things and their habitats

  • Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.
  • Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment.
  • Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.

Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6) Programme of Study

Working Scientifically

  • Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.

Living things and their habitats

  • Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including microorganisms, plants and animals.


Intended learning outcomes:

Students will be able to;

  • Identify some of the key features of invertebrates
  • Use a simple key to identify invertebrates and plants and assign them to groups


For this session

Before your visit:

Download our PDF icon Butterfly House Self Guided Resources (1.28 MB) for great activities to use before visiting the zoo including free spotter sheet and species ID cards

While at the Zoo:

Visit the Butterfly House and use the identification tables to identify as many butterflies as possible (HINT: the butterflies are grouped in order of colour on the identification boards!) Download our PDF icon Pre-visit sheet - Minibeast Investigate! (522.35 KB) to use while visiting the Butterfly House.

After your visit:

  • Show children some pictures of common native invertebrates and ask them which they have seen before. Go out into the school grounds and see if they can recognise any
  • Play a matching game where children match up invertebrate body parts with their description and/or a picture. E.g. Antennae = Long feelers used for sensing
  • Give the pupils photographs of some different invertebrates and ask them to draw these and label the different body parts. Make a display of the pictures


Prepare for your Minibeast Investigate session with our information pack.

PDF icon Pre-visit sheet - Minibeast Investigate! (522.35 KB)

How to book:

Contact our Discovery and Learning team directly on 01582 871563 or