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Inter-disciplinary units of learning

The cost of having a companion animal 

Years: 2-6


Often, the match between a companion animal and a family is not successful if emotions are the primary factor involved when choosing an animal. Consideration of the cost and time involved in companion animal guardianship are usually overlooked during spontaneous adoptions or purchases, and in some cases, the companion animal ends up being given away, ignored or neglected.

In this inquiry unit students use online tools to learn about the costs of owning a pet whilst developing their numeracy skills; carrying out simple calculations and budgeting...

Project: Animal Wellbeing (PAW)

Years: 1-6



The construct of wellbeing describes a sense of satisfaction, happiness, effective social functioning and spiritual health, and dispositions of optimism, openness, curiosity and resilience. Students are introduced to the concept of animal sentience and explore the five freedoms, learning about what animals need to stay healthy and happy. Students will learn that animals have needs just like humans, and that these needs include food, water, companionship, a suitable place to live, being looked after by a vet if they are ill, and the freedom to express normal behaviour. Students then design their own holistic health models illustrating the dimensions of animal well-being.

Companion animal product designers

Years: Rec - 6 


In this rewarding, values based challenge students become ‘pet product designers’ assigned the task of designing, producing, trialling and evaluating a  product that makes life better for their own companion animal/s or animal/s at their local RSPCA.

The companion animal product will need to help to provide the selected animal(s) with at least one of the five freedoms. Students will have to research the five freedoms and the needs of the specific animal(s) they wish to create a product for. Using their research to inform their product design, students will complete a design brief...

Game makers

Years: 1-6


Students become ‘board game manufacturers’ who have been assigned the task of designing, producing, trialing and evaluating a board game that will help people learn key animal care messages, in a fun and interesting way.

Students will need to research an area of animal care to base their game, complete a design brief, create a game board, make any playing pieces that are needed and write the playing instructions. They may work alone or in a small group. Before starting their board game, students will need to engage in research activities...

A Voice for the Animals

Years: 3 - 8


Advertising is a powerful part of our culture; catch phrases and references to popular commercials often end up in our daily dialogue. The short, dramatic presentations of persuasive language and imagery of effective advertising campaigns have the power to influence peoples’ attitudes and behaviour. In this unit students explore and investigate an animal welfare issue or concern.


Writers' Corner

Describe it

Years: 1-6


Animal welfare is an authentic context for students to develop their writing skills and understandings of procedural writing purposes and processes. Each of the learning experiences (lessons) lead to the creation of a product that links with at least one of the five freedoms.

On completion of the product, students then write the instructions for how it was created. Students must consider audience, purpose, context, length, and complexity – plus the specific content of the instructions, such as the steps in caring for a kitten...

Recount it

Years: 2-8

The daily actions of every one of us, directly and indirectly affect animals and their welfare. Consequently, there are a vast degree of viewpoints, social and ethical dilemmas surrounding animal welfare. Such a context will encourage students to see their writing as meaningful and a useful way to express their opinions, feelings, needs and desires.