ASPCA, Humane Education
Lesson Plan – Caring for a Dog
Responsibilities of Caring for a Dog (This lesson plan can be adapted to include other animal companions)
What Every Dog Needs.
K-3 Setting: Classroom
Twenty to Thirty minutes for discussion. Thirty to Forty minutes for book making.
Pictures of food, water, etc. appropriate for people and dogs. Or actual food, bowls, leash, etc appropriate for people and dogs.
Crayons, markers or colored pencils
Magazines with pictures of daily necessities for people and dogs
Collect magazines from which children can cut pictures Or cut out appropriate pictures from magazines to provide to the class.
For each child, staple 4 pieces of construction paper together in the middle of the sheets. Fold in half to create a book, with fourteen pages for pictures plus a front and back cover.
To demonstrate the similarities in needs among people and dogs.
Children will recognize that dogs, have many of the same needs as people. Children will recognize that although the needs are similar, fulfilling these needs requires animal specific supplies (e.g., dogs need dog food and pet toothpaste).
Art, Language Arts, Life Science.
Discussion of material supported by actual or pictured prompts. Reinforcement of subject matter by creating book.
Ask children about the things they need everyday in order to live a happy, healthy life. Children may offer suggestions such as food, water, clothing, shelter, love, hygiene (e.g., brushing hair, teeth), exercise, etc. Ask children to list the things that dogs need everyday to live a happy healthy life. Explicitly note the similarities. For example, a leash may be compared to an adult’s hand to hold and identification tags may be compared to information tags children wear on school trips. The lists need not be exhaustive, but should include the basic necessities for health and happiness.
After children come to recognize that dogs and people share many needs have children create a book documenting the similarities. One the left side of each page have children draw or paste a picture of something they need (e.g., food). One the right side of the page, have children draw or paste a picture of the complimentary dog necessity. Older students may be asked to write a narrative. Ask children to share their books with one another, then take them home to share with their family.
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