Our project started after we read “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell – during story time everyone had a great time guessing which animal was behind the flaps. We acted out the story in small groups, taking turns watching each other. We wrote our own versions of “Dear Zoo.” We brainstormed everything we knew about pets (ex: How do you treat your pet? You pet them, you walk them, you feed them, if they are sick, you take them to the vet). We thought about any questions we had about pets (ex: “What do pets eat?”).
We did a survey and found out that 8 people wanted fish, 2 people wanted a puppy, 1 person wanted a frog, and 4 people wanted a cat.
We invited experts to come to our classroom and answer all of our questions about pet care. One student brought her dog Rosie and we learned that Rosie had to be walked and that she drank water and ate twice a day. She could even do tricks! She also brought in her frog and we were able to decide what to name him. We took a vote and “Greenie” had the most votes. Another student’s cat came in to visit and we learned that he was blind when he was born. Someone else brought in one of his fish – it lives in a water tank and only gets fed once a day.
For the last phase of this project, we went on our very first field trip to Pet Smart where we did a scavenger hunt all over the store. We saw all different kinds of pets – from frogs, to fish, to hamsters, dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes, birds and so many more. We learned that each of these pets need different types of houses and beds and food and cages. We went on a scavenger hunt all over the store. We finished by bringing home 6 pet goldfish for our classroom!
We then transformed our dramatic play area into our very own pet store – complete with pets, pet products, and even a checkout!