What Would We Do?

3, 4, 5

This lesson is designed to engage the learners in a service learning project of their creation that will benefit members of the community.

PrintTwo 45 minute class periods

The learner will:

  • develop and implement a plan to help people and their pets be better prepared for an emergency.
  • develop a service learning plan that they will share with others in the school and community.
  • reflect on the service learning activities by writing a response to a prompt.
  • Copies of Handout Three: Pet Emergency Check List from Lesson Two
  • Rescue Alert signs created by the learners

For additional related topics and materials:


  1. Anticipatory Set: Ask students to recall, by looking at the student created collages and lists, what they have learned so far about emergency preparedness. Prompt the students to clearly articulate what they think the need is and challenge them to brainstorm plans to meet the need.

  2. Guide the students in a class discussion about the need to have a plan for pets in the event of an emergency.

  3. Help students identify potential service projects that they could reasonably do.Examples/suggestions for projects (such as emergency preparedness kits for cats and dogs to be donated to local pet adoption agencies and given to those who adopt cats and dogs) can be suggested to the students by the teacher but the service plan and how it is implemented should be learner initiated.

  4. Once the learners have agreed on a project(s), guide them in determining the action steps, materials needed and organizations from whom they might be able to get help with materials, publicity or volunteers for the project.

  5. If preparing emergency kits is the chosen project, be certain to check with the chosen organization to make sure they can accept and distribute the kits. Learners create a plan to solicit donations of merchandise from families and local merchants, assemble the kits, and create a Rescue Alert sign to be included in each pack. Each sign should include: 1) the types and number of pets in the household; 2) a cell phone number; 3) the name of the veterinarian; and 4) the veterinarian's phone number. Distribute the kits to local animal adoption organizations, and create a Family Pet Evacuation Form to be completed by the pet owners.

  6. If possible all learners should have the opportunity to be part of delivering the kits to the animal adoption organization by inviting a representative to visit the classroom to receive the kits or by taking the students on a field trip to see the adoption organization and deliver the kits.

  7. After the service project, ask the learners to demonstrate what they have learned by creating pamphlets to distribute to their peers in the school, about emergency preparedness for pets.

  8. In a class discussion, determine the information headings that might be important to include in the pamphlet such as natural and human-made disasters, their effect on people and pets, evacuation and the consequences, the new law and why an emergency preparedness plan for pets is important, lists of supplies that should be in emergency kits of pets (cats, dogs, others).

  9. Group the learners according to the number of sections of the pamphlet. Each group is responsible for writing a brief paragraph for their information and creating an illustration to go with the information.

  10. Compile the information into the pamphlet and copy for distribution in the school. If possible, arrange for the learners to deliver the pamphlets to each class and do a brief explanation of why they think this information is important for everyone to have.

  11. As a reflection on learning ask the learners to write a response to the following questions: Why is it important that animal needs not be forgotten at any time and especially during an emergency situation? How did this activity make a difference in your life and the way you feel about animals?


Teacher’s observation of learner involvement in class discussions will form the basis for the assessment of this lesson. If the suggested service learning activity is used, a rubric should be created to assess the quality of the pamphlets.

Cross Curriculum 

If preparing emergency kits is the chosen project, learners should create a plan to solicit donations of merchandise from families and local merchants, assemble the kits, and create a Rescue Alert sign to be included in each pack.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      3. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      4. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a service plan.
    5. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.