Zoo Academy®: Social Emotional Game for K-1 Students

Zoo Academy

Introducing Zoo Academy

More than 50% of students entering kindergarten lack basic social, emotional, and behavioral skills, skills that are essential for school readiness and academic success. And just like counting, letters, shapes, and colors, the earlier kids start social emotional learning (SEL), the more successful they’ll be academically.

To help you reach all students, regardless of their social emotional competence, we have created Zoo Academy, an evidence-based, online SEL curriculum that is student led. In total, Zoo Academy contains 18 scenes that can be completed over the course of a semester or full year depending on how many times students need to replay scenes in order to achieve mastery.

In addition to the social emotional learning that takes place in the game scenes, each day your students log in, they will complete an “emotional check-in,” and this data will be highlighted in your educator account.

Note: Zoo Academy is one of five programs in our online, social emotional learning curriculum.

The Zoo Academy Student Experience

Each student begins by creating a personalized avatar to represent their character in the game. This avatar gives the students a sense of agency and encourages them to make choices in the game that are similar to how they behave in the real world.

In each scene, students decide how to communicate and interact with the other characters. Each of the dialog choices is read aloud, and students make decisions about what to say and also the tone of voice to use.

Throughout the game, students will help animals like Owlivia the owl learn to respect others’ personal space and not call out in class, and Tango the gorilla, who needs some pointers on making new friends. While assisting their classmates inside of the online program, students will learn and practice these skills themselves.

For example, in scene 14, it’s Mariana’s (a game character) birthday and there’s a party at school with cupcakes. The player and other students hear Mariana talking about her party that will happen outside of school over the weekend. The player will need to use coping strategies and emotion regulation to deal with the disappointment/hurt/anger of not being invited to the out-of-school party.

In addition to the personalized learning that occurs in the game, we provide a library of free supplemental lessons that are related to game scenes and characters. These lessons can be used in small group sessions or directly with the student.

Educator Dashboard

You can create a unique account for each student and assign them to Zoo Academy in under a minute. And if you are using the program with more than twenty students in your classroom, practice, or school, we will be happy to help you create these student accounts via a bulk upload.

Since Zoo Academy is used individually, each student may move through the program at their own pace. However, a student gets stuck or needs help understanding a particular scene, we have a Scene Descriptions document that you can review from within your dashboard. This scope and sequence document includes an overview of each scene, learning objectives, SEL skills covered, and hints for scenes that may be a bit challenging.

And from your dashboard, you will be able to monitor their progress and gain insights about strengths and weaknesses for each student. After your students complete the first six scenes, you will receive a baseline assessment report for these six core social and emotional skills:

  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Emotion regulation
  • Empathy
  • Impulse control
  • Social initiation

And after a student completes scenes 7-12 and scenes 13-18, we will provide an updated assessment report. We encourage you to have students to replay scenes that they struggle with and/or allow them to repeat scenes that they particularly enjoyed.

In addition to the individual student reports, you can also see a Group Assessment for all of your students via the Zoo Academy Student Progress page. The data on this page and the data provided by the daily emotion check-ins will be invaluable as you monitor the SEL skill development of your students.

Educators: It’s Quick and Easy to Get Started!

You can use Zoo Academy and our other online SEL programs with an unlimited number of students for free for 30 days by requesting an educator account below!

Already Have an educator account? You can log in at: app.centervention.com

Students with valid accounts can log in at: student.centervention.com

Parents and Homeschool Educators

You can purchase Zoo Academy for use at home here