Our weekly assembly and ‘Shine a Light’ blog
National Pet Month - Animal Magic!
‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’
It’s been National Pet Month through April (it actually finishes on May 10). And in today’s ‘Hello Monday’ assembly we are looking at how much we can learn from animals.
We have been inundated with animal pictures from so many people across the country and have included them all. We love your animals; you are so lucky to have them. Thank you for sharing them with us. Animals can teach us so much about how we should behave as human beings.
Top 5 Picks of the week from Mrs Hart
1. 3D animals on Google!
Type the animal of your choice into google and click the ‘view in 3D’ button. You can see pandas, lions, tigers and even cheetahs! Bring these magnificent animals into your home. It really is simple. Open Google. Type in an animal e.g Penguin. Just beneath the Wikipedia result, you should see ‘Meet a life-sized animal up close’ box. Click ‘View in 3D’ and it will open up your camera with a picture of your chosen animal. Take a picture or film the animal in your house! ‘The Tiger who came to tea’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ with the wolf can be recreated in your very own films, stories and poems!
2. Virtual Zoos
Chester Zoo are inviting you to the zoo for the day! Live streaming with their brilliant zookeepers is simply incredible! ‘Awesome Aardvarks’, ‘Elephant pool party’ and ‘Lions Lunch’ are just a few examples I discovered on their YouTube channel. Sometimes when you go to the zoo you don’t always catch what the zookeepers are saying during their talks. Listen at your leisure to the zookeepers as they go about their daily business. There are animal fact file activities and animal masks to make. While you’re at it, why not hop like a kangaroo over to ‘San Diego Zoo live cams’ and then ‘Feeding time at Cincinnati Zoo’ on their Facebook page. They also take you on live ‘Home Safaris’ at 7pm (UK time) or watch footage posted on the Cincinnati Zoo website the next day.
3. National Geographic for Kids - Natgeokids.com
Take a trip to the icy Antarctic and learn all about Emperor Penguins. Did you know that without the warmth of the parents’ brood pouches, Emperor penguin chicks would die in just a few minutes in the freezing cold Antarctica? Find out why these birds are super divers! This site also gives top tips on conservation and lots of fascinating animals.
This popular website has a section dedicated to animals, which I loved simply because it made me smile! Discover pictures of the thirty happiest animals in the world and learn a little more about ‘Smiley’ the Golden Retriever dog, born without any eyes who becomes a therapy dog to help others. The dog who is always happy!
5. CBBC Newsround - bbc.co.uk/newsround
Fancy a video call with a llama?! Or even a camel? Find out how one man made this possible. BBC’s Newsround helps you to discover the latest news on animals from around the world. Funny videos, photos, facts and quizzes on many different species of animals.
Some of my favourites animal stories that I have read with children and created endless activities include:
- Badger’s parting gift. A story that teaches children about grief and losing a loved one. This is an incredible book about sharing memories of someone a child has sadly lost. Sensitively and beautifully written.
- War Horse. A story of courage, friendship and reuniting between Joey the courageous horse and Albert. How are you being strong in lockdown, isolated from your friends? What will you do when you all reunite?
- Charlotte’s Web. A fantastic tale of friendship and sacrifice. What have you had to sacrifice in lockdown that you appreciate now?
- Black Beauty. ‘Kindness to man and beast!’ Animal rights debates, reading comprehension activities and the beauty of horses. Write as though you are Black Beauty.
- The Fantastic Mr Fox! Limericks and alliteration. Discover animals and their senses. Create menus for all the animals and Mr Fox’s Fantastic Feast!
- Lion and the Mouse. Kindness is never wasted. Random acts of kindness in isolation. How are you making life easier for everyone in your family?
‘Animals are such agreeable friends -they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms’
In isolation, we have more time to bond with our animals than we normally would. Animals, such as dogs, love us unconditionally. You don’t have to prove anything to them and you don’t have to prove yourself to gain their love and friendship; they love you for who you are. We should show them the same loyalty, care and kindness. They do not expect a lot back. Find friends in your life who love you unconditionally.
Mrs Hart, Adviser to Child of Wales.