Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

ZooLand, part 5: Animal Care

This week we studied animal care. We have always had pets so the boys know a lot about small animal care. They know to keep the food and water dishes (or bottle in the case of the rabbit) clean and filled They learned to keep the doors latched and to check to make sure they are closed properly. They have also learned to check cages to make sure that there isn't anything like loose nails or wire that could harm the animal. We had an outdoor rabbit cage which was made of wood and wire and as it got older some of the pieces became loose and we had to fix it from time to time. The kids were so much better at seeing potential problems than I was!

They have learned to be calm and yet friendly around animals. We have a cat that is extremely skiddish and Quentin has worked hard at gaining her trust by being calm and quiet around her. 
Feeding the animals at the Virginia Safari Park.
Zoos and pet shops are sometimes great places to learn about animal care. Sometimes they have special programs or times in which you can learn about the animals and how they are cared for, and sometimes they can just tell you about how the animals are cared for as they are working. We have learned about how to watch an animal to see if its behavior has changed as an indication of whether it is sick or distressed. Whether the animal is eating like it usually does is another indication.

Local pet shops are great places to learn about animal care.
We have learned about how an animal is more likely to want to escape from its cage if the animal has good living conditions. From time to time we have to give our animals medicine and they have learned how to accomplish that task, sometimes being sneaky and hiding it in food or by holding the animal and getting the medicine in them before they realize it. Sometimes veterinarians sometimes will give tours and talk about their job responsibilities. 

As with each lesson, have your students pick another animal to study. We focused on learning about the needs of the animal they have picked. What does it eat? Does it eat different things in the wild than in captivity? What needs does it have in terms of living space? Does it have any other animal care needs? Another assignment you can give your students is to make up a "zoo story." A zoo story is a creative way for students to show what they have learned about their animal of choice. They are to make up a story about the animal that could have happened if they were a zookeeper. What funny or interesting experience could they have had with this animal? If your student doesn't already help with the pet care (if you have a pet) then perhaps he can this week.
Quentin doesn't always do his reports in paragraph form. Sometimes he fills out this form from Eagle's Wings Considering God's Creation, Mortimer and Smith.

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  1. That is a cool report page.

    Now, I'm really wanting to go to a zoo........

  2. Love this post! This is some really nice work you guys are doing. The short version research form would go over great with Ken and DJ. Thank you for sharing.


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