TeachKind Rescue Stories: Christmas the Puppy’s First Holiday

Stories of people helping animals are all over the internet, and sharing them with your students is an excellent way to encourage kindness both in and out of the classroom. Because most children naturally feel compassion for animals, sharing rescue stories is a great way to engage and motivate different types of learners and encourage them to take action to help end animal abuse.

Each TeachKind Rescue Stories reading comprehension worksheet tells a different animal’s tale of transformation and features key vocabulary words and questions in order to encourage literal, inferential, and evaluative thinking. These worksheets were used in a study that found that students who read passages about having compassion for animals performed significantly better on Common Core–aligned assessments, demonstrating that instructional time need not be sacrificed in order to instill empathy in young people!

This rescue story is about Christmas, a dog who was found as a puppy by PETA Asia staffers on a remote island in the Philippines. He was lucky to receive treatment for a lice infestation and two wounds on his back—and now he’s living his best life in a loving home where he doesn’t have to struggle to survive. Use Christmas’ story to teach your students the importance of adopting—not buying—animal companions and having them spayed or neutered.

Use other TeachKind resources to create an entire lesson around this story. You can use this worksheet to address the following Common Core English language arts standards.

Grade 3

Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

Grade 4

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Grade 5

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Be sure to watch Christmas’ heartwarming video to bring his story to life:

Download Christmas’ Rescue Story Reading Comprehension Worksheet!


Download this lesson in digital format here!

Please share this resource to inspire other teachers to incorporate compassion for animals into their curricula.

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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