Green Fern Zoo Discussion Questions

The Green Fern Zoo Discussion Questions

Use these questions as a guide when discussing the nightly assigned story with your child. Students do not have to write answers but should orally answer each question in a complete sentence that restates the question.

Meet Vern

Where does Vern work?
What is Vern’s job?
What type of animals do you think might be at the Green Fern Zoo?

Things that Swim

What types of animals are in this story?
Where would you find a trout?
Why might a trout hide in the creek bed?
Why does the reef shark like to be near reefs where there are a lot of fish?
How are trout and reef sharks similar?


What types of things do chimps like to eat?
Why do you think Bart uses a stick to get his food?  What might happen if he stuck his hand in the ant hill?
What types of things does Max like to do?
Which two chimps are friends?
What did Carl and Norm get in a fight about last week?
Why do you think the chimps might be hard to see at the zoo?


What is the topic of today’s story?
In what ways are mandrills like chimps?  Different?

Things with Wings

Where does a puffin live?
What is the temperature like at the North Pole?
What do puffins’ feet help them to do?
How do you think the puffin uses his big bill to get fish?
Why do you think Mom and Dad sit on the egg?
What things do you think a puffin must be able to do to take care of itself?
Where does a finch live?
What does a finch like to eat?

Big Cats

How is a bobcat different from a cat that lives in homes?
Which is bigger, the bobcat or panther?
What are the names of the two panthers at the Green Fern Zoo?
Why might a panther need to scamper up at tree?


Where do groundhogs spend a lot of their time?
Why do groundhogs have to be on the lookout?
Where do you think a groundhog might go if it saw a snake or bobcat?
What does Pepper most like to eat?

The Reptile Room

What animals are in the reptile room?
Why is it helpful for the rattler to blend in and hide in the sand, hidden from rabbits and rats?
Why does Vern say you need to be careful if the rattler is hissing and coiling up?


What do termites like to eat?
Where do termites live?
In what ways are termites like ants? How are they different?
Who is the biggest termite in the termite mound?
Would a termite munch on your home?

River Otters

What words would you use to describe river otters?  Why?
Where do river otters live?
What do river otters like to eat?

Cranes and Spoonbills

What do sandhill cranes look like?
What do sandhill cranes like to eat?
Where do sandhill cranes live?
What do spoonbills look like?
Why do you think it’s helpful to have a bill shaped like a spoon?
In what ways are sandhill cranes and spoonbills alike?  Different?

The Ostrich

About how much does the ostrich in the picture weigh?
How fast can an ostrich run?
What happened to Fred when an ostrich kicked him?


How did Hope end up at the Green Fern Zoo?
Why do you think the deer is named “Hope”?
Who fixed Hope’s leg?
What would you do if you found an injured deer near your home?

The Petting Zoo

What is a petting zoo?
Why do you think you are not allowed to pet the panthers?
What kinds of animals might you find in a petting zoo?