Early Elementary-Age Sanctuary Education Lesson Plan #3

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: Community Gardening and Resident Enrichment, Approximate Duration: 3-3.5 hours, Age: Early Elementary". Underneath the text in this white box is a drawing of a person with long black hair. They are leaning against a black and white cow who is smiling. There is a monarch butterfly flying to the left of the human's 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!


Animal sanctuaries offer people a unique opportunity to learn about, engage with, and actively consider the perspectives of nonhuman animals. Whether via onsite or offsite educational visits, they can connect their visitors to farmed animals in a way other learning environments cannot. However, one-time sanctuary visits are not always enough to convince folks to adopt a more animal-friendly lifestyle because they often lack a supportive environment outside of the sanctuary. So, an important question we might want to ask ourselves is, “How can sanctuaries become supportive spaces that provide the kind of community enrichment folks need to maintain an animal-friendly way of life?”.

In this lesson plan, we incorporate gardening as an ongoing tool for sanctuary education that encourages participants to continue coming back to visit, learn, participate in, and feel supported by the sanctuary community. The ultimate goals of this lesson are to allow participants to embed themselves in a meaningful relationship with a sanctuary community and to offer them another way to feel empowered to believe they can take effective ameliorative action for farmed animals by creating a community garden that helps enrich the lives of sanctuary residents.

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 or second part of the early elementary-age sanctuary education program with the same group, it might be helpful to include some of the same residents in this program that the participants met in the first and/or second lesson at your sanctuary. That way, they already have a lot of background knowledge. However, it might also be meaningful to have the group make enrichment treats for residents they have not met before! Either way, the residents will enjoy the treats! Please also check out the introduction to our first Early Elementary Lesson Plan for important things to consider as you develop and implement the third Early Elementary Lesson Plan at your sanctuary (i.e. positionalities, language use, modifications for disabilities, common core learning standards, and more).

Below, you will find a form to fill out to receive the lesson plan for early elementary-age children. This lesson plan is the third part of a multi-part sanctuary education program. 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 one,  two, 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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How to Build a Raised Wicking Bed | Food Is Free Project

How to Make Seedbombs | Food Is Free Project

How to Grow Delicious Vegetables No Matter Where You Live! | Food Empowerment Project

Basic Seed Ball Recipe | Seed-balls.com

How to Make Seed Balls With Kids | Gardening Know How

How to Tell If a Pallet Is Safe to Use in The Garden | Preparedness Mama

Farmed Animal Sanctuaries: The Heart of The Movement? A Socio-Political Perspective | Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka

Updated on April 14, 2022

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