This picture is from our Dog Safety presentation. Our "safe dog" has a leash, a collar, and a grown-up owner. But before we can pet the dog, we have to ask first "May I please pet your dog?" When we finish the presentation, we do a quick review. I asked the class, "Can we just go running right up to the dog and start petting her?" "No!" A little boy shouted. "You have to say the magic words first!"
Our 2nd Grade Presentation is on Kindness to Animals. We play a game with the kids where they pull items out of a bag, hold them up for the class to see, and figure out what they are. Then, they have to figure out if they're kind or unkind. If they're kind, they have to figure out who to give it to. If it's unkind, we throw it in a trash bag. A little girl pulled out the item to the left. "It's unkind." "Why?" "Because dogs can't eat pancakes."
Today, I asked the kids to tell me something nice they would do for their pets. When we got to dogs, a little girl said, "Give him a bubble bath!"
I've had a few fun exchanges in City Wildlife (our 3rd grade presentation). We have pictures of some of the cool animals, insects, and reptiles that live in their areas. We talk about why they are important so that the kids learn why we shouldn't harm them - and that it's pretty cool to have them living around us.
"What do opossums eat?"
"Squirrels gather up all the food, what do they do with their leftover nuts? Do they put it in their fridge up in the tree?"
"They give it to the less fortunate squirrels who don't have any nuts."
And by far one of my favorite exchanges. I always think I can stay a step ahead of them, but it doesn't always work.
Me: "What do owls eat?"
Me: "No. They're too quick."
Boy: "But you said owls fly 40 miles per hour."
Me: "But Leprechauns are faster and they have magic."
Boy: "And a magic pot of gold!"
Girl: "Owls can't carry a pot of gold."
Boy: "She said they carry three to four times their body weight."
Me: "What do owls eat?"
Another Student: "Rats."
Me: "Right. What else?"
Another Student: "Mice."
Me: "Right. What - -"
Student at the back of the room: "Wait, wait, wait. So Leprechauns are real?"
Even the 4th and 5th graders come up with some funny answers. We teach Pet Needs and when we discuss milk, most of the kids are surprised that you aren't supposed to give milk to cats.
"When they're kittens, where does their milk come from?"
"Where does our milk in the grocery store come from?"
You just never know what kind of connection they're going to make with something. It keeps you on your toes! We love the fact that we're teaching Humane Education, but we also love the way that they entertain us!