When you decide to create an Animal Aid Club and school presentation, there are many helpful lesson plans from the American Humane Association's website that can help in the organization of your weekly meetings. You can download them at www.americanhumane.org. We encourage you to sponsor a pet at a local shelter for the school project as well. This does not mean adoption. It means that your group will network to help get the dog or cat a home or supply the minimal fee for sponsorship that allows a rescue group to take the animal. We've included other creative curriculum ideas for you to use as well.

Suggested Creative Curriculum for Animal Aid Pet Clubs

  1. Have children gather stories of how dogs or cats have helped us through the years whether during the terror attacks of 9/11, guarding flocks, or assisting the handicapped. Hero stories. Have them write essays about their own pet.

  2. Talk to local rescue organizations and adopt a homeless dog/cat from them or from a shelter. This means that your group will sponsor that dog and network to get him or her adopted.

  3. Arrange for professionals in your area who work with dogs and cats to speak to your group. Vets. Dog trainers. K-9 unit police officers. Therapy dog owners. Behaviorists. Shelter Workers. Dog show judges. All can provide a new perspective on pets.

  4. Watch a training video together like Cesar Millan's videos and discuss what it means to be a leader and to be in control. Learn how to be calm and strong around dogs.

  5. Practice walking a dog using a parent's or teacher's dog. Learn the correct way to approach a dog. No eye contact or touch at first. No excitable name calling. Learn how to correctly make an introduction to dogs.

  6. Using computer graphics, magazine pictures, or their own artistic talent, let children create posters that depict the plight of homeless dogs and their rescue.

  7. Stage a mini dog or cat show and give fun prizes. The cutest face, the best tail wagger etc. This lets children know that all pets, not just designer breeds, have something special about them.

  8. Hold a school bake sale, raffle, or book fair to raise money to buy dog food or have a dog food drive for local shelters.

  9. Using the American Humane Associations' literature, discuss the special needs of puppies and how to bring them into a home.

  10. Learn about the various dog breeds and what characteristics go with them. Discuss the various dog groups and learn how a terrier is different in temperament from a lap dog etc. This way, owners pick the right breed for their lifestyle.

  11. Bake homemade healthy biscuits for dogs and learn dog nutrition. Discuss what dogs can't and can eat. How to raise a healthy animal.

  12. Field trip to a shelter. Then arrange volunteer hours for hands on experience.

  13. Arrange a pack walk at the school track with moms, dads, friends and their dogs.

  14. Decorate dog houses and raffle them off to a winner. Raffle money benefits a shelter.

  15. Start a book club revolving around classic dog or cat stories. Your librarian can make suggestions. This can also be done with popular films.

  16. Talk with a dog trainer and learn a dog's key stances and behaviors so that you can understand his feelings and actions. If there are any afraid of dogs, address these fears so they can be overcome.

  17. Have your group put on the TAKE ME HOME play in the Animal Aid Club presentation and discuss some of the issues afterwards. Feel free to personalize it to your cast and your school. Add any other elements like extra songs or monologues from the owner's point of view as well as the pet's. You can also let children create their own play based on their experiences with the animals in their lives.

Are you joining Animal Aid? Have you created an Animal Aid club in your school or town? Download creative curriculum here and start to make a difference.

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