Unit Title: Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses: Vets, Pets and Me!
Grade Level: 3rd Grade
Subject/Topic Areas: Science and Health
Key Words: Health, Preventive, Veterinarian, Needs, Wellness
Teachers: Ann Mennonno and Amy Wackerly
Time Frame: 3 week unit piloted 2010; 5 week unit to be piloted 2011
School District: Indianapolis Public Schools
School: Center for Inquiry #2
Brief Summary of Unit:
Pre-Assessment: Teacher will administer a Pre-Assessment
Shared Reading (book will be read as a whole group throughout unit) - The teacher will introduce the book Pets, Vets and Marty Howard to the students. The teacher will tell students they will be reading this book as a whole group for the daily shared reading times. After each days reading students will complete a literature log to go with the book.
Literature Log (PDF)
Before lesson the teacher will create a chart with three columns. Column one will be titled “What is a Pet?” Column two titled “Types of Pets.” And column three titled “Who has a Pet?” As a whole group the teacher will ask students, "What is a pet?". The teacher will take responses from students listing them on the first column of the chart – “What is a Pet?” Next, the teacher will have students raise their hands if they have a pet. Teacher will ask students in the class, "What are different types of pets?" and list them in the second column of the chart – “Types of Pets.” Finally, the teacher will ask the students, "Who has a pet?" The teacher will list the different types of pets the students in the classroom have at home.
Teacher will next read aloud Arthur’s New Puppy by Marc Brown. After reading the book the teacher will discuss book with students. What does responsibility mean? What responsibilities did Arthur have with his new puppy?
The teacher will review types of pets from the list on the chart. Teacher will tell students they are going to create pet collages w/ magazine pictures. They will look through the various pet magazines and cut out pictures of any pets and then use the pictures to create a collage. Teacher may have to demonstrate how to create a collage.
Using two sheets of chart paper label one “Children’s Needs” and the other “Pet’s Needs.” Teacher will ask students to name the different things that they need to be safe and healthy. Teacher will record responses on the “Children’s Needs” chart. Next, teacher will ask students what pets need to be safe and healthy and record their responses on the “Pet’s Needs” chart. (Be sure needs include food, water, shelter, space, love, exercise and play, bathing, education [training], I.D. tag and collar, and visits to the doctor/veterinarian.) As a whole group, review the charts by asking students "What needs to children have? What needs do pets have? What needs do children and pets share?" Place a star next to any needs that appear on both charts.
Next, write on the board: dog, cat, hamster, parakeet. Teacher will ask students to select the pet they would most like to have from the list and draw a picture of it. Then the teacher will have students write a short story about how they would take care of the pet. Teacher will remind students to refer to the “Pet Needs” list to help them write their stories. Teacher will invite students to share their pictures and stories with the class.
Teacher will introduce the science notebooks to the students. Teacher will give each student a notebook and guide them through numbering the pages and setting up the notebook – table of contents, word bank, concept map, I wonder.
Teacher will review with students what a good science observation includes by reviewing the observation rubric with the class.
Teacher will introduce the crayfish and the chick eggs and incubator to students. Teacher will share procedures for the live animal observations and share where students will record their observations in their science notebooks.
The teacher will place a crayfish in a tub for students to observe. Students will observe the structures of the crayfish and record their observations through technical drawings and labels. Teacher will demonstrate how to properly pick up a crayfish and will help students who would like to hold the crayfish.
Chick eggs and incubator
Students will observe and note the environment the eggs are in. They will record their observations by drawing a sketch of the environment with labels. Students will note what the environment must contain for the eggs to hatch (temperature, light)
The classroom incubators
Dr. Pat Wakenell, poultry veterinarian at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine discusses egg and chick care with students
Dr. Sandy Amass, veterinarian at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine discusses the importance of handwashing after handling chicks and eggs. Please note that the eggs used in these classrooms were special "Specific Pathogen Free" eggs, meaning they did not contain any organisms that could cause illness in people.
Dr. Wakenell demonstrates "candling", shining a light through an egg to locate the chick embyro.
Dr. Wakenell places the eggs in a classroom incubator.
Remainder of the Unit: Elaborate
Students will be asked to keep regular observation notes of the live animals for the remainder of the unit. The notes will include observations of behaviors of the animals and needs of the animals.
All chicks were placed in good homes after the lesson was complete.
Teacher will display the food pyramid. Teacher will review the food pyramid with students. Teacher will give each student a blackline copy of the pyramid and they will color and label the pyramid as the teacher goes through it with them. The teacher will point out the orange stripe next to the steps on the pyramid and tell students this is the grain group. "Do you know what grains are? Who can name the grain group foods illustrated on the poster?" Teacher will continue to explain the pyramid going through each section (green – vegetables; red – fruits; blue – milk; purple- meats & beans.) Finally, the teacher will ask students if they are done with the pyramid. They should recognize the skinny yellow stripe. Teacher will explain these are oils – they are not a food group but everyone needs some. The teacher will explain that the wider the color stripe is shows that you should eat more foods from those groups and less foods from the groups with narrower stripes. "Which groups are the widest?"
Pets need to eat well too
The teacher will explain that just like we need to eat good to stay healthy so do our pets. The teacher will read aloud pages 16-17 in Pet Care, Rabbits about rabbit food. As a whole group discuss what foods rabbits need to stay healthy. Teacher will then tell students they will be divided into five groups. Each group will be assigned a different pet to find out what they need to eat to stay healthy. (dogs, cats, guinea pigs, gerbils, & horses.) The group will read their assigned book then take notes to share with their classmates. When groups are finished teacher will have each group share aloud what they learned about what healthy foods their assigned pets need.
Comparing people and other animals
Teacher will lead discussion on comparing the food needs of people and animals.
Teacher will introduce the “Student Daily Reflections” in their science notebooks. Students will reflect on “Something New I Learned Today….What I Need to Know More About…” Students will reflect each day at the end of the lesson for the remainder of the unit.
Guest speaker – doctor
Exercise – Mini-field day
Teacher will set up mini field day activities for students to participate in. After complete activities teacher will lead discussion on why did we just do these activities. "What are some things you notice about yourself when you exercise? (heart rate change, sweat, soreness)? Why is it important to exercise? Do you think pets need to exercise too? How do different pets get their exercise? What happens to pets/people if they don’t get enough exercise?" Create a T-chart to list how people exercise on one side and how animals exercise on the other.
Mini Field Day Activities:
• Begin by stretching as a whole group – warm up
• The do laps around the school for 15 minutes – see how many laps can finish in time given
• How many jumping jacks can you do in a minute?
• How many sit ups can you do in a minute?
• How many push ups can you do in a minute?
• Closing stretch – warm down
ER Vet books
The teacher will review with students different types of pets and the needs of these pets (use charts created.) Teacher will guide students in identifying jobs that help meet pets’ needs. Teacher will begin a chart of “Pet Care Professions.” Jobs include: veterinarian, groomer, kennel operator, pet-supply-store clerk, obedience trainer, blacksmith, pet sitter, animal control officer, and animal shelter manager. After discussing the different types of jobs teacher will tell students they are going to focus on one of the jobs specifically – veterinarians.
Teacher will show students the different books about veterinarians.
Students will work in a small group (3-4 students) to read the book together. When they finish they will each create a shutter foldable that tells about what they learned about veterinarians. The outside of the shutter will illustrate a veterinarian. The inside will list facts about the profession. Instructions on foldable at:
Students will share what they learned about veterinarians. The teacher will list facts on the “Pet Care Professions” chart began earlier.
Guest speaker – Veterinarian and Veterinary Technicians
Three veterinary professionals will visit the class with three companion dogs. The veterinary professionals will work with small groups of students (6-7 students.) They will model a well check up on the dog sharing with students what vets look for in animals during check ups. They will also discuss types of tools they use during check-ups. Students will take notes in their science notebooks. After the small groups complete the check ups, veterinary professionals will remind students of things that are important for animals like eating healthy and exercise.
Veterinary professionals will take a small group of students with the companion dog on an exercise walk around the school building so that students can participate in exercise with the animals – something both need.
Case studies of sick animals (Can humans have the same problems?)
Purdue videos – ER Vet books (Elaborate)
The teacher will explain to students that a major factor in pet selection is the cost of caring for a pet. Students will select a pet they would like to research (this research will be used for the summative projects- pet care books) – dog, cat, hamster, gerbil, rabbit, parakeet or lizard. Teacher will give each group a book about caring for their pet to help them determine the needs of the assigned animal. Students will take a fieldtrip to a local pet store to research the expenses for their pet assigned. The students will “shop” the store for the items needed for their pet. Each group will make a list of expenses associated with the pet and take photographs of the items needed. Students will discuss the costs of owning a pet with the stores pet care manager.
Students will take notes during their visit to the pet store that includes a list of items needed for a certain pet, the prices of the items, and determine what are must haves and what are extras. These notes are part of the research students will be doing for their summative project.
Alternate Activity if Field Trip is not feasible
Materials – pet supply catalogs, websites, and circulars, and information provided by local veterinarians
Students will listen to a guest speaker – manager from a local pet store. The speaker will discuss the costs of owning a pet. The speaker will share costs of buying a fish and the supplies needed for the pet. The speaker will also discuss prices of other items for other pets.
The teacher will explain to students that a major factor in pet selection is the cost of caring for a pet. Teacher will divide students into small groups and assign each group a different pet – dog, cat, horse, hamster, gerbil, rabbit, parakeet. Teacher will give each group a book about caring for their pet to help them determine the needs of the assigned animal. Each group will make a list of expenses associated with the pet they have been assigned. This list should include food, supplies, adoption, vaccinations, licensing, spaying/neutering, grooming, and boarding fees.
The project described is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
NIH . . . Turning Discovery Into Health
Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of ORIP or NIH.