The second term of the school year is now in full swing, and for elementary school teachers in B.C. thinking of incorporating animal welfare lessons, the BC SPCA has resources available.
BC SPCA school programs, including lesson plans and accompanying school presentations, promote social responsibility, empathy and critical thinking – and all are linked to the Ministry of Education learning outcomes in mathematics, social studies, language arts, visual arts and science.
“By creating curriculum-linked lessons to help teachers educate their students about animal welfare issues, we hope to reach more children in B.C. early on,” says Paula Neuman, humane education manager for the BC SPCA.
Animal-themed school presentations, available in many areas of the province, complement BC SPCA lesson plans by allowing students to ask questions of a humane educator and interact with a visiting temperament-tested companion animal. “I loved that the presentation was interactive and held their attention,” says one teacher of the Kindness Counts presentation. “The students loved George [the presenter’s dog]!”
Along with lesson plans and presentations which focus on topics such as empathy, pet care and advocacy, the BC SPCA offers Bite Free: Dog Bite Safety. This proven program teaches kids why dogs may bite and how to stay safe around them. “The knowledge children gain from going through the Bite Free program is invaluable,” says Neuman.
Bite Free is also on the B.C. Ministry of Education’s list of recommended resources for Health and Career Education for grades K-5. “It was a fantastic presentation,” says a teacher about Bite Free. “All the participating teachers were very impressed.”
To book a school presentation, teachers in the Lower Mainland can contact Paula Neuman. In all other areas of the province they can contact their local BC SPCA branch.
Full details on all BC SPCA lesson plans and other teacher resources can be found at spca.bc.ca/teacher.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.