Category Archives: Blog

Students Making a Difference through ‘Class Action’

Service learning projects are a great way to address curricular outcomes while providing students the opportunity to leave a positive and lasting impact on the community. The Alberta SPCA’s ‘Class Action’ projects to help animals, people or the environment provide an opportunity to engage your students in service learning. One of the great things about a ‘Class Action’ project is that students decide on a problem or issue that impacts the community, and they work together as a class to address it. Students are able to take ownership and pride in their learning, knowing that they are helping their community.

So far this school year, students from across Alberta have completed a variety of service learning projects that have positively impacted their communities in a number of creative ways. Here are a few examples of how students have made a difference in their communities:

  • Construction technology students at St. John XXIII Elementary/Junior High Catholic School built well-insulated houses for families in need across Alberta. So far, six dog houses have been built through this project with more planned for the future, including other schools in the Edmonton Catholic School Division! More information on the Dog House Project can be found here.
  • Mrs. Bilyk’s Grade One Class at Holy Family School chose to support the ‘Adopt-A-Senior’ campaign. Students held a bake sale at their school to raise money towards buying gifts for seniors in their community. In the end, the students raised enough money to purchase items to ensure three seniors had gifts to open on Christmas.
  • Miss McCracken’s Grade Four Class at Canyon Elementary School raised funds for their local hospital, in addition to raising money for clean water for families in Kenya.
  • Students at the Beaumont Out of School Care brought one food item each day of the Kindness Challenge to donate to their local food bank. Over the sixteen-day period, the students collected enough items to fill an entire wagon full of food to donate to those in need.
  • Miss Faganello’s Grade Five Class at Two Hills Mennonite School had a discussion around the importance of having proper protection for outside pets. Students decided to make an awareness campaign for their community, informing their neighbours on responsible pet ownership including information on appropriate outdoor shelters. It turns out that the community was very receptive to the students’ message and several people made changes.

These are just a few examples of the fantastic work students are doing in our province. Share these examples with your students to let them know what other classes are doing. Who knows, it might spark an idea in your students to do a ‘Class Action’ project of your own. If you need help getting started with your project, check out our step-by-step-guide for a successful project!

Be sure to let us know if your class completes a project. We like to recognize students for their work in making a positive impact on their community. Each class is added to the Kindness Map and awarded a ‘Kind Class” certificate.

Fostering Curiosity in the Classroom

Children are naturally curious. We know this from the numerous questions they ask each day. However, for some reason it seems as children get older the number of questions asked become fewer. As educators we want to encourage students to continue asking questions and to stay curious and engaged in learning, but how? We’ve all…Continue Reading

After the War: Animals Helping Veterans

Animals had, and continue to have an important role to play in war. In last year’s Remembrance Day blog we discussed the role animals played in The First World War. This year we are looking at service dogs, and the important role they have in helping veterans who are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder…Continue Reading

Why Curiosity Matters

Curiosity is powerful. It encourages us to ask questions, seek answers, think critically, and find solutions to problems both big and small. It helps us to be open to others, build understanding and foster empathy – and it needs to be nurtured.  Astrophysicist and science educator, Neil deGrasse Tyson has lamented that “kids are born…Continue Reading

Summer Reads for Teachers

We usually highlight great animal-themed books for your students, but this list is just for you! The following suggested reads span fiction to non-fiction and are guaranteed to kindle your curiosity about animals and spark reflection about our relationship to them. Saving Manno by Spencer Sekyer (autobiographical, Canadian) Spencer Sekyer is a Sherwood Park teacher who…Continue Reading

Animals in the classroom: Responsibilities & Rewards

Mrs. Ainslie-O’Connor is a seasoned grade three teacher who has incorporated classroom animals in her teaching for about 10 years. I met with Mrs. Ainslie-O’Connor in her brightly lit grade three classroom in Spruce Grove and was introduced to some of her furry – and not so furry – friends.  She has a six-year old guinea…Continue Reading

Volunteer Spotlight – April 2019

The Alberta SPCA Education Department is fortunate to have two wonderful volunteers that help us connect teachers to humane education resources they can use in their classroom. Whether it is coming into the office once a week, or helping us at special events, our volunteers are an integral part of our department being able to…Continue Reading

What to Expect with AnimalTales

Are you thinking about getting AnimalTales but not sure what to expect? This blog is intended to give you a better idea of how AnimalTales can be used in your classroom. The AnimalTales program is easily adaptable; each activity can be modified to fit the needs of your class. You can spend as much or…Continue Reading

The Rise of Alternatives

Technology is paving the way for advances in science and medicine, and providing opportunities for learning, through the use of alternatives. From Organ-on-a-Chip to a virtual dissection table, superior methods to the traditional use of animals for education and research and being created and implemented. In science classrooms, dissection has been a popular activity since…Continue Reading

Animals and Remembrance Day

This Remembrance Day marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. Over 650,000 men and women from Canada served in this war, with 66,000 of those making the ultimate sacrifice. That is one in ten people who never returned home to their loved ones. Working alongside these brave men and women were…Continue Reading

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