Unit Plans

These units are designed to be completed over a few weeks or a term in addition to your regular classroom programme. Click on the unit to read a full description and find a contents outlining the learning experiences involved. The curriculum area listed first is the main curriculum focus of the unit.

Environments and Habitats

Levels: 1-2

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Students will explore the artistic element of texture and create two art pieces (a collage and a painting) that depict an appropriate environment or habitat for a chosen animal. The focus will be on including elements that different animals need in their environment or habitat for good welfare.

Habitat Helpers

Levels: 1-2

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Students will learn about the importance of wildlife living in their natural habitats for their welfare and actions they can take to reduce the impact humans have on the environment to support wildlife welfare. 

Sound Proof Hiding Places

Levels: 1-2

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Students will work through the technological design process and incorporate science and mathematics learning to design a sound proof hiding place for a cat that would help to reduce their stress caused by loud noises. 

4 Walls and 5 Domains

Levels: 1-3

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Students will learn about holistic health and wellbeing models for humans and then create their own model to illustrate what health and wellbeing looks like for animals.

Animal Care Product Designers

Levels: 1-4

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Students will work through the technological design process to design and create an animal care product that would improve the life of an animal in some way.

Community Heroes

Levels: 1-4

  • A voice for the animals

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Students will learn about charity organisations, volunteers and community heroes and then choose a hero in their community and a way to thank them.

Dancing Feelings

Levels: 1-4

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Students will explore emotions in humans and animals and how a variety of emotions can be expressed through movement. This exploration will culminate in the retelling of an animal story through dance. 

Game Makers

Levels: 1-4

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Students will work through the technological design process to create a board game to educate others about key animal care messages.

The Cost of Having a Companion Animal

Levels: 2-4

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Students will investigate the financial and time commitments associated with getting different species of companion animals and reflect on whether or not their family would be ready to get a companion animal.

A Voice for the Animals

Levels: 2-4

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Students will investigate an animal welfare issue. They will then create a commercial to educate others on that issue and encourage them to change their behaviour to improve animal welfare.

Animal Portrayals - Stereotypes and Misconceptions

Levels: 3-4

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Students will explore how animals are portrayed in various sources of oral, visual and written language. They will reflect on the impact of these portrayals and then learn more about animals to understand more about animals beyond the stereotypes and misconceptions we may be exposed to.

Conscious Consumers

Levels: 3-4

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Students will learn about farming systems in New Zealand for layer hens, meat chickens and pigs. They will then investigate what drives people’s purchasing choices with regard to animal food products and take action to encourage others to buyer higher welfare animal food products. 

Conscious Cooking

Levels: 3-4

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Students will learn about farming systems in New Zealand for layer hens, meat chickens and pigs. They will then address a problem that many consumers face when purchasing animal food products – the balance between feeding themselves and their families at an affordable price and purchasing higher welfare animal food products that often come at a higher cost. Students will aim to create an affordable weekly meal plan using a balance of higher welfare animal food products and plant proteins.

Freeze Proof Water Bowls

Levels: 3-4

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Students will work through the technological design process and incorporate science and mathematics learning to design a water bowl/trough that addresses the problem of animals’ water sources freezing over in the cold of winter. 

Heat Proof Water Bowls

Levels: 3-4

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Students will work through the technological design process and incorporate science and mathematics learning to design a water bowl/trough that addresses the problem of animals’ water sources becoming too hot in the heat of summer.

Kind Conservation

Levels: 3-4

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Students investigate a variety of impacts humans have had on the natural environment since their arrival in New Zealand. They will then explore a range of kind conservation actions we can take to support wildlife welfare. 

Safe at Home, Don't Let Me Roam

Levels: 3-4

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Students will work through the technological design process to design an enriched cat containment space to support the welfare of cats. This unit offers many opportunities to integrate the creation of digital outcomes.

Making a Difference

Levels: 4

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Students will learn about how attitudes towards animals and their welfare have changed over the past two centuries and actions we can take to continue to make change and improve animal welfare.

Telling Animal Stories Through Colour

Levels: 4

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Students will explore the use of colour in art to evoke different emotions and create an art piece to tell an animal’s rescue story. This will give them an opportunity to consider animal sentience.  

SPCA Compassion Project

Levels: 2-3

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This is a small group programme to be used outside of the classroom programme. It runs for eight weeks and is designed for students who require further support to develop compassion towards animals. It is designed to be used with support from a school social worker.

Mini Unit Plans

These units are designed to be completed as your whole classroom programme for one week. Click on the unit to read a full description and see a weekly overview.

Cupcake Day Mini-Units

Levels: 1-4

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One week plans that cover learning experiences related to reading, writing, maths and more to theme your whole week’s classroom programme and learning around SPCA Cupcake Day.    

Writing Unit Plans

These units are designed to be completed as your writing programme over a few weeks or a term. Click on the unit to read a full description and find a contents outlining the learning experiences involved.

Describe it

Levels: 1-6

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This unit provides a series of authentic animal welfare contexts for students to develop and practise procedural writing skills.  

Explain it

Levels: 1-6

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This unit provides a series of authentic animal welfare contexts for students to develop and practise explanation writing skills.  

Persuade me

Levels: 1-6

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This unit provides a series of authentic animal welfare contexts for students to develop and practise persuasive writing skills.  

Recount it

Levels: 1-6

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This unit provides a series of authentic animal welfare contexts for students to develop and practise recount writing skills.