The Louisville Zoo has created a great set of pdf fact cards for most of their zoo animals. They're excellent for prep work or further research, but for our big trip to the zoo, I wanted to have them handy for ready reference, so Will and I, with a lot of tricky printing, cutting, pasting, and laminating, made them that way!
I printed each zoo animal pdf fact card on cardstock at the setting of four pages to a page; this made each full-page pdf card print at one-quarter of its original size, a good, handy size for carrying around. Of course, you have to click on and print each new animal card separately, which means that your printer will want to use a fresh piece of cardstock for each one, so every now and then I went back to the printer and flipped the printed pages around so that new cards would print on the unused space of the already-printed cards. Saving cardstock is important!
When all the cards were printed I cut them to size with my guillotine paper cutter. Some animals' info extended onto a second page, so I glued those back-to-back with a glue stick so that you can flip the page over to the back side to read the rest of the info. Some animal cards didn't have a photo of the animal included, so for those I put Will to work with Google Images, finding a photo of each animal and printing it onto copy paper to cut out and glue to the back of each card:
She LOVED this job!
After all the cards were prepped, we laminated them, cut them apart, hole punched them, alphabetized them, and put them on a book ring (well, it's actually a shower curtain hook, but it's serving as a book ring):
I could not have been happier with how this ring of fact cards worked at the Louisville Zoo. As the Keeper of the Cards, I had a fabulous time looking up each animal as we came across it, and regaling the family with random facts--"The addax antelope can go months without water!" "Due to global warming, grizzly bears and polar bears are starting to mix their territories, and they're breeding together!" Since I find less entertainment in animal watching than anyone else in the family, this task kept me entertained quite nicely.
The animal card are robust enough that they can be used for our later research and other projects--each card has a partial order of classification, the animal's range and habitat, more information about its reproduction than you'd ever want to know, its diet in the wild and at the zoo, some notes on behavior and other points of interest, and its status in the wild. They'll be good for sorting as we continue our study of the order of classification, and we'll definitely be taking them to other zoos.
Soooo... lot of work, yes, but well worth the effort.