Developing a sense of responsibility is a critical component of character and citizenship education. We will be exploring this theme through addressing our obligation to be responsible for animals in our care. The more we learn about animals, what they need to be healthy, how they feel safe, what they like or dislike, etc., the better we are at providing for them.
The next series of blog posts will be discussing the Five Freedoms for Animals. These freedoms were developed and refined in response to concerns about the treatment of farm animals in the UK in the mid-1960s. Today, these freedoms are internationally recognized and are used as goals or ideals when thinking about meeting both the physical and mental needs of animals. Over the month of May, each week we will be looking at one freedom and exploring why it’s important for animals and how to recognize situations where freedoms may be improved. There will be discussion questions and activities along the way. These concepts, questions and activities can be easily adapted to meet the individual needs of your class.
If your students like animals this is a great way to learn more about them, how to provide for them and reinforces our obligation to care for them every day, for their entire lives.
Before you get started: Pick an animal (companion animal or pet) and have your students brainstorm a list of things a caretaker would need to provide the animal to maintain its health and well-being (be detailed!). Save the list and find out if you covered all of the five freedoms as we go through them over the next month.