Here are some suggestions for animals that can brought into the classroom for short lengths of time if you believe it necessary for the students’ learning – for example, to meet the requirements of the Grade 2 Science Program of Studies, Topic E Small Crawling and Flying Animals.
Commercially-produced butterfly kits. These kits, commonly with the Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) species come with an artificial diet and all you need to grow a butterfly. The transformation time is usually just a few weeks and if you time it right you can release the butterfly outdoors in the springtime.
Guppies are relatively easy to care for. These fish need very little care (they eat the algae that grows on fish tank walls) and females give birth to live offspring about once a month. Be careful though. You’ll need two aquaria and a breeding trap to prevent the adults from eating the young.
Catching tadpoles to be released later is not advisable, since amphibians are very sensitive to temperature and other changes in their aquatic environment and generally won’t survive even if replaced in the same spot. Many frog species are also at risk. See the Tadpoles and Frogs page for more information.
If you’re considering other animals, make sure you know how to care for them, and have plans in place for emergencies, illness and other contingencies. See the resources listed on the District Policies page for some suggestions.