What’s in a name? We all love choosing special names for our pets, and when a classroom pet is involved, everyone can participate in the process. Naming your classroom pet can be a creative and fun classroom project.
Many people name pets “human” names that they have always liked, or sometimes certain physical attributes of the pet like color, shape, or feel of the fur (or skin) inspire people. A black animal might be named Midnight or an iguana might end up being called Spike. Taking some time before naming the pet can allow everyone in the classroom to observe the pet’s behavior – is it frisky, sleepy or happy? The pet’s own personality can often inspire a great name choice. Often people want to name pets after famous people or characters they admire.
Keeping a running list of name ideas on a whiteboard or poster board is a great way to keep students thinking creatively. Names could also be submitted into a suggestion box and revealed during a specially designated time. As a teacher, it is interesting to see the variety of names, and find out what each child’s thought process is as they develop their ideas.
Coming to a classroom consensus on a name will help develop social skills such as cooperation and respect for the ideas of others. Let children express their thoughts on why they chose their name. Holding a classroom vote could be incorporated into the curriculum as an example of the democratic process.
Pets in the Classroom offers grants to teachers to have or to maintain pets in the classroom. For more information on Pets in the Classroom or to apply for a grant, please visit www.petsintheclassroom.org.