Early Elementary-Age Sanctuary Education Lesson Plan #2

The graphic shows a hand drawn outline of a lesson plan. The title, "Curricula and Lesson Plans" is in green text at the top with a yellow background. There is a text box below the title that is light peach in color with a description of the lesson's learning objectives and learning outcomes. There is a small white text box inside this box on the left that reads: "Topic: Caregiving Role Play, Approximate Duration: 3 hours, Age: Early Elementary". Underneath the text in this white box is a drawing of a person with braided red hair. There are chickens that are smiling on either side of their face. Underneath the peach text box, there are two side by side white text boxes. The first one describes the lesson's materials and the second one describes the additional resources to check out. Underneath these two text boxes is a horizontal spread of nine small drawings: a daily routine calendar, laptop screen, chalkboard, magnifying glass, the Open Sanctuary Project's logo of a globe sitting on top of an open book with farmed animals on top, a clapperboard, a film reel, footprints, and a tent. Behind these drawings is a pink background.
Please scroll to the bottom of this resource for the downloadable version of the entire lesson plan!


Building empathy for farmed animals is not just an exercise of the mind, but of the body as well. In our resource “Fostering Empathy Towards Farmed Animals”, we emphasize the importance of a form of empathy-building that involves physically moving through the identity and experience of another. In this lesson plan, we incorporate this type of imaginative role-play and ground it in detailed observation of caregiving staff and sanctuary residents to help learners come to a closer understanding of the experiences, feelings, and needs of farmed animals. The ultimate goals of this lesson are to help shape human identities that are based in empathy and to offer participants another way to feel empowered to believe they can take ameliorative action for farmed animals.

As with every educational program we create, please leave room to edit, modify, and adapt the activities, questions, and materials based on your sanctuary and audience’s specific needs. Built-in flexibility is an important aspect of effective educational design. If this is a follow-up lesson to the first part of the early elementary-age sanctuary education program with the same group of participants, it might be helpful to include some of the same residents in this lesson that the participants met in the first lesson. That way, they already have a lot of background knowledge you can review and/or omit during the second lesson. You can ask the learners to recall the information they remember and save time. Please also check out the introduction to our first early elementary-age lesson plan for important things to consider as you develop and implement the second early elementary-age lesson plan at your sanctuary (e.g. positionalities, language use, modifications for people with disabilities, common core learning standards, and more).

Below, you will find a form to fill out to receive this lesson plan. This lesson plan is the second part of a multi-part sanctuary education program for early elementary-age children. It can be used by sanctuary educators and representatives as a stand-alone lesson or as part of a long-term program with early elementary-age lesson plans onethree, and four!

Effective For Other Species Populations!
While this lesson plan was created with farmed animals in mind, it can easily and effectively be adapted for other species populations!

Download the Lesson Plan

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Teaching Liberation: Essays on Social Justice, Animals, Veganism, and Education | Agnes Trzak

The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children | Michael Yogman, Andrew Garner, Jeffrey Hutchinson, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff

Updated on April 14, 2022

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