September 22, 2019

Animal Welfare Education Project

A critical component of United WAG’s mission is to increase animal welfare education in our schools and in our community.  There is a direct link between empathy for animals and empathy for one’s fellow human beings.  By educating ourselves about animals and their needs, we increase our ability to appropriately care for our animal companions and for ourselves, our families and for other members of our community.  In order to create a more empathetic and caring adult community, we must begin by providing our children with, among other things, animal welfare education. 

How?  To that end, United WAG organized a group of community members to develop animal welfare curriculum to be implemented in Miami-Dade County schools as part of the state-mandated Character Education Curriculum. We developed animal welfare lesson plans for Kindergarten through Eighth Grades that address the following nine core values:  citizenship; cooperation; fairness; honesty; integrity; kindness; pursuit of excellence; respect; and responsibility.

Each lesson plan incorporates Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and/or Science components to address FCAT requirements. United WAG also plans to use the animal welfare lesson plans for bookstore-sponsored reading events and through the Parent Academy.  We will also work on developing animal welfare curriculum for senior high school students.  The curriculum has been given to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools for implementation.  All of the lesson plans, as well as a fact sheet summarizing the successes of this project, are available at no charge by clicking on the links below.

Other components of the education project include giving Career Day presentations, implementing a pilot project at the Parent Academy, and sponsoring student entries at the Youth Fair.  Public schools, private schools, and charter schools consist of our target audience.  To book an elementary school presentation, please contact Debbie Waddell at  For middle school bookings, please contact Jill Rochfort at    

United WAG’s Education Project at a Glance, 2010-2011

United WAG’s Education Project At a Glance, 2009-2010


Elementary School Lesson Overview

 Book List for Teachers – Final                                                        

Kindergarten Lesson Plans (8):  

1.  Pets and Their Homes – A Perfect Fit

2.  At the Dog Park

3.  Tails Are Not for Pulling

4.  A Day With Sam

5.  Penguin Story

6.  Pets and People – Needs We Share                                                         

7.  Ants Have Feelings, Too

8.  A Shelter Dog Finds A Home

 Grade 1 Lesson Plans (7):

1.  Sorting Through Dogs

2.  Taking Care of Your Best Friends 

3.  Brave Norman – A True Story of Heroism

4.  Let’s Be Friends

5.  Pets Need Love and a Lot More

6.  Safe Pets, Safe Kids

7.  What People Animals Need

 Grade 2 Lesson Plans (10):

1.  Good Pet Parent

2.  Protect Your Pet and Don’t be Cruel

3.  How Can I Help?

4.  How to Behave with an Animal

5.  A School for Swimmy

6.  Good Training, Good Pets

7.  Pets as Good Neighbors

8.  Pets Have Needs, Too

9.  Pets in Other Countries

10.  What Is A Pet?

Grade 3 Lesson Plans (8):

1.  Adding Up Pet Populations

2.  Choosing Compassion

3.  Be Aware of Them

4.  A Horse to the Rescue!

5.  Responsible Pet Ownership – Step by Step

6.  Wild or Tame

7.  Buddy’s Story-Life Before Being Rescued

8.  Are You and Your Pet Good Citizens?

Grade 4 Lesson Plans (8):

1.  Hurricane and Other Disasters – Planning

2.  To Spay or Not to Spay?

3.  Before You Were Mine

4.  Every Animal Has a Spirit

5.  The Orphan Seal

6.  We All Need Our Space

7.  Wild Animals Sometimes Need Our Help, Too

8.  Who is Responsible?

Grade 5 Lesson Plans (7):

1.  Choosing A Pet

2.  Let’s Keep Pets Safe

3.  Dog Talk

4.  Who’s Responsible?

5.  The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

6.  Pet Peeves

7.  Good Answers for Pet Problems


Middle School Lesson Overview

Grades 6-8 Lesson Plans (11)

1.  Every Number Tells a Story

2.  In Someone Else’s Paws

3.  Puppy Mills Beware

4.  Smith Creek’s Pet Problems

5.  Understanding Our Community Ties

6.  Wild Chain Reaction

7.  Exciting Careers with Animals

8.  Shilo

9.  Summer Pet Care

10.  What Would You Do If…

11.  Keep Your Cat Indoors

Teacher’s Resource List


Last academic year, United WAG inspired 4,840 students to consider professions and vocations relating to animals.  United WAG’s education team gave 186 presentations at a combined total of 48 elementary and middle schools.   

Career Day Survey 2009-2010


In early 2010, United WAG presented several “Train the Trainer” workshops for Parent Academy facilitators; thereafter, the teachers gave 5 presentations, addressing a total of 89 students.  The Parent Academy is a free, year-round parent engagement and skill-building program of Miami Dade County Public Schools.   

UWAG Career Day Presentation, Sept. 2009

UWAG Career Day Presentation, Sept. 2009

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