HELPING TEACHERS INSPIRE COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS, PEOPLE & THE ENVIRONMENT

Classroom Resources

Lesson 6: Positive Interactions

This lesson will explore the importance of positive interactions with animals. Watch the ‘Five Needs of Animals – Positive Interactions’ (5:14) video. There are two video options for this lesson: Interactive or Normal. The interactive version has questions built into the video that students answer as they watch. Watch as a class, and answer together, or, have students watch the video on their own/in small groups, and answer the questions individually. The normal version is just the video.

Post-Video Discussion Questions

  • How would you feel is someone that you did not know came up into your personal space? Do you think animals share this feeling?
  • What are some ways you can let someone know if you don’t feel comfortable in a situation?
  • What are some ways animals can let people know they don’t feel comfortable in a situation? Body language, growl, bare teeth, bark, bite, etc.
  • Why do you think animals learn better with treats, pets, toys, etc.?
  • Why is it important to let an animal decide if they want to interact with us or not? What should we do if they don’t want to? Forcing an animal to interact with you could lead to the person and/or the animal getting hurt. If an animal does not want to be interacted with, we should leave them alone.
  • Can you think of a time where you might have interacted with an animal in a way the animal might not have liked? If you could go back in time, how would you interact with the animal knowing what you know now?

Post-Video Activities

1. Role Play

Often when we see dogs, we get excited and want to pet them, without always thinking what the dog might want! As a class, go over Sophia Yin’s guide to greeting a dog (and what to avoid). Then, again as a class, watch the “How to interact with your cat” (3:32) video. Both the poster and the video demonstrate how to positively interact with dogs and cats. Ask students:

  • What were the similarities and the differences between the dog poster and the cat video?
  • What general rules can you make about positively interacting with a pet? Be gentle, give choice, watch the animal’s body language to see if they are enjoying the interaction, etc.

Then, in pairs or small groups, have students pick an interaction to role play (the incorrect interactions as well as the correct human to dog or human to cat interaction) for the class. See if students can guess which human to dog or human to cat interaction is recommended. After each group presents, have a discussion on what made some interactions recommended and why the others should be avoided.

2. Hidden Phrase

Individually, or in pairs, have students complete the Hidden Phrase Activity Sheet. Students will read each statement and decide whether the sentence is true or false. If the answer is true, students will write the first letter of the statement in the box on the left. If the answer is false, students will write the first letter of the statement in the box on the right. When students are all done, have them read the question in the box, from the top of the TRUE column to the bottom of the FALSE column. Have students answer the question. EXTENSION: Have students rewrite the false statements to make them true.  

Click here for the teacher solutions to the activity sheet.

Curriculum Connections

Science
  • General Learner Expectations: Students will:
    • 4-4 Demonstrate positive attitudes for the study of science and for the application of science in responsible ways.
    • Specific Learner Expectations: Students will show growth in acquiring and applying the following traits:
      • a sense of responsibility for actions taken
      • respect for living things and commitment for their care
        •  
Health and Life Skills

SAFETY AND RESPONSIBILITY

  • Students will:
    • W-4.8 expand practices that provide safety for self and others
Science
  • General Learner Expectations: Students will:
    • 5-4 Demonstrate positive attitudes for the study of science and for the application of science in responsible ways.
    • Specific Learner Expectations: Students will show growth in acquiring and applying the following traits:
      • a sense of responsibility for actions taken
      • respect for living things and commitment for their care
Health and Life Skills

SAFETY AND RESPONSIBILITY

  • Students will:
    • W-5.8 promote safety practices in the school and community
Science
  • General Learner Expectations: Students will:
    • 6-4 Demonstrate positive attitudes for the study of science and for the application of science in responsible ways.
    • Specific Learner Expectations: Students will show growth in acquiring and applying the following traits:
      • a sense of responsibility for actions taken
      • respect for living things and commitment for their care
Health and Life Skills

SAFETY AND RESPONSIBILITY

  • Students will:
    • W-6.10 demonstrate responsibility for, and skills related to, the safety of self and others
  •  

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