Animal lessons for the classroom
Help students gain a deeper understanding of their place in the world by exploring connections and building empathy for all creatures. Students will cultivate compassion as they learn about social responsibility through inquiry-based projects.
We have animal-themed lesson plans, which meet provincial curriculum outcomes, for:
In addition, Meow!, our teacher guide to integrating animals into the classroom, is available for download (PDF).
This intermediate-level resource includes ready-to-use lessons, project ideas and stories of inspiring teachers and students.
Invite the BC SPCA to your class
Our humane educators can help kick-start or build on BC SPCA animal-themed lessons. Book a speaker to come inspire your class.
Start an animal club at school
Help kids focus their philanthropic efforts with projects that help animals. Check out our club manual (PDF) to get started.
Don’t forget to register your club (PDF) with us to receive your welcome package!
Thinking of getting a classroom pet?
Classroom pets can connect your students to animals in a meaningful way, especially those who don’t have pets at home. But not all animals make suitable classroom pets — and not all classrooms can provide the kind of environment an animal needs to feel safe and comfortable.
Take a moment to review our classroom pet guidelines before you make your decision.
Books are a great way to nurture kids’ natural love of animals. Have a look at our list of picture books (PDF), novels (PDF) and non-fiction books (PDF), all of which have been reviewed and vetted for humane content.
Sign up for e-Teacher, our newsletter for educators. Get the latest ideas on including animal themes in your classroom, as well as current events, book reviews and tips for your school club.
The violence link
When children abuse animals, it may be an indicator of family violence at home — and it can escalate to violence towards others.
Arrange a shelter tour
Touring a BC SPCA shelter can help teach students about community responsibility. Our shelters are busy places, so shelter tours are best booked well in advance for groups smaller than 12 people, and for kids older than 10 years of age.
For the most valuable educational experience, we recommend a school presentation by a BC SPCA representative rather than a shelter tour.
Careers with animals
Many kids want to work with animals when they grow up. Download our career profile booklet (PDF) for your students to use in an inquiry project on animal careers. You can also download each profile individually:
- Animal protection officer
- Animal shelter manager
- Farm animal care supervisor
- Veterinary technician
- Wildlife rehabilitator