Category Archives: Blog

Two Must Have Books for Every Elementary Classroom!

Looking for new and exciting resources for teachers and students to use in the classroom is an important part of what we do. We strive to find books that engage student learning and promote humane education, as well as create activities that align with the curriculum. Here are two books we found that do just that!

What Pet Should I Get? - Dr. Seuss

Grades 1, 2 & 3

There's something about a Dr. Seuss book that is special. Maybe it’s the whimsical creatures, maybe it’s the rhyming pattern; whatever it might be, it's undeniable that Dr. Seuss has written some of the most memorable children’s books ever. In 2013, years after he passed, his wife Audrey found a box containing materials for various projects in his studios. Among the contents in the box were the manuscript and finished line art for what would become What Pet Should I Get?

What Pet Should I Get? captures a timeless childhood moment of choosing a pet. It follows two school aged siblings as they try and decided on what pet best fits the family. It is also a story about making decisions. This book captivates students to think about how different pets need different things and not all pets are right for all situations.

For post reading activities, including curriculum connections and additional resources, click here!

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

- Katherine Applegate

Grades 4, 5 & 6

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate chronicles the true story of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who was captured as a baby and placed in a shopping mall. For twenty-seven years, Ivan spent all his days in captivity inside the mall. It wasn’t until concerned citizens began to work together to speak up for Ivan that he was eventually transferred to an animal sanctuary where he spent his final years.

This book is a great resource to introduce the ideas of captivity, wildlife conservation, and how actions of a community can make a difference. Students will begin to critically think about how the actions they take impact others, including animals. Learning the importance of speaking up for those without a voice, is another a valuable lesson from this book.

For post reading activities, including curriculum connections and additional resources, click here!

Whether these books are used as part of a lesson, or just placed in the classroom library for independent reading, we hope students enjoy these books, and that they spark discussion about our responsibility towards animals.

November is family violence prevention month

Deliberate abuse of a pet is a form of family violence. Identification and intervention leads to protecting both people and animals. There is a plethora of research that suggests a definitive link between animal abuse and other forms of violence. Young people who witness or commit acts of cruelty to animals may disclose these actions…Continue Reading

Announcing the 2017 Humane Award Recipient!

The Alberta SPCA’s Humane Awards recognize Alberta teachers and students who inspire others to show compassion for animals, people and the environment through example and leadership. We are pleased to announce this year’s Humane Award recipient! The Animal Rescue Crew at F.R. Haythorne Junior High in Sherwood Park is working to enhance animal welfare in…Continue Reading

What inspires us? What sustains us?

Many years and several careers ago, I came across this picture in a magazine; for some reason it resonated with me, so I cut it out and put it in a thrift store frame and hung it on my wall. Something about that lonely, hungry animal overlooking the beautifully chaotic landscape spoke to me, though…Continue Reading

5 – Freedom to Express Normal Behavior

This week we will be discussing the last of the Five Freedoms: the freedom to express normal behaviour. This freedom is all about providing an animal with an environment that allows for behaviour that promotes their well-being. This is accomplished by providing the animal with sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of their own kind.…Continue Reading

4- Freedom from Fear and Distress

This week we will be discussing the fourth of the Five Freedoms: the freedom from fear and distress. This freedom is about providing animals with conditions and treatment that do not cause them to suffer mentally or physically. Read the following blog with your students to learn more! Have you ever heard strange noises at…Continue Reading

Speak up for humane education in the new provincial curriculum

Albertans have until June 2 to provide input into preliminary draft documents of the new curriculum being developed by Alberta Education. Now’s your chance to voice your opinion about including humane education, animal welfare or other topics related to kindness to animals, people and the environment. Here’s some tips to make it easier. Before you…Continue Reading

3- Freedom from Pain, Injury, and Disease

Welcome back to our Five Freedom series! This week we will be covering the third of the Five Freedoms: The Freedom from Pain, Injury, and Disease. This freedom is all about preventing health issues in domestic animals, and rapidly diagnosing and treating them when they do occur. Read the following blog with your students to…Continue Reading

2 – Freedom from Discomfort

This week we will be discussing the second of the Five Freedoms: The Freedom from Discomfort! This freedom is all about ensuring we provide domestic animals comfort which is achieved in different ways. Read the following blog with your students to learn more. At the end of a long day, where do you want to…Continue Reading

1 – Freedom from Thirst and Hunger

As mentioned in last week’s blog, we are doing a weekly blog series for the next month about the Five Freedoms! This week we will be discussing the first of the Five Freedoms: the Freedom from Thirst and Hunger. This Freedom is all about ensuring animals are provided with ready access to fresh water and…Continue Reading

Blog posts represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Alberta SPCA.