Lesson Overviews. 

Lesson 1 - Who takes care of unwanted and homeless pets in Wake County?

Why we are teaching this course / the effect of humans on animals in our community / Wake County’s main problem concerning unwanted and homeless animals / what is a shelter / types of shelters/ pet profiles of animals who find themselves in the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) / identification of reasons animals find themselves in WCAC and what we can do to alleviate situation / review of lesson through Reflect, Respond, Respect= Rewards organizer. 





Lesson 2 - What happens to unwanted and homeless animals when we are not responsible?

Quick review / pet overpopulation / benefits of having pets spayed or neutered / activity to illustrate problems of overpopulation / euthanasia---what is it and why? / Math component dealing with number of animals who find themselves at the WCAC / when should I get a pet? / what do I need to think about before getting a pet?  Review of lesson with Organizer sheets.





Lesson 3 - How can I be a responsible pet owner?

Quick review of L2 / How do I care for a pet? / What are the most important things we can do to protect our pets and keep them safe? / Discussion of toxins to our pets/ what to do if you see an animal being harmed / Essay contest---students write an original essay to be turned in at the beginning of L5.  Organizer sheets, for review, are completed in class.









Lesson 4 -  How do we stay safe around our pets?

Quick review of last week.  Discussion of what it means to be safe.  Video component and questions. Discussion of dog bites, why they happen and how to avoid them.   Understanding dog and cat “language” and how to recognize signals and other communication from our pets indicating they are feeling discomfort and/or stress. How do we greet a dog with whom we are unfamiliar?  Organizer sheets.  Essays due at the beginning of class, week 5.











Lesson 5 * - How to stay safe around dogs? (continued) How do cats and dogs learn?  What are the rewards of pet ownership?

Essays collected.  More on how to stay safe around dogs.  Insights about preventing dog bites.How do we greet a dog with whom we are unfamiliar?  (Students practice greeting an unfamiliar dog in Lesson 6.) Discussion of how dogs and cats learn. How to most effectively teach our pets.  Cats can be trained too.  Seven useful things to teach our canine companions.    What are rewards?  What are the rewards of pet ownership?  Complete any written component that accompanies art project.


Lesson 6 - What can I do in the future to help animals and people in my community?

Review of lessons 1-6 through a game.  More on the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC)---video component and guest speaker.  Recognition of student who wrote the best essay.   What is an oath? Practice Kids 4 Critters Oath, then take oath.  Awarding of certificates.  Students take their folder home and continue to teach others what they have learned.

Students have the opportunity to practice properly greeting certified therapy dogs.




A What I Know survey is administered before the class begins and a few months after the class ends to measure what the students know and have learned.


We have included recommendations for lesson-targeted readings of high interest to 4th graders for use in whole-class and/or individual settings. 




*In week 5, the students participate in an art project that the participating school’s art teacher and Kids 4 Critters instructors plan in advance.  The art project should advance the goals of our program while at the same time allow the students to learn about art and express themselves visually.  Often, a written component accompanies this project, further advancing writing skills.   Please see our Arts Projects page or Kids 4 Critters Facebook page for examples of works produced in this program.



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