I came across this game while wandering a computer games store, it is called World of Zoo. I love Zoo Tycoon and this game seemed to have a few similarities. World of Zoo is much easier to play, making it great for younger students. The graphics are more cartoon looking rather than the realistic approach of Zoo Tycoon 2. This also makes the game suitable for younger students. This is a PC game you can purchase, it also comes in Nintendo DS and Wii formats.
As you play the game you can unlock items and more animals. You can customise the animals and change their patterns and colours. Students also earn coins as they look after the animals and participate in challenges. They can then buy items with their money. The appropriate environment and food are provided so students don’t need to decide what is suitable for the animal. The game provides information about the animals. Students can also write stories about their animals.
The feature which I find interesting is the built in camera. You can take photos in the game and they can be exported to your computer. So students can interact with the animals and then take photos. It is fun trying to get that perfect photo as the animals move around. These photos could be used for a project, art activity, research task or used to create a comic.
This game is great to use with primary school aged students. It could be integrated into activities about animals, habitats, using money, numeracy, literacy and writing stories. The game can inspire many art activities such as painting or drawing from a photo students have taken in the game, create an animal mask, look at the colours and patterns on the animals and create a design, create puppets of animals or totem poles.
I have created a comic example, I used the giraffe images I took from the game and created the comic using Comic Life.