Activity Plan 4-5: Pet Shelter
A visit to the pet shelter or shop has lots of skill-building opportunities in store!
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Social Studies
- chart paper and marker
- camera and film
- drawing paper and pencils
- tape recorder and blank cassette
Objective: In this activity, children will visit a pet shelter or store to expand their understanding about caring for pets. They will also learn about their community and have the basis for a new dramatic-play activity.
In Advance: Contact a local pet shelter or pet store to arrange a class trip. Research the location in advance to be sure animals are obtained responsibly and treated humanely.
1 During your group meeting, explain to children that they are going to visit and learn about pet shelters or stores. Ask children to share what they already know about these places. Record their responses on chart paper. Then ask children what they would like to know about pet shelters or stores. What do they think they will see there? Record these responses on a separate sheet of chart paper.
2 Review the list of what children would like to know and ask them to think of different types of questions to ask the owner, employees, or volunteers. Record the questions on a sheet of paper.
3 Ask children to help plan the trip. Explain that they can use a camera, tape recorder, drawings, and other means to gather information. During the trip, some children may want to conduct the interview, others may want to operate the tape recorder or take photographs, and children who like to draw can sketch different things that interest them.
4 Following the visit, provide children with drawing materials to draw and write about their visit. Invite children to share their drawings during group time. Create another language experience chart recording What the Class Learned From the Visit to the Pet Shelter or Pet Store.
5 Provide children with the photographs and recordings and, together develop a display to document their visit. Include their drawings, photographs, recorded information, and language experience charts in the display.
Remember: If a visit is not possible, children can read a book about a pet shelter or store. You may even try contacting an online pet shelter or store to see if they will answer questions.
Dramatic Play: Classroom Pet Shelter or Store. Ask children to work together to create a classroom pet shelter or store in the dramatic-play area. What types of things can they use that are already in the classroom? Invite everyone to bring stuffed animals from home and provide props such as boxes, empty pet food bags or containers, and plastic bowls. Encourage children to make pet toys, signs, and other props for their pet shelter or store. Children can cut out pictures of animal products from magazines or catalogs to include in their pet area.