Due to staff absence at the start of a new term I found myself in a primary 2 classroom. Thinking quickly about a topic I had the idea to send a box full of stuffed animals to the class. I arranged for the janitor to deliver it to the classroom and opened it with the excited children. Inside apart from the animals was a letter from my friend who had moved to Australia and couldn’t take the animals with her.
I used a Critical Skills approach with the children and we brainstormed what the animals would need in our classroom. We found out who had pets and what they needed. We used technology to design and build cages for the animals, maths to measure the space needed to make our pet shop and language for writing. The children enjoyed building the finished cages into a pet shop and putting the animals in. Children were given daily tasks of feeding, reading stories, cleaning out the cages, exercising the animals and role playing within the shop. Some children even brought in stuffed animals from home to spend the day in our pet shop. We wrote stories about what the animals could see from their cages and how they felt.
This was a great topic and the children learned about the responsibility of caring for a pet.