The Benefits of a Classroom Pet
A recent study surveyed elementary teachers on how they used classroom pets to enhance their lesson plans and what they felt the advantages were of having a pet in their classroom. Most believed that having a pet in the classroom positively impacted their students in many ways including increased empathy and improved social and emotional development.
In addition to the progress of the children’s social skills, instructors are taking advantage of having a pet in the classroom by using them in their curriculum. Examples of this are in math teaching the students to count money by calculating the cost of feeding and caring for the animal. For English class, the children can read to or write about the pet and as part of a science lesson, the teachers can talk about the animal classification and natural environment of the pet.
Daly B, Suggs S. Teachers’ experiences with humane education and animals in the elementary classroom: implications for empathy development. The Journal of Moral Education. 39 (1): 101-112