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The Perfect Pet


Trees Sprout Classroom Lessons Throughout the Year

Return to Pet Week Lessons for Every Grade



  • Arts & Humanities:
    Language Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Science:
    Life Sciences: Animals


  • 3-5
  • 6-8


Brief Description

Choose the right pet for customers of an imaginary pet shop.




Students will


  • study common pets.
  • compare pets and their needs.
  • match "customers" with pets.


Key Words


Pets, pet shop, comparison, writing

Materials Needed

  • pencils
  • plain white paper
  • Internet access (optional)


Lesson Plan


Associates in a pet shop are frequently asked to help customers find the ideal pet. Here students take on this role and help imaginary customers compare pets for sale.

As a class, discuss some different pets that the students own. How did they choose those pets? What characteristics make them good household companions?

Ask your students to imagine themselves as customer service associates at "The Perfect Pet" pet shop. One of the biggest responsibilities shared by workers in a shop like this one is helping customers to choose the right pets to suit their lifestyles. When pets are not well matched to their owners, they can end up being sent to shelters or neglected. However, the right pet can enrich the life of an individual or an entire family.

Have students read online or in printed form some of the Pet Care tips from the ASPCA; or students might survey pet information gathered from the school library. Pass out sheets of plain paper. Instruct the students to fold the paper lengthwise. Next, have the students fold the paper in half horizontally, and then in half again, to make eight sections. Students should write their names on the papers and number the sections along the left side going down the page 1 to 4. Ask them to write Which pet would you recommend to... at the top of the page and write the ending phrases below beside their appropriate numbers.

  1. a young child?
  2. a great-grandmother?
  3. a young adult?
  4. a family with two children?

Next, have the students put the names of one of the animals below in each side-by-side box.

  • bird - fish
  • cat - guinea pig
  • hamster - rabbit
  • gerbil - dog

Now, students will have created a neat graphic organizer for comparing

  • which pet is best for a young child -- a bird or a fish?
  • which pet is best for a great-grandmother -- a cat or a guinea pig?
  • which pet is best for a young adult -- a hamster or a rabbit?
  • which pet is best for a family with two children -- a gerbil or a dog?
If you would like to vary student responses even more, you might let students choose which animals to put in each square. You will want to OK their selections, so students are weighing the benefits of two pets that might be legitimate choices. For example, the choice for a great-grandmother between a cat and a boa constrictor would be pretty obvious. The choice between a cat and fish might be less obvious and require more critical thought on the part of the student.

Give students time to complete their responses. To begin, students should carefully explain why they would or would not recommend a bird to a young child in the upper left box and why they would or would not recommend a fish in the upper right box. Students should circle the name of the animal they would recommend to each customer; the text in that box should explain their reasons for that recommendation.

When the students have finished their work, have them share some of their thoughts about each question. Make a chart on the board or on chart paper that indicates the number of students who chose each type of pet in the four comparisons. What trends can be seen?


There are no "correct" answers for the questions in this activity, but responses should reflect adequate thought and development.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Cara Bafile

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.5 Communication Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
NL-ENG.K-12.7 Evaluating Data
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills

NS.K-4.3 Life Science
GRADES 5 - 8
NS.5-8.3 Life Science

NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts

Find more lessons for teaching about May holidays in Education World's Holidays Archive.

Click to return to this week's Lesson Planning article, Pet Week Lessons for Every Grade.

Updated 05/01/2012