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Pet Care and Safety

Elementary

Description

This unit encourages environmental stewardship through responsible pet care.  It is designed to help young children think about the contributions of pets and what they bring to the lives of humans.  It addresses how to meet the basic needs of animals and encourages respect and kindness for all living things. 

Through a variety of activities such as identifying different animals that make good pets, learning facts about these different animals and developing a plan to assist a local shelter, the students contribute as responsible citizens of the community.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource explicitly teaches t-chart strategies where the students place pet animals on one side and not pet animals on the other.  They also are taught skills in graphing, creating Venn diagrams, listening and focusing on the task at hand.

Strengths

  • The unit is well organized and structured to keep the young children attentive.
  • The use of movement and games is a good motivating approach to take at the beginning of the unit.
  • Also the tools for assessment are creatively constructed.
  • Having older students act as mentors is a very good idea also.

Weaknesses

  • A summary of the recommended readings should be included in the resource as the books may not be readily accessible  
  • Students should be encouraged to showcase what they have learned.
  • A student field trip to an animal shelter should be included.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Kindergarten
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      • Science
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        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions.
  • British Columbia
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    • Kindergarten
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      • Science
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        • Science: Plants and animals have observable features
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 1
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        • Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
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      • Science
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        • Growth and Changes in Animals
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        • You and Your World: Place and Community
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        • You and Your World: Our Environment
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        • You and Your World: Our Environment
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        • You and Your World: Growth and Development
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        • Exploring My World: Living and Nonliving Things
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        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
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        • Life Systems: Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
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        • Life Science: Growth and Changes in Animals
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        • Science 1: Needs of Living Things
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        • Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
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        • Animal Growth and Changes:Investigating the Needs and Life Cycles of an Organism
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        • Needs & Characteristics of Living Things
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        • Air and Water in the Environment
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        • Habitats and Communities
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    • Kindergarten
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      • Science
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        • Science: Plants and animals have observable features

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Food & Agriculture (1)

    • Animal Rights

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The unit of three lessons teaches children the importance of caring for pets, understanding their needs and becoming responsible citizens.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

The unit provides opportunities for the children to learn about basic needs for their pets and themselves.  They learn how to be responsible as good citizens towards the care of their pets and in comparing the needs of themselves and their pets they learn to become responsible for themselves and others. (social)  Cleaning after their pets helps the environment and planning a campaign to donate to local animal shelters addresses the economic dimension of the issue.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

Using movement, assessment, questioning and reflecting in the unit demonstrates a systems-thinking approach.  The unit begins with brainstorming and discussion and moves towards hands-on classroom activities that culminate in organizing a campaign to help out an animal shelter.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

Aiding the animal shelter and the mentoring by older students in planning, advertising and collecting donations (items which the younger students have chosen) provide authentic action experiences.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good

The discussion, reflection and mentoring activities by older students provide opportunities for the younger children to express their own beliefs/values.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

Poor

This is not addressed in this resource.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory

The focus of this resource is to promote respect for other living things.   Suggestions are made to visit a local animal shelter or to invite someone from the shelter to come to the class.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

The importance of caring for pets and understanding their needs as well as helping out an animal shelter is very relevant to the lives of the children in all communities.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

The resource focuses more on promoting a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.  This is accomplished through learning about the importance of caring for pets and taking action to help out with a community animal shelter.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

The brainstorming, questioning and reflection activitites allow for more than one right answer.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

The resource incorporates activities from Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education and Art.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

The variety of teaching strategies and integration of subjects into the unit allow for discovery learning events in all three lessons.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

The structure of the lessons and the varied activity allows for differentiated instruction.  Students have opportunities to learn at their own pace and instruction can be individualized for those with learning difficulties.  The use of the dog puppet and 'yes and no' sticker sticks helps the children with focusing on their tasks.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

Either going to an animal shelter or having guest speakers come to the class enriches the unit and provides an authentic experience.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

The students work in smaller groups during some of the lessons, however cooperative skills are not explicitly taught or practiced.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

The unit includes a Pre/Post test with one of the lessons and provides opportunities for assessment through reflection, participation, observation and recording answers.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good

Students are encouraged to share what they have learned at home with their families.  They share with each other and older students act as mentors.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Satisfactory

In the teacher resource there is information about animal shelters but specific case studies are not part of this resource.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good

The concept of pet care is introduced to the students in a fairly structured manner but the students do make choices in the vocabulary and Venn diagram activities. The action component of the resource does facilitate delving deeper into the issue.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.