Lesson Plan Ideas

Lesson Plan Image

Animal Heroes - Grades 1-3


  1. Understand the ways in which animals work for us or help us.
  2. Participate in shared listening of stories about working animals.
  3. Relate aspects of stories to personal feelings.
  4. Build vocabulary about personal traits.
  5. Create, illustrate and enact stories about working animals.


Children usually enjoy reading about animals, so animal stories can motivate reluctant readers. In addition, many students do not appreciate the many ways in which animals work to help us, so the content increases appreciate of our animal friends.

Curriculum Connection: Alberta Education Program of Studies

English Language Arts

Grade 1: Discover and Explore
Grade 1: Respond to Texts
Grade 2: Discover and Explore
Grade 2: Respond to Texts
Grade 3: Discover and Explore
Grade 3: Respond to Texts



Ask students if they have ever heard of working animals. What kinds of jobs can animals do?

Ask a few students to relate stories of seeing an animal at work. Do animals like to work? Can they do some things people can’t do?

Pre-reading vocabulary

Depending on students’ age and the story you choose to read, you may want to pre-teach:


Read aloud to students one or more stories about working animals:

The Special Work of Therapy Animals
four short descriptions.
Dr. Dog’s Rx
a short description of Alar the Sheltie, a therapy dog from Best Friends
A Magical Bond
a colourful ASPCA 4-page booklet for young students on therapy animals with information, stories, post reading questions and word scramble
Working Animals 1
another ASPCA 4-page booklet for young students on working animals (therapy, actors, search and rescue) with information, stories, and post reading picture matching exercise


Did students learn about some new types of animal jobs such as therapy cats?

What characteristics do animals need to be good at these jobs? Make a list of adjectives for different animal jobs (strong, smart, patient, kind, good nose, etc).

Compare jobs of animals and people:

Draw a picture about one of the stories and add a caption.


Do the American Veterinary Medical Association Helping Hounds matching exercise: animal job titles with descriptions.

Invite a handler of a working animal to come and visit the classroom ( e.g. handlers for police dogs, therapy dogs)