1. Introduction
    Introduce the animal and let the children know they are about to listen to an interview with a zookeeper from London Zoo.
  2. Play the podcast Q&A (time code: 00:00 - 05:39).
  3. Once the Q&A has finished (05:39), press pause.
  4. Discussion
    Ask the children what their favourite fact from the interview was.

In class, explain the following useful words that were used by Martin

  • Predator: an animal that naturally preys on others animals
  • Quadrupedal: a four-footed animal; using all four feet for walking. Bipedal is an animal that walks on two feet, like a penguin or a human, and polypeds are the animals that have many legs, like bugs. 
  • Diagonal: a straight line that's set at an angle instead of straight up or across. If you picture a square and draw a line connecting the opposite corners, that's a diagonal line.
  • Stalk: following someone or something very closely and watching its every move, while staying hidden.
  • Opportunistic: taking advantage of opportunities as they come about.
  • Pounce: spring or swoop suddenly so as to catch prey.
  • Carnivore: an animal that feeds on flesh/meat, eating other animals. 
  • Herbivore is an animal that feeds on plants and omnivore is an animal that feeds on both.
  1. Discuss the characteristics and qualities of the lion. Conclude as to what the quintessential attributes of the lion are, which characteristic makes them unique (speed, claws, roar?).
  2. Invite the children to think of the lion as a superhero having that characteristic as its super power. Discuss how they could save the planet using their super power? (for example, if speed is their strength could they use it to prevent accidents from happening? Let your imagination run wild!).
  3. Ask children to draw this superhero.
  4. Find a name for your superhero.
  5. Write collectively a short story about how they saved the planet.
  6. Role playing: invite children to assume the role of a TV journalist and ask them to present their story as a report on the evening news.

The lion is a fascinating creature and has been capturing people's imaginations  for millenia. It has inspired many authors who have written about the so-called ‘king of the jungle’. Can you think of any books that feature lions either in the narrative and/or in the title? Maybe next time you read a book in class, you can choose a lion themed one…

(How to Hide a Lion, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Wizard of Oz etc. List of 42 lion themed books )

  1. Introduction
    Introduce the animal and let the children know they are about to listen to an interview with a zookeeper from London Zoo.
  2. Play the podcast Q&A (time code: 00:00 - 05:39).
  3. Once the Q&A has finished (05:39), press pause.
  4. Discussion
    Ask the children what their favourite fact from the interview was.

This is a multiple choice quiz which you can do as a group by raising hands for each answer, or individually by using the worksheet below. 

  1. How fast did Martin say that lions can run?
    10 mph, 30 mph or 50 mph

    Answer: 50 mph
  2. For how long can they maintain that speed?
    1-2 km, 5-6 km, or 20-30 km 
    Answer: 5-6 km
  3. According to the way they walk, lions are classified as ?
    Quadripedals, Polypeds or Bipedals
    Answer: Quadripedals
  4. Are lions Herbivores, Carnivores, or Omnivores?
    Answer: Carnivores
  5. How many hours per day can lions sleep ?
    10, 3, or 22
    Answer: 22
  6. When do lion cubs start learning to roar:
    From 1 years old, 2 years old, or 3 years old
    Answer: from 1 year old


Lions are mammals because they have all the characteristics of mammals: they are vertebrates, they have fur, they are warm-blooded, and, like most mammals, lions give birth to live young and nurse them. Can you identify which groups the following animals belong to? Download the ZSL Animal Groups Worksheet


Animals can be grouped in lots of different ways. Check out this ZSL Classifying Animals Worksheet, and see if you can identify which animals belong to which group. 



Check out this worksheet from ZSL on animal diets and how their bodies help them hunt:



Martin from London Zoo said that lions can run up to 50 miles per hour and they can maintain that speed for about 5-6 kilometres, that’s roughly a 3.5 miles distance! That means that it will take them about 4.5 minutes to cover that distance. In class, taking your school as a base, can you work out a known landmark that indicates how far a lion can reach in 4.5 minutes? You can do this together as a class, with children guessing a landmark, using Google Maps:

  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Right click on your starting point (your school address)
  3. Select: Measure distance.
  4. To create a path to measure, click anywhere on the map. To add another point, click anywhere on the map.
  5. At the bottom, you can find the total distance in miles (mi) and kilometres (km).

You can also complete this task this using a map and ruler, or websites such as: 

  1. Warm Up
    Begin your session by inviting children into the space and proposing a simple name and movement game; in a circle ask the children to name their favourite animal and do a single move mimicking the animal. If you’re seated this can be an arm or a head movement  – you could also suggest that they can accompany the move with a sound or just do the sound alone. When everyone has shared a movement you could ask children if they can remember someone else’s dance move and get everyone to repeat.
  2. Introduce the theme
    Introduce the lion as the theme of the podcast episode you are about to listen to and have a short discussion - for example: you might talk about whether they like lions or not, where they have ever seen one, either live or in a book/on tv. Get them to talk about their experience. 

    Explain that you are going to join someone called Charlie on a trip to the zoo, during which they will learn about lions and then perform a dance inspired by that animal. It should be emphasised at the beginning that children are free to move however they want to. This is about freeing their imaginations; they can be as silly or as serious as they want – as long as they are safe. Ask children to find a space and then look around the room to notice all the obstacles or hard objects they might bump into if not careful, as well as all the other people in the room. Emphasise the need to be safe and look after each other. 

    Remind the class that they can choose how to move – these can be tiny moves, or big moves. They may choose to do their dance sitting or want to move around the space. The important thing is for them to feel how they want to move in response to what Charlie is saying, the music and the sound effects.
  3. Play the podcast and dance
    The podcast episode moves into the dance activity after the zookeeper Q&A. Once Charlie invites you to move, signal to the children. Joining the children in moving and dancing can help build confidence, particularly if you are not afraid to be silly yourself. Showing how you interpret the invitation to move can help to encourage more hesitant children, but try not to lead the class in following you. 

    You can also notice how some of the children are moving and encourage others to do the same, or build on and develop other options. You can repeat out loud some of the things Charlie says in the podcast to help guide the children’s movements. As Charlie does, keep the language you use open to different choices and possibilities – underling that there is no right or wrong way to respond. 

    If a certain movement resonates particularly well with class, you can pause the podcast, elaborate a bit on that movement and then move on to the next thing.
  4. Discuss their experiences of dancing alongside Charlie 
    The Audiomoves at the Zoo podcasts focus on the sensory, somatic experience of movement and dance. However, discussing children’s responses after the dance is a great way to prolong the experience; sharing the different ways in which they explored and played in the session and finding the rich vocabulary to express this.
    Noticing the relationship between the physical sensations children experienced and feelings and emotions can help children recognise and tune into how their body and mind are one.

Some suggested questions to guide your discussion:

  • What was their favourite movement and why?
  • How did that movement make them feel?
  • How was the experience of using their body parts in a totally different way than humans do? 
  • What was it like to imagine having body parts that humans don’t have,  like claws, tail or 4 legs?
  • How different would the world around them look and feel if they were a lion?  Being able to run that fast must change things a great deal!
  • Which of the lion’s qualities (for example, speed or strength) do they wish they had, and how would they use it in their everyday life?
    You can ask the children to share how they would move in this case and things they would do.  You can further suggest that everyone in the class tries out these moves, and then try out different and/or  contrasting ways that others would do the same thing. For instance one might choose running fast to win at sports and another to be able to catch the bus?

Movement Verb list 

  • Walk 
  • Run
  • Jump
  • Pounce
  • Stalk
  • Balance
  • Roll
  • Roar
Arts Council EnglandLondon Zoo, a ZSL conservation zoo