Pet- a domesticated animal kept for companionship or amusement

 Describe the basic needs of animals.
        1. Identify some animals which make good pets.
        2. Identify a pet's basic needs.
        3. Compare the needs of other animals with pets.

Possible Unit Overview

* I have laid the unit out as a 4 week block but it could be extended over a longer time period or compressed.

Week 1:  Talk about what animals make good pets. Go for a neighborhood walk to see what pets are in the area.  Research a variety of pets and choose a class pet (see lesson).

Week 2:  Learn about pet care.  Visit a pet shop to learn about the best food, home, and other tools for a pet.  Compare pet needs to other animals needs. 

Week 3:  Talk about pet illnesses. Visit a veterinarian clinic and have the vet talk about treating pet illness.   

Week 4:  Learn about pets around the world.  What pets do we have in Canada that other places might not have and vice-versa?

Overarching Questions

What animals make good pets?
What are animals basic needs?
What is involved in caring for a pet?
What are the benefits of owning a pet?

Pet Vocabulary

Pet   Dog   Cat   Bird   Lizard   Snake   Hamster   Mouse   Bird   Ferret   Gerbil   Guinea-pig   Rabbit   Fish   Turtle   Salamander   Chinchilla   Spider   Shell   Paw   Fur   Scales   Fin   Wing   Tail   Ears   Crawl   Scamper   Swim Climb       Run    Hop    Food   Leash   Water   Cage   Toy   Cage    House    Aquarium   Wet   Dry    Veterinarian


KWL Chart:  Make a KWL chart a few days before starting the section on pets.  Refer to the chart for lesson planning.

Wordwall- Make a wordwall of pet vocabulary in the classroom to assist students with writing.  (See Pet Vocabulary).

Pet Center- create a pet center with books on a variety of pets, tools to take care of pets, and pictures of pets. 

Classroom Pet Exchange- Visit this website to see how you can connect with another classroom during the pet unit. 

Lesson Plans

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Responsible Pet care- A variety of lessons that teach children how to properly care for animals.  
What Pet Should You Get?- A grade one language arts lesson plan on pets. 
Who Lives Here? In this lesson children will discuss the different kinds of housing that different pets require

Field Trips

Visit a vet clinic (Or have a vet come to the class):  Have a vet talk to the children about animal illnesses and treatment. 

Take a virtual tour of a vet clinic:  Sandy Animal Clinic

Visit the humane society: Have someone talk to the children about caring for animals. 

Visit a pet shop:  Students will observe pets and learn about various pet products.  Have a discussion about items that a pet needs and items that are unnecessary.    

Neighborhood walk:  Take a walk through the neighborhood to see what pets are in the neighborhood. 

Show and tell: Have students take turns bringing their pet to the class.


Wash hands before and after handling pets.

Avoid handling lizards because they can carry samonella poisoning.

Avoid handling hampsters because they are known for transferring diseases. 

Don't stick fingers into an animal cage. 

Interdisciplinary Connections

Language Arts

Read a variety of books on pets.

Write a persuasive piece convincing someone that a certain animal will make an excellent pet. 

Create an ABC pet book. 


Create a favorite pet graph for the class. 

Use toy pet figures to make patterns.


Try out some of the activities in the book Pet Science with the class pet. 

Use chia pets in the classroom to teach about plants and responsibility.  See this article.

Study the different kinds of footprints pets make. 


Have students represent a pet they like by sculpting, painting, origami, sketching, or any other way they wish to represent a pet.  Provide a variety of materials. 

Social Studies

Learn about pets from around the world.  Examine the different roles pets play in different parts of the world.  Ex.  In some cultures cats are eaten.  

Locate where pets come from on the map. 

Physical Education

Incorporate various pet locomotions into physical education experiences.  For example, scamper like a mouse, hop like a frog, and run like a dog. 

Play animal tag using animals that make good pets.  See game instructions here.

Aboriginal Education

Read The Good Luck Cat

Some first nations children played with puppets made by stuffing animal hair into hides that formed the shape of the puppet.  Provide hides and other supplies for creating pet finger puppets.


Discuss animal illnesses. 

Discuss pet safety. 



Create your own pet and watch it come to life!

Parents Choice Award - Shidonni

Pet of the Day

Every day since 1997 Pet of the Day has featured a new pet profile and photo.

FBI Working Dogs

Learn about some of the working roles dogs play in our society. 

Fact Monster- Pets Page

Tons of facts about all kinds of pets!

Super Poke Pets!

Adopt and take care of an online pet.  You can feed it, play with it, and so much more.


Find out about a variety of pets ancestry. 


Pet Advice Series

5min.com- Pet Behavior

Check out all the pet videos at 5min.com. 


Choosing a pet

This article addresses a variety of considerations when choosing a pet.
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I'm a dog
All tail and bark
Snapping, yapping
In the park.

I'm a cat
As thin as a wire,
Creeping, sleeping
By the fire.

I'm a rabbit
all fluff and ear,
Trapped in a cage
And twitching fear.

John Kitching

My Pets

There are lots of pets in my house.I have one gerbil and one white mouse.(Hold up one finger on each hand.)I have two kittens and two green frogs,(Hold up two fingers on each hand.)I have three goldfish and three big dogs.(Hold up three fingers on each hand.)Some folks say that's a lot!Can you tell how many pets I've got?


The Furry Ones

I like--
the furry ones--
the waggy ones
the purry ones
the hoppy ones
that hurry,

The glossy ones
the saucy ones
the sleepy ones
the leapy ones
the mousy ones
that scurry,

The snuggly ones
the huggly ones
the never, never
ugly ones...
all soft
and warm
and furry.

- Aileen Fisher

Digital Books


Oh the Pets You Can Get - Tish Rabe


Dogs and Cats - Steve Jenkins


Wet Pet, Dry Pet, Your Pet, My Pet - Dr. Seuss


What Pet to Get? - Emma Dodd


The Pigeon wants a Puppy - Margi


Pet Show - Ezra Jack Keats


The Perfect Pet - Margie Palatini


Pet Science: 50 Purr-fectly Woof-Worthy Activities for You and Your Pets by Veronika Gunter and Rain Newcomb


The Classroom Pet- Grace MacCarone and Betsy Lewin


I Want A Pet- Lauren Child