Elementary School Students

Animals in the Classroom

There is no need to bring animals into the classroom, because the best way to learn about animals is to observe them in their natural habitat. This way, we can learn many things about their way of life: what they like to eat, how they communicate, and how they move around; just by watching them.

Respect and Compassion

Humans are classified as animals in the animal kingdom. It is only natural for humans to feel connection with non-human animals, and have compassion and respect for them. Non-human animals are our companions at home and neighbors in the wild, and we do not want to see them hurt or suffering. One way we can show compassion for non-human animals is by not dissecting or experimenting on them in biology, anatomy, or physiology class.

Harming No Animals

Chick Hatching

Your classroom may use chick hatching as an annual science project. Chick hatching is a common practice that often results in the neglect, suffering, and death of the animals involved. Although the purpose of the project is meant to teach students about embryonic growth, it is not necessary to do such an exercise to accomplish this. Also, lack of proper care and attention to eggs during the incubation period can result in chicks suffering from physical deformities and/or death. Additionally, chicks are often not provided with veterinary care after they are hatched. As the chicks start to grow into adults, the project is completed, and teachers have to find a home for the animals, or which is often the case, have them euthanized. Caring for chicks is not an easy task, and it is likely that teachers will have a difficult time finding a home for them. Often, the chicks are placed with someone who does not know how to care for them properly. Animal shelters that are overwhelmed with unwanted cats and dogs are often left to deal with chicks every spring. Also, farms will usually not take the chicks because of the danger of infecting their flocks with disease, making it likely that the chicks will be killed if no home is available for them.

If your classroom uses chick hatching as a project, voice your objections to your parents or teacher. Animalearn can help you find other things that your teacher can do in place of chick hatching.

The Environment

Animals are very important to their ecosystem. An ecosystem is a web of life that contains plants, animals, insects, algae, and many other living beings. When people remove animals from their natural habitat to use in study, it can disturb and affect all of the life in that ecosystem. For example, dissection is leading to large numbers of bullfrogs being removed from their wild homes, causing insect populations to grow. The increased insect population creates the need for pesticides to control the number of insects. These pesticides may harm other wildlife and pollute the environment. Protecting the environment is important not just to animals, but also to people.

Formaldehyde and other chemicals are commonly used to preserve animals for dissection, and these chemicals can damage the environment. They are unsafe for humans because they can irritate the throats and lungs and may cause cancer. When the chemicals are not disposed of in the proper way, they can pollute the environment, contaminating the soil and bodies of water, causing fish to become sick and/or die.