Cats, Dogs and Us – An Integrated Unit for Years 5/6 on Living with Animals

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Summary of lesson plans in unit:

Through a variety of activities and discussions, students will analyse the special relationship people have with cats and dogs, develop essential vocabulary about the topic, and understand how humans support, live with and use these animals. The unit of lesson plans calls upon the relationships that students already have with cats and dogs and extends their understanding and knowledge of responsibility. This unit is integrated across the KLAs as well as looking at the differing perspectives that relate to people’s interaction with cats and dogs.

Cats, Dogs and Us aims to educate students about the characteristics of cats and dogs, the unique relationships cats and dogs have with people in communities around the world, and the important responsibility people have in caring for the needs of cats and dogs. Lessons reinforce and extend concepts covered in the video and Student Magazine. Suggestions for adapting the lessons for younger or less able students or extending the lesson for older or more advanced students are provided. Depending on the lessons and activities you choose, you may teach one or two lessons as stand-alone activities or the programme may be taught as a one- or two-week unit.

The lessons in this programme meet learning objectives in language arts and science. Among other programme goals, students will learn life science concepts, practise critical reading and comprehension strategies, and engage in role-play activities to encourage empathy for cats and dogs. Numerous studies have found that environmental education programmes like ours improve critical thinking skills, motivate students to become more engaged, and promote academic achievement, including better performance on standardised tests. There’s also documented evidence that integrating humane education into the classroom can lead to reductions in school violence and bullying, while  supporting moral development and instilling a sense of  responsibility for others, both animals and people.

This unit of work, submitted by:

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http://www.ifaw.org/australia/our-work/education/cats-dogs-and-us

Rationale of Unit:

Why does this learning matter? Through a variety of activities and discussions, students will analyse the relationship people have with cats and dogs, develop essential vocabulary about the topic and understand how humans support, live with and use these animals. They will research and discuss some environmental concerns relating to cats, dogs and Australia’s native animals.

How does it relate to prior learning? The unit calls upon the relationships that students already have with cats and dogs and extends their understanding and knowledge of responsibility.

How does it include cross-curricular perspectives? This unit is integrated across the KLAs as well as looking at the differing perspectives that relate to human’s interaction with cats and dogs and environmental factors.

Australian Curriculum Links:

English:

  • Communicate effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features. ACELY1700, ACELY1710, ACELY1709 and EN3-1A
  • Compose, edit and present well-structured and coherent texts. ACELY1704, ACELY1714, ACELT1609 and EN3-2A
  • Use an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies. ACELA1524, ACELY1712, ACELY1703, ACELY1713 and EN3–3A
  • Discuss how language is used to achieve a widening range of purposes for a widening range of audiences and contexts. ACELY1701, ACELY1801, ACELA1517 and ENS3-5B
  • Identify and consider how different viewpoints of their world, including aspects of culture, are represented in texts. ACELY1699 and EN3-8D

Mathematics:

  • Use appropriate methods to collect data and construct, interpret and evaluate data displays, including dot plots, line graphs and two-way tables. MA3-18SP

Science:

  • Describe some physical conditions of the environment and how these affect the growth and survival of living things. STS-11LW
  • Describe how structural features and other adaptations of living things help them to survive in their environment. ACSSU043 and ST3-10LW

 

Unit Sequence of Lesson Plans and Student Magazine:

Click on the links below to download the PDF version of the lesson plans:

 




 

 

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Additional Resources:

For more resources from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), please click on the link below:

 

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