Unit Overviews

4 walls and 5 freedoms

Levels: 1-3

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The concept of well-being encompasses the physical, mental and emotional, social and spiritual dimensions of health. Hauora is a Māori philosophy of health that is based on a holistic health model. In this unit students explore hauora by observing well-being models such as Dr Mason Durie’s whare tapa whā.  Students are introduced to the concept of animal sentience and explore the five freedoms, learning about what animals need to stay healthy and happy.

Students will learn that animals have needs just like humans, and that these needs include food, water, companionship, a suitable place to live, being looked after by a vet if they are ill, and the freedom to express normal behaviour. Students then design their own holistic health models illustrating the dimensions of animal well-being.

Animal companion costs

Levels: 2-4

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Often, the match between a companion animal and a family is not successful if emotions are the primary factor involved when choosing a pet. Consideration of the cost and time involved in caring for a companion animal are usually overlooked during spontaneous adoptions or purchases, and in some cases, the animal ends up being given away, neglected, or even abandoned.

In this inquiry unit students use online tools to learn about the costs of having a companion animal whilst developing their numeracy skills; carrying out simple calculations and budgeting. By learning to consider all factors and make appropriate decisions, children can develop important skills that are vital to becoming responsible animal guardians both today and in the future.

A voice for the animals

Levels: 2-4

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Advertising is a powerful part of our culture; catch phrases and references to popular commercials often end up in our daily dialogue. Short, dramatic presentations of persuasive language and imagery of effective advertising campaigns have the power to influence peoples’ attitudes and behavior.In this unit students explore and investigate an animal welfare issue or concern.

Students then examine television commercials and analyze how they work by identifying their purpose, their target audience and any effective verbal and/or visual features that have been used. Students then combine these understandings to produce their own commercial to educate their community on a selected animal welfare issue and/or persuade them to change their behaviour(s) in relation to this issue.

Game makers

Levels: 1-4

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Students become ‘board game manufacturers’ who have been assigned the task of designing, producing, trialing and evaluating a board game that will help people learn key animal care messages, in a fun and interesting way. Students will need to research an area of animal care to base their game, complete a design brief, create a game board, make any playing pieces that are needed and write the playing instructions. They may work alone or in a small group.

Before starting their board game, students will need to engage in research activities to find out information about the animal care topic they want to base their game on. Once the game is completed, then the real fun can begin – students can demonstrate and then lend their games to other classes or set up a game playing station in their classroom, school library, public library, school office foyer or local community centre.

Animal care product designers

Levels: 1-4

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In this relevant and meaningful challenge students become ‘animal care product designers’ assigned the task of designing, producing, trialling and evaluating an animal care product that makes life better for their own companion animal or animals at their local SPCA. The product will need to help to provide the selected animal(s) with at least one of the five freedoms.

Students will have to research the five freedoms and the needs of the specific animal(s) they wish to create a product for. Using their research to inform their product design, students will complete a design brief, create a prototype for example: scale 3-D models, computer simulations, perspective drawings, etc., evaluate their prototype, before creating the final product. They may work alone or in a small group. Once the product is completed, learning could be extended further into exploring product packaging and product advertising to target audiences.

Community heroes

Levels: 1-4

  • A voice for the animals

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This social inquiry unit uses SPCA as a context- exemplar to support students’ learning of charities and other non-profit organisations who make significant positive contributions to the community. Students create a list of people and organisations that use their skills, resources and time to help others. Students will then choose a ‘community hero’ from this list to research further.Working in groups students will research their selected ‘community hero’ as well as their hero’s contributions to their community, this could be in social, animal welfare, economic, cultural, political, and/or environmental ways.

The second component of the unit encourages students to support the work their hero does and/or thank their ‘community heroes’ for the contributions they make to their community.Students may decide to hold a fundraising event, make thank-you cards, produce an artwork that celebrates the work their community hero does, create a short film to create more awareness of the work their hero does, write an article about their hero for the school newsletter, classroom blog or even the local newspaper.

Dancing feelings

Levels: 1-4

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This unit uses dance as a tool to identify the core needs of humans and animals and understand how emotions and feelings can change in response to these.

Students will integrate thinking, moving, and emotion to effectively express feelings and emotions as they tell the story of an animal’s journey. Throughout the learning experiences students will extend their skills in performance, choreography, reflection and critical response, whilst developing empathy for other students and animals through exploration and understanding of commonly-shared emotions and feelings...

Conscious consumers

Levels: 1-4

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Writers' Corner

Describe it

Levels: 1-6

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Animal welfare is an authentic context for students to develop their writing skills and understandings of procedural writing purposes and processes. Each of the learning experiences (lessons) lead to the creation of a product that links with at least one of the five freedoms.

On completion of the product, students then write the instructions for how it was created. Students must consider audience, purpose, context, length, and complexity – plus the specific content of the instructions, such as the steps in caring for a kitten...

Explain it

Levels: 1-6

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Animal welfare is an authentic context for students to develop their writing skills and understandings of explanation writing purposes and processes. The learning experiences within this unit encourage students to focus on a specific animal well-being topic, choose a particular question about that topic, then research using a variety of resources to explore and answer the question in detail. Students then create a written explanation of the animal well-being topic.

It is hoped that by providing students opportunities to write meaningful explanations...

Persuade me

Levels: 1-6

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Animal welfare issues range from local, national and international levels. The daily actions of every one of us, directly and indirectly affect animals and their welfare. Consequently, there are a vast degree of viewpoints, social and ethical dilemmas surrounding animal welfare. Such a context will encourage students to see their writing as meaningful and a useful way to express their opinions, feelings, needs and desires.

It is hoped that by seeing learning experiences as relevant and purposeful, students will be more engaged in the writing process...

Recount it

Levels: 1-6

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Animal welfare is an authentic context for students to develop their writing skills and understandings of writing purposes and processes. The learning experiences within this unit encourage students to research, reflect and write to record and communicate their thoughts, feelings, ideas and experiences about animal welfare topics.

It is hoped that by providing students opportunities to create meaningful written texts, they will be more engaged in the writing process as they will see the tasks as relevant and purposeful...