Little Hands, Big World Has Gone to the Dogs!

We have been exploring animal rescue and animal needs. Our kindergarten class skyped the Brandon Humane Society and talked to one of the volunteers about what they needed for the dogs who lived there. After much discussion, the students decided that it would be possible to bake homemade dog treats for the dogs at the humane society. Interesting points raised by the students included:

-could we make toys for the dogs? No, they might get wrecked and the dogs would eat them.

-could we buy treats for the dogs? We would need money. Where would we get money from?

-what do people do when they don’t want to buy things? They make them.

We talked about how we would make the dog biscuits and where we would find a recipe. A student with a peanut allergy made things even more interesting as many of the recipes contained peanut butter, but we eventually found a simple recipe with everyday ingredients. We used our classroom Facebook page to let the students’ parents know about our plans and ask for help. One of our moms volunteered to come into the classroom and bake the dog biscuits. Other parents sent whole wheat flour and donations of money!

We used the recipe for shared reading, then decided to make a grocery shopping list. This was an excellent opportunity to discuss list-writing. Lists are very manageable texts for our youngest readers and writers, and through interactive writing on the SMARTBoard, we generated a grocery list.

Next, we bundled up in our snowsuits and walked downtown to Valleyview Co-op. The students were so excited to use the little shopping carts. So many real-world applications of literacy and numeracy came into play in the grocery store–aisle numbers, reading signs to locate the correct aisle, sale prices, how much things cost versus how much money we had, etc.  We even had an impromptu discussion of soybean and canola oils, as my husband and some parents of students produce soybeans and canola. In the end we chose the oil that was on sale!

The boys and girls insisted that we remember our reusable bags as they are better for the environment! A student’s mom was even our clerk!

That afternoon, one of our parent volunteers joined us and the first batch of dog biscuits began. So many great numeracy concepts were explored as ingredients were measured and added. Fine motor skills were developed as students rolled and cut dough.

We used dog bone shaped cutters to cut out the biscuits and baked them in the school kitchen’s oven. They turned out great! And, we have tried them out on some “test dogs” and they loved them.

Next step: we will continue to make batches of dog biscuits each week and freeze them. The kindergarten students are developing a presentation, and we will petition the student council to financially support our project. Very excited about all the great learning opportunities ahead of us!


About Devon Caldwell

Kindergarten diva 🍎 PhD candidate 🎓 world traveller and adventure-seeker ✈️ animal lover, especially shelties! 🔗 Twitter/Instagram: india0309
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