Have you ever had the best intentions of seeing a project all the way through only to give up too early? Well, that’s what happened to me last year with our class pets. Last summer I wrote a post about my intentions. My kiddos started writing letters, but really struggled. So, I let the idea slip away.
This year’s class requires me to be on my toes all day long. I’m constantly looking for something new to motivate their little minds. They have really caught onto letter writing and are enjoying the process. These cute little puppies were still staring at me day after day and I just knew it would inspire my budding writers.
First, my students received a letter from me letting them know I was getting a class pet. The students practiced responding to the questions I asked in my letter. One of the questions asked the kids to explain what they would do with the class pet if they got to take one home.
The next step was naming these cute little pups. Every student had the opportunity to name both pets. My rules were the names couldn’t be of classmates and they had to be appropriate. I had the final say and chose Brownie and Rocks because they seemed to be the most fitting names.
After that I introduced the journals to the students:
Finally, it was time to reveal who Brownie and Rocks had chosen to go home with. You could have heard a pin drop! We agreed upon some safety rules. The pups could go home for one or two nights. Students had to keep the pups safe and as clean as possible. The third rule was you have to record your adventures with the pups. Here are some of the adventures the pups have had:
Now, other than the basic rules, there is quite a bit of freedom with this assignment. In fact, Brownie has been dressed up twice, but only for pictures.
As of today, Rocks now has a cape to wear. A little boy in our class recently had to put his dog to sleep. His dog used to have some outfits (a very tiny dog, obviously). He really wanted Rocks to have the cape his dog used to wear.
Also, a little girl took the time to build a little bed for Brownie and Rocks, but I forgot to snap a picture of it before the next student took the pup home.
Every time the pups return to class, the students can’t wait to read their adventures and find out which letter has been chosen next. For now, Brownie is traveling home with the girls and Rocks with the boys. Once we rotate through the class, the students will write a second letter. During the second round, the girls will take Rocks home and the boys will take Brownie home.
This is probably one of their favorite homework assignments and I’m so glad I chose to follow through with it this year!
I finished up a new book companion for Vikings, which is the nonfiction companion to Viking Ships at Sunrise (book 15 in the Magic Tree House series). I also created a bundle of the two resources. Click on either of the links below to learn more.