What Is a Pet?

Grades: 
K, 1, 2

It’s important for learners of all ages to understand that animals are living, feeling beings. This lesson encourages children to think about animals and animal welfare particularly as it applies to pets. It will help them understand that animals need and want many of the basic things that humans need and want, and how humans can help provide those things for their pets.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo 30 minute class periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • actively listen and identify types of animals that make good pets.
  • create a classroom graph of pets.
  • identify some facts about different pets found in the book .
  • identify animals that are and are not usually pets.
  • discuss the attributes of pets.
Materials 
  • Oh, the Pets You Can Get!: All About Our Animal Friends By Tish Rabe
  • Chart paper/white board for making charts and graph
  • Graph - Prepare a classroom bar graph in advance of the lesson using the types of pets mentioned in the book. Along the bottom of the graph write the names of the animals, equally spaced apart. Along the left side of the paper number one through the number of learners in the class. Title the graph, “Our Pets.”
  • Stickers of animals or pictures of animals mentioned in the book. Have many options available.
  • Optional: Dog puppet to use for the “Puppy Says” game
  • A selection of animal pictures including some animals that are mentioned as pets in the literature book (birds, cats, kittens, bunnies, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs.) and some animals that are not pet animals such as giraffe, lion, dolphin, elephant, squirrel.
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework: Ask the learners to share with their families what they have learned about pets during this lesson. If there is a pet at home ask the learners, with the help of family members to list what their pet(s) needs and how the family members help take care ofa pet.

Bibliography 
  • Rabe, Tish. Oh, the Pets You Can Get!: All About Our Animal Friends.  1998. Random House. New York .ISBN: 0-375-82278-X

For additional related topics and materials see: 

  • ASPCA Professional: service-learning opportunities with animals 

Instructions

Print
  1. Ready? The puppy says, “If you like animals, walk to the center of the room”. The puppy says, “Go back to your original space.” The puppy says, “If you have a pet at home, walk to the center of the room.” The puppy says, “Go back to your original space.” The puppy says, "If you would like to have a pet someday, walk to the center of the room.” The puppy says, “Go back to your original space.” The puppy says, “If you help take care of a pet, walk to the center of the room.” The puppy says, “Go back to your original space.” Continue this game as long as the learners are actively engaged. Once the game is finished ask the learners to take a seat and get ready to listen to a very special story.

  2. Read the book, Oh, the Pets You Can Get!: All About Our Animal Friends by Tish Rabe.

  3. Read the book through once and allow the learners to enjoy the listening experience.

  4. Read the book a second time and ask the learners to listen for specific things.(If it is appropriate for the grade level the list may be posted in advance for them to see as the book is being read.)

  5. Ask the learner the following questions. As they respond, make a list on the board or paper using both words and pictures.

  6. Why do Guinea Pigs need a ramp in their cage? (exercise)

    Where do pet birds sleep? (in a cage)

  7. Ask the learners to choose a picture/sticker of a pet mentioned in the book that represents a pet that they have or an animal that they would like to have as a pet. Have them place it on a graph.

  8. Discuss the graph prompting the learners with questions such as these: Which animal do most of us have as pets? Which animal do the least of us have? Continue asking appropriate questions about the graph.

  9. Day Two:

  10. Spend a few minutes reviewing the learning from Day One.

  11. On a display board create a T-chart. Label one side “Pet Animals” and the other side “Not Pet Animals.” Read the labels to the learners and tell them that they will be helping you categorize some animal pictures according to whether or not the animal is usually considered a pet or not. Randomly hold up each picture and ask the students to name the animal. Then ask a volunteer to place the animal picture in the correct location depending on if it is or is not usually considered a pet. Ask the class to contribute ideas about attributes of each animal that would make each of the animals a possible pet or not a pet.

  12. Explain the homework assignment: Ask the learners to share with their families what they have learned about pets during these lessons. With the help of family members, ask the learner to list what pets need and how the family members may help in taking care of a pet.

  13. For younger students the teacher may want to create a letter to Families explaining the Pet Care unit and the homework.

Assessment 

The teacher’s observation of the learners during the class discussion and adding data to the graph will serve as the assessment for this lesson.