Animal-Friendly Songs for Your Musical Classroom

Over the years, TeachKind has created a collection of songs that are animal-friendly and promote empathy. We’ve taken common songs that you and your students might be familiar with and adapted them so that the lyrics promote compassion, we’ve updated classic nursery rhymes to discourage speciesism, and we’ve made our own fun music videos featuring various songs, some of which have been performed by award-winning artists. Check out these engaging musical teaching resources below, along with the corresponding lesson plans and activities!

TeachKind teamed up with Dr. Jean Feldman to create “Eat Green,” a song that gets kids excited about eating fruits and veggies. The song is to the tune of “Jenny Jenkins,” and there’s an accompanying lyrics sheet with easy hand motions that your students can do as they sing!

We worked with a former music teacher to create four songs about being kind to bugs as part of a virtual read-aloud of the compassionate children’s book Junebug: No Life Too Small. Our handy insect rescue poster gives step-by-step instructions on gently escorting insects to the outdoors.

We Are Animals” is a PETA Kids song and music video from various animals’ perspectives. You could play this video for your class, or if you’re a music teacher, you could perform it by using a simple D6-A progression for most of the song.

The PETA Kids team put together five animal-friendly versions of outdated nursery rhymes. When singing one of these super-popular nursery rhymes to your class, exchange the outdated lyrics for the compassionate new ones.

TeachKind has compiled a factsheet of options for music teachers who want to replace their non-vegan instrument components with vegan ones. The next time you need new drums for your music classroom, you can select drums with synthetic heads. You can also replace the horsehair bows in your orchestra with bows made of synthetic hairs.

Finally, our collection of lessons to go along with the compassionate children’s book How to Heal a Broken Wing includes interdisciplinary activities in reading, music, and art. There are also discussions on empathy and a really catchy song about fascinating pigeons!

Many of these songs and lesson plans can be used in general music classrooms, but teachers of Pre-K through first grade can also use them to engage young learners. Please share these resources with your colleagues and encourage them to sign up for our TeachKind E-News below.

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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