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Pandemic Pet Population: The Reproductive Responsibility of Pet Owners

by
Francine C. Coss


Contents of Curriculum Unit 98.07.01:

To Guide Entry


INTRODUCTION

Each year, my Kindergarten class completes an extensive unit on pets. Through the theme-based curriculum provided by The Treasure Tree the children are exposed to the theme Pet Show. This theme introduces specific types of pets, their habitats, nutritional needs and physical characteristics. Although these aspects are covered through the recommended curriculum resources, information is lacking in the area of reproductive responsibility, especially as it applies to pet health and overpopulation. My unit, "Pandemic Pet Population: The Reproductive Responsibility of Pet Owners," will fill the void of information in this area through its discussion of mammal, bird, fish and reptile reproduction and how the lack of reproductive control can lead to poor pet health, overcrowding and eventually death.

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Pedagogy

Reproduction is a difficult concept for 5 and 6 year old children to understand, especially if it is only applied to humans. By discussing pet, or animal reproduction at the Kindergarten level as an alternative to human reproduction, the complexities of subject matter and the moral issues that may effect subject comprehension will be replaced with hands on examples and first-hand experiences.

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GENERAL DEFINITIONS

The 'dictionary definition' of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles has been provided as a point of origin for future discussion and comparison. The description of each pet type can be easily understood by children grades 3 and up. Children in Kindergarten through grade 2 may need additional definition of 'warm-blooded', 'cold-blooded,' 'backbone,' etc.

warm-blooded

Having blood that stays at about the same temperature no matter what the temperature is of the air or water around the animal. Cats are warm-blooded; snakes are cold-blooded.

cold-blooded

Having blood that is about the same temperature as the air or water around the animal. The blood of such animals is colder in the winter than in summer. Turtles are cold-blooded; dogs are warm-blooded.

backbone
The main bone along the middle of the back in human beings, horses, birds, snakes, frogs, fish, and many other animals; spine.

mammal

One of a group of warm-blooded animals with a backbone and usually having hair. Mammals feed their young with milk from the mother's breasts. Human beings, cattle, dogs, cats and whales are examples of mammals. Mammals in our classroom: Rabbit (named 'Chew"), two guinea pigs (to be added for an example of reproduction in action!)

bird

One of a group of warm-blooded animals that have a backbone, feathers, two legs, and wings. Birds lay eggs; most birds can fly. Birds in our classroom: Chicks (hatched from eggs).

fish

One of a group of cold-blooded animals with a long backbone that live in water and have gills stead of lungs. Fish are usually covered with scales and have fins for swimming. Some kinds of fish lay eggs in the water; others produce living young. Fish in our classroom: Goldfish (and/or other hardy fish); possibly some pumpkin-seed sunfish from Edgewood Park (local pond).

reptile

One of a group of cold-blooded animals that have backbones and lungs and are usually covered with scales. Snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators and crocodiles are examples of reptiles. Reptiles in our classroom: A visiting snake and a visiting lizard (come on now...we're running out of room!)

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IMPLEMENTATION

This unit will be implemented through various classroom lessons, hands-on experiences, field trips, guest speakers and technology. The students will be assessed following each main concept or activity through small projects, oral presentations and/or technology-based review.

Pet Store

As an introduction to the Pet Store field trip, the initial classroom lessons will revolve around the big-book, I Can't Get my Turtle to Move. The pet in the book, a turtle, will be discussed and a listing of pets owned by the students will be created. Common pets and exotic pets will be defined. The children will be encouraged to draw their pet or a picture of a pet they wish they had and re-tell the story replacing the turtle in the story with their pet type.

In the lessons that follow, the children will re-read the big-book and highlight the 'environment' or 'home' depicted in the book's illustrations. A comparison will be made to the 'home' their personal pets need and the children will have the opportunity to add illustrations to their original pet drawing. A re-telling of 'I Can't Get my (pet) to Move' will occur using only the children's illustrations, compiling a booklet about each child's pet that mimics the text of the original big-book.

Further discussion of pet homes and environmental requirements will follow as chicken eggs are maintained and, eventually, hatched in the classroom. Once the chicks have hatched, the children will make an informed decision regarding the best home for the chicks: the classroom or the farm from which the eggs were taken. The understanding of pet health as it pertains to environment will be determined by the class' overall decision.

Either as a follow-up to the decision to return the chicks to the farm or as a precursor to the decision-making process for the best environment for the chicks (whichever applies), the students will visit the chicken farm from which the eggs were obtained. A juxtaposition of the classroom environment to the farm environment will either reinforce their decision or assist in the decision-making process for the chicks final home.

A class-made big-book will be composed for the chicks entitled, "I Can't Get my Chick to Move." The chosen environment for the newly hatched chicks will be depicted in the illustrations, allowing for closure before completing the chick project. The child-made illustrations will be scanned into a word processing program and printed in color on large sheets of oaktag. The phrases, altered for the chicks from the original big-book, will be printed on each appropriate illustration. "I Can't Get my Chick to Move" and the original book, I Can't Get my Turtle to Move, will be placed in the Listening Library for re-reading by one or more children. In addition, an audio cassette will be recorded for each book.

The final series of lessons involving pets and their homes will revolve around the book, Charlie Anderson which tells of a cat with two homes. The many hours Charlie is permitted to roam the neighborhood will be highlighted, leading into the discussion of pet care. Referring to the children's pet list from earlier lessons and their pet booklets, each child will complete a 'show and tell' project describing their pet, it's environment and it's care. Children not owning pets will select a 'favorite pet' for research and also make a presentation. Information from the presentations will be gathered and 'published' in a class-made "Pet Reference Guide," as well as videotaped for future viewing in the classroom.

A trip to a local pet store will conclude the introduction to pets. During the pet store trip, the children will be given clipboards with pet names and pictures from the familiar, class-made "Pet Reference Guide." Pairs of children will use their clipboard resources in conjunction with the pet store's resources to add details to the pet list. Details from the clipboards will then be added to the "Pet Reference Guide" following the field trip.

Digital photographs of each type of pet found in the pet store will be recorded through the use of an Apple QuickTake 150 digital camera. Color printouts of each digitally photographed pet will be added to the "Pet Reference Guide" along with the information gathered by the students.

HyperStudio Project

The computer program HyperStudio will be utilized for a class project about pets and pet care. Each page of the classroom published reference guide of pets will be scanned and a stack will be created with sound and video images. Images and text from the "I Can't Get my (pet) to Move" booklets as well as the "I Can't Get my Chick to Move" big-book will be recorded. Links to stacks from the pet store trip, the videotaped presentations about individual pets, and the recorded progress of the hatching/hatched chicks will also be included. The children will audio-record the text in the stack to enable those students who cannot read to access the pet information in the stack. Links will also be made to other mammals, birds, fish or reptiles for additional research and the stack will continue to grow as the pet reproduction unit unfolds.

Animal Shelter

An expansion of the pet presentations will require information on the origin of their pet(s): Were they simply found, were they purchased from a pet store, a friend or an animal shelter? This new list will open the discussion of the best place to purchase/acquire a pet. The likelihood of acquiring a healthy pet from each place of origin will be discussed and a determination of what a healthy pet should look like will be made.

Pet reproduction will become the topic of discussion following a class trip to the New Haven Animal Shelter. The plight of homeless pets due to the irresponsible actions of pet owners will be highlighted during the animal shelter visit with information provided by the Animal Control Officer. Care for the animals at the shelter will be covered and video will be taken of the homeless pets in their pens. Death as an option for lack of adoption will be defined as the children count the available pens and the occupied pens and the expense of caring for too many unwanted animals.

Following the animal shelter trip, the students will be asked to determine a means by which the public can be informed of these homeless pets and possibly adopt some of them before they are put down. The class will discuss the methods of communication used today and how we get news. Newspapers, signs/billboards, and television/radio news programs will all be included in the discussion. Strategies for informing the public through newspaper, billboard, radio and TV will be determined and utilized.

Posters will be made with pet facts for display in and around the school, a letter to the editor(s) of the local newspaper(s) will be drafted and delivered, and two PSAs will be recorded for radio and television.

Cable Television Local Access Studio

Two public service announcements (PSAs) will be videotaped at the Citizens Television Studio asking 'humans' to adopt the homeless pets and to care for the ones they already have. Videotape recorded during our trip to the animal shelter will be used for the first PSA. The information collected previously in the classroom for determining the best place to purchase/acquire a pet will be tapped for dialog in this PSA.

A take off on 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' will be composed in the classroom and will become the main storyline for the second PSA, adding an easy-to-remember rhyme to better promote animal care. Words like those below will reflect the needs/problems of each pet in the PSA.

Tiarra had a little pup,
Little pup, little pup.
Tiarra had a little pup,
Its coat was dull and gray.
And everywhere that Tiarra went,
Tiarra went, Tiarra went.
Everywhere that Tiarra went,
The pup would scratch its fleas.
It followed her to school one day,
School one day, school one day.
It followed her to school one day,
And got sick on the way.
Tiarra had a little pup,
Little pup, little pup.
Tiarra had a little pup,
Until is passed away.
Following the strong words in the 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' style rhymes, health and prevention information will be provided to assist all would-be or current pet owners on the ignorance of Tiarra and those like her. "Having a pet means having a long list of responsibilities as an owner, " will resemble one of the lines of dialog in the PSA. Only the children's comprehension of pet care and pet health will determine the strength of the PSA's message.

A flyer describing the needs of the animals available at the shelter will be written and/or dictated by the children and distributed to all interested parties using the facts found in the Pet Reference Guide and the HyperStudio stack.

The two PSA's will be added to the HyperStudio Pet Reference Guide stack as video buttons for future viewing in the classroom.

Animal Hospital

Preventing pet overpopulation will be the focus following the shelter trip and an additional PSA. The discussion of pet population will begin in the classroom following the placement of two guinea pigs (one male/one female) in the classroom.

The actions of the two guinea pigs before and (with any luck) after conception and delivery of their young will be recorded daily in a similar fashion to that used for the hatching chicks.

Overpopulation will become the classroom topic following a revised version of Pigs is Pigs. Methods of contraception, including the separation of male and female (abstinence) will be researched and added to the pet list, Pet Reference Guide and the HyperStudio reference stack.

A review of pet care and pet health will occur during a planned visit to the New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine. The children will have the opportunity to witness the spaying or neutering a pet during our tour which will reinforce the ease of completing such a procedure on a pet. Pet owner responsibility will be revisited as a topic.

Pros and cons of spaying/neutering will be addressed at length and will be mentioned in an additional PSA also to be produced at Citizens Television as well as linked to the original Pet Reference HyperStudio stack.

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CONCLUSION

The seminar, "The Population Explosion" offers the opportunity to open the minds of elementary students, and others, to the many aspects of reproduction. "The Population Explosion" seminar, in conjunction with the unit, "Pandemic Pet Population," will become the foundation for future understanding of reproductive responsibility with both pets and humans.

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Lessons Plans

Lesson I

"Pet Reference Guide"

Objective:To create a "Pet Reference Guide" using class-collected facts and photographs from previous lessons and presentations.
Materials:

Color photographs of a variety of pets
Digital Camera
Computer
Color Scanner
Color Printer
Scanning Software
hot/cold laminating film
scissors
laminating machine
oak tag/construction paper
glue stick
book binding machine and spines or hole punch and yarn
copies of Pet Reference Form
marker/crayons
Fact books and class-made fact charts/diagrams from previous lessons
Preparation:

Using a scanner, scan each pet photograph, or view each digital photograph.
Reduce each image to 2" wide by 2" high (approximately), cropping if necessary.
Save reduced image, name each image for the name of the pet photographed.
Print each pet image, in color, on oak tag, white construction paper or white 8.5" x 11" copy paper.
________ Copy one Pet Reference Form for each photographed image on oak tag, colored construction paper or white 8.5" x 11" copy paper.

________ Glue one pet image onto each Pet Reference Form.

(Glue Pet Reference Form onto oak tag or colored construction paper if it is copied onto white 8.5" x 11" copy paper).
Ask the students to complete the Pet Reference Forms using the class-made charts, diagrams and reading material available to them as a whole class activity, a small group or cooperative activity, or as an individual assignment (whichever method your students are most comfortable).

____ Hot/Cold laminate each completed Pet Reference Form.

Bind worksheets:

(Teacher Binding)

1) using a book binding machine with the appropriate length of spine, following manufacturer's instructions,

(Student Binding)

2) or using a hole punch, punch 2-4 holes at equal distances into each Pet Reference Form and thread one length of yarn through each hole. Once all of the forms have been punched and threaded, tie the yarn.
________ *Note: Completed forms may be copied and multiple copies of the "Pet Reference Guide" may be published, allowing for one copy per student instead of one classroom copy. Also, the completed forms may be reduced and double-sided on a copy machine to conserve paper, providing each student with a mini-sized version of the bigger classroom copy.

Pet Reference Form on following page.

Pet Reference Form

My name is:

This is a picture of my pet.

My pet's name is

My pet is a

My _________________________________ likes to eat

My ________________________________ lives in

F. Coss/Revised98.07

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Lessons Plans

Lesson II

HyperStudio Interactive Pet Reference Guide

Objective: To create an interactive Pet Reference Guide with HyperStudio using class-collected facts and photographs from previous lessons, presentations and the bound copy of the "Pet Reference Guide."

Materials:

Color photographs of a variety of pets
Digital Camera
Computer
Color Scanner
Color Printer
Scanning Software
HyperStudio¨v3.07w
Digital Video Camera
copies of Pet Reference Form
Audiovisual In/Out Card in your computer
blank VHS Video Tapes
VHS Video Camera
Fact books and class-made fact charts/diagrams from previous lessons
Preparation:
Using a scanner, scan each pet photograph, or view each digital photograph. Reduce each image to 2" wide by 2" high (approximately), cropping if necessary. Save reduced image, name each image for the name of the pet photographed. Install, then open HyperStudio and select 'New Stack.' Create a new card for each pet photograph. Create a button using the scanned or digital pet image and place button in the center of the card.
________ Give the button sound, recording the student's voice stating the name of the card, (in example that follows the card is named 'Tiarra's Pet').

________ Add 6 additional buttons like the ones in the example allowing the user of the HyperStudio stack to go forward or backward in the stack, as well as to other cards showing the type of pet, the food the pet eats and where the pet lives. Give each of these buttons sound using the student's voice reading the purpose of each button (i.e., the forward button's sound would be the student saying "forward" or "next card").

________ To install HyperStudio: Follow install directions with software.

To open HyperStudio: Double Click on the HyperStudio icon or select from 'start up' menu.

To create a new stack: Single Click on the NEW STACK button.

To create a new card: Select NEW CARD. Continue creating cards until each student has a card.

To place scanned or Select ADD CLIP ART and select digital photograph on the source of the image, (i.e., select a card:digital camera if the image is in a digital camera that is connected to the computer from which you are working or select disk file for a scanned photo that is on your hard drive or a floppy disk.
To create a button: Select ADD A BUTTON and select 'invisible.' Select the image that you want for that button. Select the sound you want for that button (recording the student's voice and saving the sound).

To link a card to Select ADD A BUTTON and select a card or a card to 'Go to Next Card' or 'Go to Another another stack: Stack' and select the specific card or stack.

The HyperStudio Card Sample that follows contains 7 buttons:

Button 1: Tiarra's Pet: Upon clicking on the image of the cat, Tiarra's voice is heard saying, "Tiarra's Pet, Midnight." The card/stack does not change.

Button 2: What type Upon clicking on the image of the paw prints or of pet is it?: on the words to the question, Tiarra's voice is heard saying, "What type of pet is it?" The card changes to a card with facts about cats.

Button 3: What does Upon clicking on the image of the food or on the your pet words to the question, Tiarra's voice is heard eat?: saying, "What does my pet eat?" The card changes to a card with facts about food.

Button 4: Where does Upon clicking on the image of the house or on my pet live?: the words to the question, Tiarra's voice is heard saying, "Where does my pet live?" The card changes to a card with facts about habitat.

Button 5: What does Upon clicking on the image of the child and his my pet like dog or on the words to the question, Tiarra's to do?: voice is heard saying, "What does my pet like to do?" The card changes to a card with information about Tiarra's Pet's favorite activities.

Button 6: Yellow, left Upon clicking on the left-pointing arrow the pointing previous card will replace the current card.

arrow:
Button 7: Yellow, right Upon clicking on the right-pointing arrow the pointing next card will replace the current card.

arrow:
Pet Reference Guide, HyperStudio Card Sample

F. Coss/Revised98.07

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Lessons Plans

Lesson III

Dog Treats

Objective:To make home-made dog treats for the dogs at the animal shelter.
Materials:

3 jars baby food (meat or vegetable)
microwave
1/2 cup Cream of Wheat
mixing bowl(s)
mixing spoon(s)
waxed paper
paper plate(s)
fork(s)
refrigerator
teaspoon(s)
or

3 (2.5 oz.) jars baby food (beef/chicken)
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1/4 cup Wheat germ (cream of wheat can be substituted)
well-greased cookie sheet
conventional oven
mixing bowl(s)
mixing spoon(s)
wire cooling rack(s)
Preparation: Follow the recipe(s) below for the respective list of ingredients:

Never Too Old For Baby Food Cookies

3 jars baby food, meat/vegetable
1/2 cup Cream of wheat
Drop by teaspoon on wax paper covered paper plate, flatten with fork, cover with second paper plate or waxed paper. Microwave on high 4-5 minutes, cool, store in refrigerator.

or

Baby Food Soft Doggie Cookies

3 (2 1/2 oz. each) jars of baby food; either beef or chicken
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1/4 cup wheat germ (cream of wheat can be substituted for wheat germ)
Combine ingredients in bowl and mix well. Roll into small balls and place on well-greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake in preheated 350źF. oven for 15 minutes until brown. Cool on wire racks and STORE IN REFRIGERATOR. Also freezes well.

*Chef's note: Definitely something to howl about! Cookies are soft and chewy (good for older pets who have lost a few teeth). And they can be whipped up in no time.

*Note: Please contact your animal control officer before making these treats. They should be approved before distribution.

________ If you group the class in threes, they will be able to create 6 large treats per group.

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Bibliography

Teacher Resources

Brann, Donald R. How to Build Pet Housing. (Briarcliff Manor, NY: Directions Simplified, 1975).

Very helpful for a variety of pet homes.

Coborn, John. Frogs and Toads as a New Pet. (Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications, 1991).

Illustrates tadpole to frog lifecycle.

Coborn, John. The Proper Care of Turtles. (Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications, 1995).

ĽA book from a series of proper care books also available for reptiles/amphibians.
Cooper, Kay. All about Goldfish as Pets. (New York: Messner, 1976).

Helpful illustrations.

Farr, Roger C. and Dorothy S. Strickland. The Treasure Tree. Volume 1. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993)

Teacher's Edition of Language Arts program.

Griehl, Klaus. Snakes: Giant Snakes and Non-Venomous Snakes in the Terrarium: Everything about Purchase, Care, Nutrition, and Diseases. (Woodbury, NY: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1984).

Offers biology and habitat information.

Hanna, Jack. Jack Hanna's Ultimate Guide to Pets. (New York: Berkley Publishing, 1997).

Easy to read/understand. Terrific photographs.

Harper, Joan. The Healthy Cat and Dog CookBook: Natural Recipes using Nutritious, Economical Foods and Good Advice for Happier, Healthier, and More Beautiful Pets. (New York: Dutton, 1979).

Great recipes for classroom cooking activities.

Kirk, Robert Warren. First Aid for Pets. (New York: Dutton, 1978).

Helpful information in list form.

Kramer, Jack. Pets and Plants in Miniature Gardens: How to Create Woodland, Desert, Bog, or Tropical Settings. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1973).

Wonderful habitat resource, indoor/outdoor.

Migliorini, Mario. Adopting a Dog from an Animal Shelter. (New York: Arco, 1981).

Reviews procedures and responsibilities needed for animal adoption.

Parker-Butler, Ellis. Pigs is Pigs. (Albert Publishing Company, 1905).

An old tale about guinea pigs and reproduction. Great for math and comparing pigs to guinea pigs.

Roach, Peter. The Complete Book of Pet Care: Birds, Cats, Fish, Dogs, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Horses, Mice, Rabbits, Reptiles. (New York: Howell Book House, 1995).
Offers general information on a variety of common and uncommon pets.

Siino, Betsy Sikora. You Want a What for a Pet?!: A Guide to 12 Alternative Pets. (New York: Howell Book House, 1996).

Wonderful for classroom discussion on habitat and owner responsibility.

Simon, Seymour. Pets in a Jar: Collecting and Caring for Small Wild Animals. (New York: Penguin Books, 1979).

Great for use before reading "Pet Show!" by Ezra Jack Keats or for before a class pet show to help those who don't really have pets.

Weber, William J. Care of Uncommon Pets: Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Mice, Rats, Gerbils, Chickens, Ducks, Frogs, Toads and Salamanders, Turtles and Tortoises, Snakes and Lizards, and Budgerigars. (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1979).
Information warehouse for all types of 'pet-like' creatures.

Weber, William J. Wild Orphan Babies: Mammals and Birds: Caring for them & Setting them Free. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978).

Allows for an educated discussion on keeping wild animals as pets.

Whitney, Alex. Pads for Pets: How to Make Habitats and Equipment for Small Animals. (New York: D. McKay Co., 1977).

Easy projects for creating pet homes.

Audio/Video/Technology Resources

Apple QuickTake 150. Digital Camera. Apple Corporation.

____ĽA camera that takes still, color images without the use of film.

Dogs, Cats & Kids Learning to be Safe with Animals. [video recording]. (Chicago, IL: Donald Manelli & Associates, 1996).

General information and scenarios regarding common pets.

Furry, Fishy, Feathery Friends. [video recording]. Let's explore. (Sterling, VA: Braun Film & Video, 1995).

General information about common pets.

How to Pick the Right Reptile for You. [video recording]. (Tachell Films, 1996).

Reptile pet facts.

See How Pets Grow. [video recording]. See how they grow. (New York: Sony Wonder, 1995).
Great for comparing that 'cute kitten or puppy' to that 'old cat or dog'.

Wagner, Roger. HyperStudio 3.0 7w. Roger Wagner Corporation. (Elgin, IL: Educational Resources).

____ĽA software program that allows you to create 'cards' and 'stacks' on a computer, printing the cards/stacks to paper or to video.

Student Resources

Abercrombie, Barbara. Charlie Anderson. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989).

____ĽA story about a cat that has two homes.

Arnold, Caroline. Pets without Homes. (New York: Clarion Books, 1983).

Easy reading with examples of habitat.

Banks, Kate. The Bunnysitters. (New York: Random House, 1991).

Pet responsibility.

Berenstain, Stan. The Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Pets. (New York: Random House, 1990).

Pet care and responsibility.

Berry, Joy Wilt. Teach me about Pets. Danbury, CT: Grolier Enterprises, 1986).

Easy reader for common pet.

Brown, Marc Tolon. Arthur's New Puppy. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1997).

Favorite character with pet responsibility.

Case, Marshal T. Look What I Found. (Riverside, CT: Chatham Press, 1971).

Great for discussing owner responsibility.

Chrystie, Frances N. Pets: A Comprehensive Handbook for Kids. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1995).

Good, easy reading facts.

Cohen, Daniel. Animal Rights: A Handbook for Young Adults. (Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press, 1993).
Great perspective for students.

Curtis, Patricia. The Animal Shelter. (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1984).

Easy to read, great pictures. Should be read before visiting a shelter.

Diagram Group. Pets: Every Owner's Encyclopedia. (New York: Paddington Press, 1978).

Great for research.

Goldreich, Gloria. What Can She Be? A Veterinarian. (New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1972).

Integrates School to Career/School to Work cluster(s).

Henrie, Fiona. Guinea Pigs. Junior Petkeeper's Library. (New York: F. Watts, 1980).

Should be used if Guinea Pigs are present in classroom.

Henrie, Fiona. Hamsters. Junior Petkeeper's Library. (New York: F. Watts, 1980).

Should be used if Hamsters are present in classroom.

Keats, Ezra Jack. Pet Show. (New York: Macmillan, 1972).

Great story of a boy without a pet entering a pet show.

Lundeen, Connie Rubenstein. Alpha-Pets A to Z. (Lakeville, MN: Wesel Books, 1998).

Easy reading. Nice introductory book for pets.

Martin, Ann M. Jessi Ramsey, Pet-Sitter. (New York: Scholastic Inc., 1989).

Responsibility necessary for the care of pets.

Mathews, Richard K. Wild Animals as Pets. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971).

Terrific for discussing types of pets for home/school, etc.

Messmann, Jon. Choosing a Pet. (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1973).

Lists the level of care/responsibility for many types of pets.

Morgan, Alfred Powell. A Pet Book for Boys and Girls. (New York: Charles Scribner's, 1951).

Great reference book for pet information project.

O'Donnell, Elizabeth Lee. I Can't Get my Turtle to Move. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990).
Story of a lazy turtle who only moves when its lunchtime.

Rogers, Fred. When a Pet Dies. (New York: Putnam, 1988).

Necessary for discussion of animal death.

Rood, Ronald N. May I Keep this Clam, Mother! It Followed me Home. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973).
Practical and impractical pets.

Roy, Ron. What Has Ten Legs and Eats Cornflakes?: A Pet Book. (New York: Clarion Books, 1982).
Silly but interesting pet book.

Sattler, Helen Roney. No Place for a Goat. (New York: Elsevier/Nelson Books, 1981).
Discusses habitat and pet care.

Thorndike, E. L. and Clarence L. Barnhart. Thorndike-Barnhart Children's Dictionary. (New York: HarperCollins, 1988).

Reference with great photographs and illustrations.

Udry, Janice May. What Mary Jo Wanted. (Chicago: A. Whitman, 1968).

iscusses the process of begging for a pet and the responsibility associated with having a pet.
Wisbeski, Dorothy Gross. Okee: The Story of an Otter in the House. (New York: Farrar, Straus, 1964).

Fun story but good discussion starter for appropriate animals as pets.

Wolf, Jake. Daddy, Could I Have an Elephant? (New York: Puffin Books, 1998).

Discusses good habitat and health in addition to practical needs for pets.

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