Humane Science Lessons for Teachers

Meeting curricular goals without harming animals is a win-win situation for students, teachers and schools. Long gone are the days of dissecting formaldehyde-laden animals and stuffing live fish into 2-liter bottles. Because our knowledge of animal sentience has evolved, science educators are increasingly rejecting those lessons in cruelty. Rather than defaulting to archaic animal experiments and crude dissection, educators are seeking creative and inspired ways to teach biology.

Modern science curricula and standards no longer require – or even refer to – animal dissection. The College Board (AP Biology), the International Baccalaureate, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) make no mention of it.

As an educator, you have autonomy to choose humane science lessons for your students – and TeachKind is here to help! Click the buttons below to access our lists of lesson plans for every grade.

Standards and Lessons by Grade

Please note: PETA has made every effort to suggest lesson plans that align with its mission, and these resources are presented in good faith to ensure that educators have humane, animal-friendly lesson plans that meet NGSS for all grade levels. External links are not affiliated with PETA, and PETA makes no guarantee that their content, in its entirety, aligns with the organization’s mission statement: “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.”

How to Help Animals

  • Pledge never to use animals in your classroom. Share information with your students and fellow staff members about why you choose to use humane alternatives instead.
  • If your school is using animals as teaching “tools,” voice your objections. If you’re comfortable with doing so, write a letter to or have an open conversation with the staff members involved. Explain the cruelty inherent in dissecting and experimenting on animals, the many risks involved, and the message that using animals in the classroom sends to students.
  • You can even write a letter to your principal and school board asking them to implement a policy banning animal projects in the district. Be sure to include all the pertinent information, and feel free to contact us if you need any assistance.

Please share this page with other educators to spread the word about humane science education!

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“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