Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Did You Know That October 4th is World Animal Day?

Yes, it is true! 

October 4th has been designated as World Animal Day.

According to the World Animal Day website, the mission of World Animal Day is as follows:


  • To celebrate animal life in all its forms
  • To celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom
  • To acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives 
  • To acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives
So what can you do with children to promote World Animal Day?

Well, that is really up to you...but there are loads of possibilities...here are a few:
Visit an animal shelter.
Send financial support to your choice of a non-profit that works to help animals.
Build a bird feeder or put out bits of materials that birds might want to use to make a nest.
Adopt a shelter animal.
Help care for family pets or class pets by helping to feed and care for the pet.
Make an animal enrichment for a pet, such as a new animal-safe toy or else make homemade animal- specific treats, such as homemade doggy biscuits, etc.
Learn about endangered and threatened animals and see what you can do to help them.
Read several books about animals and their habitats.
Our personal favorites for animal books include:
Maurice Pledger books, Leap Frog Nature Books by Jennifer Boudart and Sarah Toast, and One Small Square books by Donald Silver.

There are also some neat projects from around the world listed on the World Animal Day website, including:
Worldwide WAD - sharing experiences

Big Bro loved reading about what was done in the USA by a school about Class Pets. Little Bro loved reading about what was done in Malta about animals and art.

How does this tie in with Montessori inspired learning?
Dr. Maria Montessori felt strongly about caring for animals and highly encouraged middle school aged children to work on caring for animals, such as those on a farm.
Caring for a family pet falls under the realm of practical life.
Learning to be gentle, compassionate, and peaceful towards animals in general and in particular, towards family pets, is a great life lesson.

How does this relate to discovery based, Reggio Emilia style, Malaguzzi inspired learning?
Well, in a Reggio Emilia environment, projects arise from the interests and the environment of the child and his or her community as a whole. The environment is considered to be the third teacher. How this relates to learning about animals is learning about animals that are indigenous to your area and how to protect native species from being overtaken by non-native ones. Examples of that here in Florida are snakes, fish, and pigs that are not native to Florida that have wrecked havoc on native animals. Florida Fish and Wild Life does different programs throughout the year to educate families about the problem with releasing animals into the wild that do not belong to them. People who have not been educated about the harm of introducing non-native animals to ponds when they are tired of having them as pets need to learn how that harms the environment.
Taking a young child out to see and learn about the animal habitats near their home is a good way to have a child develop an appreciation for the circle of life and native species in their region.

What are we doing as a homeschool family here in Florida?
We have been reading many animal books and learning how people can impact the habitats in which animals live. We try to do things that are eco-friendly and animal safe.
We have done several art and science projects related to animals and protecting their environments.
We have visited animal shelters, animal sanctuaries, nature centers, organic farms, and zoos.
We have had our sons take nature classes through various co-ops to learn about wildlife native to Florida.
We encourage our sons to actively help out with our family pets here in our home, consisting of three frogs, one fish, and a pup. The boys love their doggy and their doggy loves the boys!
Our dog likes to have the boys play with him, take him for walks, and keep him out of harm's way.
One problem that we face here in Florida is that there are several little creatures that can make a dog quite sick if they come in contact with them, from frogs to toads to snakes, so one of the things we do here is to always make sure that we walk our pup in a well lit area.
We have worked at educating how important it is to keep a watchful eye not only on our dog and what he does manage to get into while walking but just the general area around where we walk our dog.
The boys know what a Marine Toad looks like, as well as Cotton Mouths and Coral Snakes, and they do their best to stay away from any of these creatures in our neighborhood.
they also have learned as to where the armadillos nest near our home and try to keep our dog away from their den, as they would not want our dog to scare the armadillos or for the armadillos to scare our dog.
Also timely is the release of the wonderful movie based on the true story called A Dolphin Tale. Pulls at the heartstrings on many levels because the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where Winter, the dolphin,  was rehabilitated and where the movie was filmed is in Clearwater, Florida...a short hop, skip, and jump away from our home. We have been to that aquarium, we have seen the dolphin, and we knew about the subject of the movie long before it was in the theaters.  Also special is that the boy who helped the dolphin is a homeschooled student!
Yay for homeschooling!!! He was able to be so devoted to his beloved Winter, the Dolphin, because he had the time to devote to his passion of caring for the dolphin! How cool is that?!?

Well, hope that you and your children had a Happy World Animal Day Today!

Here are some photos of some of the books that our family enjoys, as well as some World Animal Day posters and some photos of our pets:
Little Bro showing some of his favorite pets!

Big Bro working on some posters for World Animal Day!

Some of Big Bro's pet pictures for his poster...

One of the neat animal books that we have read...very timely, as with the release of the movie, A Dolphin Tale. The movie was filmed at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium nearby our home.

Checking out pets for adoption with a family friend. This is something that we do once in a while, to go visit animals that are up for adoption. We did not go today to visit animals, but it is something that we do pretty regularly to think about helping animals in need.

Visiting a show about animals at G-Wiz Science Museum in Sarasota, Florida.

All About Pets Lapbook...Big Bro made a Pets lapbook when he was five so now, it is Little Bro's turn to make one!

Pockets for Little Bro's work about pets...

Pet cards for Little Bro. He can copy these cards using his movable alphabet.

Bendaroos Pets that Big Bro made. Bendaroos work well to make tiny, colorful animals.Both boys love using Bendaroos for animal themed art projects.

Holding a little lizard on our lanai...this is a daily occurrence. The boys love to catch and release the various lizards they find by our home. They are very gentle and know to wash their hands thoroughly before and after handling them.

Pets artwork created by the boys. Boy, how they love animals!

Doggy love!

Walking our doggy!

In addition to lots of lizards, snakes, toads, frogs, and alligators, we also have all kinds of turtles living nearby our home.

Did you do anything for World Animal Day

We would love it if you would link up your post in the comments section.

Have you done a neat Pets theme or Animal Conservation theme with your children?

Would love to see and read about what you did about animals in your homeschool or classroom!

Have you gone to see the movie, A Dolphin Tale?

What did you think about the movie?

Did you know that there was a homeschool connection to the movie?

Please feel free to share a link to your animal themed posts in the comments section of this post.


Heidi said...

Well since October 4th is the Feast of St. Francis of Assissi it makes perfect sense to be World Animal Day!

Caleb's school had a Pet Blessing and we brought our gecko in for him to share and show and then we went to the pet store and bought treats for all of our pets and some new suet for the birds.

Olives and Pickles said...

gracias for the information.You guys did such great activities.
thanks for sharing.

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