All In a Day's Work

3, 4, 5

As part of a small group, the students select and research a specific working animal. They create an informational presentation (poster or computer software) about their findings. Learners discover the impact that these animals have on the greater good of communities.

PrintOne 45 minute class period

The learner will:

  • work in a cooperative group.
  • select and research an animal and the work that he/she does.
  • create an informational poster or software presentation about a working animal.
  • share the presentation with classmates.
  • Anna & Natalie by Barbara H. Cole
  • Working Dog Books List (Handout)
  • Internet access, and/or print information (See Bibliographical References for a list of reference web sites and books)
  • presentation software, and/or poster board and art materials
  • copies of Handout One: Research Guide

Teacher Note: Prior to teaching the lesson, determine the kind of student presentations (poster or software) and organize the media, internet or print materials needed.


Working Dog Books List (Handout)

Cole, Barabara H. Anna & Natalie. New York, Star Bright Books, 2007.ISBN: 9781595721051

Finke, Beth. Hanni and Beth: Safe and Sound. New York: Blue Marlin Publications, LTD, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-9792918-0-7

Websites and Books for Researching Working Animals: 


  1. Anticipatory Set: Show the students the cover of the book Anna & Natalie. Ask them to predict what the book will be about. What images do they see on the cover?What do they think is being whispered?

  2. Read the book, Anna & Natalie by Barbara Cole

  3. After reading the book, begin a dialog with the learners about where in the book the reader finds out that Natalie is a dog. (When they went on the porch to write Anna’s letter) What do you think the childrens in the class thought about Natalie’s letter to Mrs. Randall? Do you think the letter that Anna wrote was written about working animals or people? How do we remember those working animals that take on roles in war, rescue, and everyday life? (Ask as many open-ended questions that you deem necessary to allow for proper discussion on the role that animals have played in our society, for companions, but also for our country.)

  4. As a class, create a timeline of their typical daily activities by drawing a long horizontal line on a display board and putting Get Up at the beginning of the line and Go to Bed at the end of the line. In between the two headings, ask students to insert as many typical activities of a student’s day as possible. Then go back to the beginning of the timeline and ask students to think about each activity on the timeline to determine if a person with a disability could use help from Natalie to do the activity. Circle each activity that would be easier with help fromNatalie. Ask students to draw conclusions about the benefits of having a guide dog by analyzing the results of the timeline activity.

  5. Refer back to the list of animals and their jobs from Lesson One. Ask the learners to share their homework lists and add additional animals and jobs to the list. Make teacher suggestions from the Bibliographical Reference list of resources.

  6. Tell the learners that they will be asked to form small groups to research and create an informational poster or media presentation about a working animal. Arrange the class into groups of 2 or 3 students according to their interest in researching a specific working animal.

  7. Distribute poster materials or make computers and presentation software available. Each group is to research their working animal using print and/or internet sources and then create a visual presentation of the information.

  8. Distribute Handout One: Research Guide and go over the required research.

  9. When the presentations are complete, display student postersaround the classroom and allow the students to do a "walk about" to read each poster. If software presentations were created, project each presentation for the class to observe.

  10. Allow time for them to ask questions of each other and to comment on what they learned about working animals and their importance to the common good.

  11. Challenge the students to brainstorm how they might support or assist the welfare of working animals or animals in general by giving their time, talent or treasure (philanthropy). Is there a working animal or animal welfare organization they discovered during the lessons or research they want to support? Suggest that the students ask their families for ideas and bring those ideas to the next class session.


The successful completion of Handout One: Research Guide and creation of a presentation of the information will be used for assessment, as well as teacher observation of learners’ group participation.