HELPING TEACHERS INSPIRE COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS, PEOPLE & THE ENVIRONMENT

Classroom Resources

Lesson 3: Environment

This lesson will explore how the environmental needs of animals are met. Watch the ‘Five Needs of Animals – Environment’ (4:52) 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

  • Where is a comfortable place for you to sit down or rest? Couch, chair, bed, on grass, pillows, etc.
  • How would you feel if your classroom had no desks and you needed to sit on the hard floor or stand for the entire day? By the end of the end of the day or week you might feel stiff, sore and uncomfortable, and it might be difficult to learn!
  • Do you have an animal, or know of someone who does? Where does the animal prefer to rest? Do you notice a difference in resting places between species? Why do you think this is? Cats love resting in places high up, like the top of a cat tree, so they can be hidden and see their environment below them. The helps them to feel both comfortable and safe. Dogs, might prefer to lay on a dog bed (or sometimes the floor because it’s cool).
  • What kind of places or environments do you feel safe in? Answers might include at home, familiar places like school, with friends and family.
  • What are situations when you feel fear? Answers might include places that are unknown, seeing someone upset, seeing people/animals that seem mad/scary. 
  • What can you do when you feel fear? Know that feeling fear is normal and even adults have fears! Talk to a family member or friend, discuss coping strategies like, taking deep breaths, or hugging a stuffy, and sometimes learning more about what you fear can help to make it less scary, etc.
  • What situations do you know of that pets or farm animals feel fear? Different species of animals have different fears, especially if they are typically prey animals like rabbits. Some answers could include thunder, other loud noises, strangers, shadows, other animals, new environments or people, etc.
  • How does fear impact you physically? Faster heartbeat, sweating, stomach ache, nausea, etc. Do you think the same could be true for animals? Explain.
  • How can we provide animals with a stress free environment? You need to find out what your animal is afraid of. Different species have different fears, so it is important to know what you should and should introduce into your animal’s environment. Always be kind, gentle, and allow animals to get used to you, other people, and environments. Also allowing animals a choice (to interact or not) helps them to feel secure.

Post-Video Activities

1. Comfort Collage

Have students find a picture of a domestic animal (pet or farm) online, from a magazine or by bringing a photo from home. Have students cut out and glue the animal to the middle of a white piece of paper. Then have students add objects that can help the animal feel comfortable and safe. Students can draw the objects and/or find images online or in magazines to complete their collage. EXTENSION: Have students compare their collage with others who picked a different species. Is there a difference in the environment between the species? What words can be used to describe the resting places?

2. Not Afraid of Dogs

Read aloud, Not Afraid of Dogs by Suzanna Pitzer. Alternatively you can show the read aloud video ‘Not Afraid of Dogs‘ (3:56). Then ask students the following discussion questions:

  • What is Daniel afraid of?
  • Why do you think Daniel says he doesn’t ‘like’ dogs instead of he’s ‘afraid’ of dogs?
  • How did Daniel’s behaviour toward Bandit change once he realizes she was afraid of the storm?
  • What descriptive words could you use to describe the look on both Daniel’s and Bandit’s face on the final page? Introduce the word ‘content’.

After going through the discussion questions, have students record their responses to the story (in pictures or in words) using the following sentence frames:

  • I am like Daniel because ___________.
  • I know how Daniel feels because __________.
  • The author’s description of __________ reminds me of __________.

Curriculum Connections

Science

General Learner Expectations: The child demonstrates curiosity, interest and a willingness to learn about the environment and community.

  • Specific Learning Expectations: The child:
    • shows awareness of similarities and differences in living things, objects and materials
    • becomes aware of the relationship between cause and effect

General Learner Expectations: The child explores familiar places and things in the environment and community

  • Specific Learner Expectations: The child:
    • recognizes familiar animals and their characteristics and surroundings; e.g., farm and zoo
Health and Life Skills

UNDERSTANDING AND EXPRESSING FEELINGS

  • Students will:
    • R-K.1 demonstrate knowledge of different kinds of feelings and a vocabulary of feelings words
    • R-K.3 identify situations where strong feelings could result
Science
  • General Learner Expectations: Students will:
    • 1-4 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
  • Topic E: Needs of Plants and Animals
    • General Learner Expectation: Students will:
      • 1-11 Describe some common living things, and identify needs of those living things.
      • Specific Learner Expectations: Students will:
        • 1. Observe describe and compare living things.
        • 6. Identify the requirements of animals to maintain life; i.e., air, food water, shelter, space; and recognize that we must provide these for animals in our care.
Language Arts

1.1 Discover and Explore

Express ideas and develop understanding

  • Talk with others about something recently learned
  • Make observations about activities, experiences with oral, print and other texts

3.2 Select and Process

Use a variety of sources

  • Find information on a topic, using a variety of sources, such as books, concept books, people and field trips

3.4 Share and Review

Share ideas and information

  • Share ideas and information form oral, print, and other media texts with familiar audiences
Health and Life Skills

UNDERSTANDING AND EXPRESSING FEELINGS

  • Students will:
    • R-1.1 recognize and demonstrate various ways to express feelings
Science
  • General Learner Expectations: Students will:
    • 2-4 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
Language Arts

2.4 Create Original Text

Elaborate on the expression of ideas

  • Add descriptive words to elaborate on ideas and create particular effects in oral, print and other media texts

3.2 Select and Process

Use a variety of sources

  • Find information on a topic using a variety of sources, such as simple chapter books, multimedia recourses, computers and elders in the community

3.4 Share and Review

Share ideas and information

  • Share, with familiar audiences, ideas and information on topics
Health and Life Skills

UNDERSTANDING AND EXPRESSING FEELINGS

  • Students will:
    • R-2.1 recognize that individuals make choices about how to express feelings
    • R-2.4 develop communication strategies to express needs and seek support
    •  
Science
  • General Learner Expectations: Students will:
    • 3-4 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
Language Arts

1.1 Discover and Explore

3.2 Select and Process

Use a variety of sources

  • Find information to answer research questions, using a variety of sources, such as children’s magazines, CDROMs, plays, folk tales, songs, stories and the environment

3.4 Share and Review

Share ideas and information

  • Organize and share ideas and information on topics to engage familiar audiences
Health and Life Skills

UNDERSTANDING AND EXPRESSING FEELINGS

  • Students will:
    • R-3.3 develop, with guidance, strategies to deal with stress/change
    • R-3.4 develop, with guidance, effective communication skills and strategies to express feelings

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