Having a classroom pet opens up opportunities for incorporating your exciting little friend into lesson plans and curriculum. Kids love projects that incorporate their favorite classroom creature, and teachers have told us that their classroom pets have motivated and inspired students to improve their skills in many areas. But classroom pets do more than enhance math and reading lessons…they help with emotional development as well.
Character building and concepts such as kindness, respect and responsibility are valuable lessons learned through a classroom pet. Consider covering topics like “What is involved in caring for a pet?” geared toward Pre-K and Kindergarten students, which would include an overview of the pet’s basic needs and necessary supplies while building language arts and communications skills. Older students can share their knowledge and understanding of responsible pet ownership through writing and illustrating stories. For fifth and sixth graders, using math and graphing skills to understand pets’ life spans and the commitment of pet ownership is a valuable unit of study. You can see that there are many ways to enhance your curriculum with activities that sharpen students’ academic skills while fostering a better understanding of the human animal-bond and the responsibility that we have towards our pets in the classroom and at home.
We know that teaching isn’t just about reading and writing, but also about shaping children’s character and providing positive ways to reinforce their social skills. Pets provide a unique way for teachers to spark their students’ interest and inspire them to grow. How have you encouraged character development through your classroom pet?