Create a Compassionate Word Wall for Every Grade Level

A common teaching tool for the classroom, the word wall, allows for greater understanding and recognition of various vocabulary words. TeachKind encourages teachers to add words to their word wall that promote a compassionate lifestyle. By promoting these terms, educators will be better able to support conversations about many important issues.

Grades K–2

Use terms such as these:

  • Adopt
  • Animal companion
  • Bond
  • Calf
  • Dairy
  • Empathy
  • Guardian
  • Natural habitat
  • Neuter
  • Pregnant
  • Rescuers
  • Sanctuary
  • Spay
  • Species
  • Speciesism
  • Vegan

Pair them with TeachKind Rescue Stories geared toward grades K–2, such as the following:

1. Idabelle’s Great Escape
2. Herman the Duckling’s First Swim
3. Florence the Cat Survives a Flood
4. Pickles the Rabbit

Check out TeachKind’s “Like You, Only Different” alphabet flashcards to explore these compassionate terms further.

Grades 3–5

Use terms such as these:

  • Accredited sanctuary
  • Activist
  • Animal companion
  • Companionship
  • Cruelty-free
  • Grooming
  • Guardian
  • Hoarder
  • Micro pig
  • Neglected
  • Recovery
  • Suffer
  • Vegan

Pair them with TeachKind Rescue Stories geared toward grades 3–5, such as the following:

  1. Jake’s Recovery
  2. Esther the Wonder Pig
  3. Freddie on the Run
  4. Rescued Rats Find New Home

Grades 6–8

Use terms such as these:

  • Advocacy
  • Ailing
  • Ailment
  • Auction
  • Bullock
  • Compassion
  • Dehydrated
  • Deprived
  • Factory farm
  • Fieldworker
  • Fixed
  • Hoarder
  • Languish
  • Neglect
  • Neuter
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Platonic
  • Relinquish
  • Slaughter
  • Slaughterhouse
  • Spay
  • Stimulation
  • Tethering
  • Vegan

Pair them with TeachKind Rescue Stories geared toward grades 6–8, such as the following:

  1. Miss Willie’s Bucket List
  2. Waheed and Tracy the Camels Fall in Love
  3. Lucky and the Good Samaritan Who Saved Her
  4. Mayflower the Turkey

 Grades 9–12

Use terms such as these:

  • Advocate
  • Enrichment
  • Exploit
  • Fathom
  • Imminent
  • Languish
  • Profitable
  • Samaritan
  • Sanctuary
  • Slaughter
  • Species
  • Speciesism
  • Stimulation

Pair them with TeachKind Rescue Stories geared toward grades 9–12, such as the following:

  1. Hotel Ends Fish-Rental Program
  2. Songwriter and Student Save Lamb From Slaughter
  3. Teens Save a Suffering Squirrel

Tiered Words

To encourage further comprehension of these vocabulary words, try assigning them to tiered categories. The three-tiered model of vocabulary development gives value and enhanced meaning to groups of words for better use and comprehension in writing. Tier 1 words are basic vocabulary terms commonly found in spoken language. Tier 2 words can have multiple meanings. (Many students primarily encounter these words in print.) Tier 3 words relate to a specific text. Our Rescue Stories allow students to explore and practice Tier 2 and 3 words.


Like these ideas? Please share them to inspire other teachers to incorporate compassion for animals into their lessons.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind