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Pets

To celebrate and enjoy the diversity of animals.

by Kate Fleming

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To explore the diversity of people's needs for pets, and the important role they play in our lives.
To celebrate and enjoy the diversity of animals.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a diary to read from.

Assembly

  1. Introduce the assembly by holding up the diary and saying something like this:

    This is a diary, and it belongs to someone special. I am going to read the entry for yesterday morning. When I have finished, put your hand up if you can tell me the particular kind of job the writer of this diary does.

  2. Read the following:

    Tuesday June 20th

    The first patient for morning surgery was old Mrs Garland's budgie, Peter, who had not eaten or drunk anything for three days. Mrs Garland was really worried about Peter and afraid that he was fading away. He is her only companion, and life would be very empty without him. Peter is poorly; Mrs Garland must be prepared for the worst.

    Patient number two was Sally Kershaw's hearing dog Rosy. Sally is trying to get Rosy a passport so she can take her abroad on holiday. Without her, Sally (who is profoundly deaf) lacks confidence and loses her independence. Sally and Rosy have a strong bond and go everywhere together. Rosy needed to be vaccinated against rabies in order to get her passport. They are going to France; I hope Rosy understands French!

    Jason Bristow came in next, carefully carrying a shoebox. He had made holes in the lid - good thinking, Jason. The look on his face gave me a clue that the box was home to something exciting. Inside was a magnificent grass snake, perfectly coiled. 'His name is Percy', Jason informed me. 'He escaped last week and I've only just found him. Can you check him over to see if he is OK?' Percy wriggled over my hands and wound himself contentedly around my wrist. He was in fine shape and none the worse for his adventures.

    I heard Mr Barnaby's cat Jasmine even before she glided gracefully into the surgery. She is famous, wins prizes all over the country and has appeared on TV in an advertisement for cat food. She is worth a lot of money, so Mr Barnaby treats her like royalty. Last week Jasmine gave birth to seven beautiful pedigree kittens, all potential prize-winners. Jasmine has a slight infection and needs a course of antibiotics. Mr Barnaby was not pleased.

  3. Talk about the diary entries. What kind of a job does the writer of this diary do? How many of you have pets or know someone with a pet? Have you visited a vet with a pet? Looking back over our vet's diary, we see that not only are the animals different but the owners are different too. Old Mrs Garland's budgie Peter was company for her. He could talk, and with him around she never felt lonely. Sally Kershaw's dog Rosy was a hearing dog. Sally is deaf and so Rosy is her ears and has transformed her life. Jason was so proud of Percy the grass snake. He belonged only to Jason, he was his very own. Mr Barnaby's prize possession was his famous cat Jasmine. He loved her success and the fame that he got through her. He is well known in the pedigree cat world.

  4. Point out that whatever our reason for having a pet, there are important things we must remember about looking after them. What do you think they are? What do our pets need if they are to lead a healthy, happy life?
    • Food, drink and grooming
    • Exercise and an opportunity to play
    • Shelter in the cold weather
    • Not too much heat in hot weather
    • Necessary immunization and vaccination
    • Treatment at the vet's if they are ill
    • Care and consideration at all times
  5. Suggest that when they get back to the classroom the children might like to write about their own pets or about a pet they would like to own. They could write a diary for their pet.

Time for reflection

Let's think about our pets or pets that we know.

Dear God,
Deepen our understanding of what it means to be a good and responsible pet owner.
Increase our awareness of the needs of animals
and help us to appreciate the part that pets play in our lives.

Amen

Song/music

'All things bright and beautiful' (Come and Praise, 3)

Useful additional literature

My Brother Bert - Ted Hughes
The Tale of Custard the Dragon - Ogden Nash
It Makes a Change - Melvyn Peake
The Yuk - Hilaire Belloc

Curriculum links

PSHE, English

Publication date: November 2000   (Vol.2 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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