Summer is here, and that means summer school is starting! If you’re holding classes, you may get a little break before you’re thrown back into the daily routine of planning and preparing for the day, teaching lessons, and keeping students fully engaged while thoughts of the beach and other summertime activities dance in their heads. TeachKind has resources for educators, created by educators. Listed below are dynamic activities and lessons that can be carried out in a multitude of ways. We offer humane science lessons for all ages, research and writing-based activities to help students become well versed on various animal rights issues, a feature focused on social and emotional learning for all ages, and much, much more.
FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
Google’s new 3D animals feature gives parents and educators a great opportunity to teach children more about animals, including that they would never want to be confined, forced to do tricks, or taken out of their natural habitats. Check out the tiger, bear, and others, and enhance this exciting virtual reality experience with the animal facts included in the feature.
Keep students occupied with these nine STEM experiments that don’t use animals and that encourage compassion for them. From creating a water pipeline to becoming a game designer, students will be inspired to think innovatively while staying engaged in STEM activities.
After months of coronavirus precautions that have had kids staying at home, pique their interest in discovering something new about their familiar surroundings. Our animal scavenger hunt prompts students to observe and learn about these 15 commonly sighted backyard animals and their unique traits and abilities. TeachKind offers a prize for students who spot all 15!
Have students print out these activity choice boards for the months of June, July, and August. Each board includes 20 activities to get students moving, thinking, and practicing compassion. After they’ve completed an activity, they can color that square in. Challenge them to color in every square by the end of each month!
FOR MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Tap into students’ interest in real-world issues while they enhance their writing and research skills with TeachKind’s debate kits. We’ve laid out all the tools and resources needed to form a comprehensive argument on an issue. Students could meet up virtually to discuss their findings and arguments—they can even record their meetings using Zoom and send them along to you.
Have students begin by choosing one of these hot topics:
- Is Speciesism Unethical?
- Should the Commercial Seal Slaughter Be Stopped?
- Is It Ethical to Eat Animals?
- Should All Companion Animals Be Spayed and Neutered?
- Is Animal Agriculture Harmful to the Environment?
- Should Animals Be Used in Experiments?
- Should Marine Mammals Be Held in Captivity?
With the world in the grip of a pandemic, it’s important that we keep students up to speed on current events and find ways to inspire them to consider further study and careers in STEM fields. It’s especially exciting to challenge their thinking about non-animal methods of testing with regard to medical advancements by prompting them to write a position paper from the point of view of a scientist who doesn’t subject animals to cruel experiments. Have students start with this podcast highlighting the choice to steer clear of animal testing when developing a vaccine for the coronavirus:
Enough Is Enough: Current Events Lesson—Understanding COVID-19 and Preventing Future Zoonotic Diseases
Students can learn new facts about the pandemic and work to draw their own conclusions about “wet markets,” meat consumption, and deadly zoonotic diseases with the resources and activities in this lesson. It also addresses Common Core Learning Standards in reading, speaking, and listening for grades 9–12.
View this documentary as a class, then use the discussion questions included in this feature to help students understand the information and examine the ideas presented. (If you’re teaching virtually, you can use online tools such as Netflix Party, which includes synchronized video playback and group chat, to watch the film with your students online. Or you can have students watch the film independently and then discuss their responses to the questions as a class using popular online conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype. If these tools aren’t available to you or your students, you could have students chat about the film and the discussion questions in an online forum, such as Google Classroom.)
Engage students this summer with a page-turner that will make them think twice about the meat industry. Explain that this novel not only sheds light on the cruelty endured by pigs raised for food but also reveals the exploitation of slaughterhouse workers. Use supplementary resources provided by TeachKind to tackle these important topics with students before, during, and after their reading of this award-winning novel.
OTHER ACTIVITIES AND LESSONS FOR ALL GRADE LEVELS
TeachKind Printable Activities
More Helpful Resources
- 29 Animal-Friendly Movies Teachers Can Stream Right Now—at Home or in the Classroom
- Help Children Develop Social and Emotional Learning Skills With TeachKind Resources
- Attention, Parents! Virtual Learning Resources for Grades K–12
Need more inspiration to help you incorporate humane education into your summer school curriculum? Sign up for TeachKind News here!