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Animal Shelter Project Ideas

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

Students of all ages need the opportunity to practice active citizenship; part of this is participating in things that help the community. This article contains a list of ideas for how your students can do a service project with an animal shelter.

Why Animal Shelters?

Most communities have animal shelters, which are places where animals without a home live until they are adopted by a family. Animal shelters have many needs including: monetary donations, supplies, volunteers to play with and clean up after the animals, and publicity. Students of all ages are capable of contributing to the needs of an animal shelter in one way or another. In working with a shelter, students can learn valuable real-world skills like time management, money allocation, the value of hard work, and effective advertising. Students will also be presented with the opportunity to work on many skills within the curriculum including: persuasive and informative writing and basic math skills. Before beginning these projects, the teacher should reach out to a local animal shelter to see what the needs of the shelter are and collect basic information (hours of operation, website, animal types available for adoption, etc).

Advertising Creation

In this project, students will be creating an advertisement for a specific need at the animal shelter. Often times, animal shelters are looking for additional advertising, and may want to use a product created by your students. You can open this to only your class, but it works best when an entire grade level, school club, or subject gives the same assignment to all students. Once all students have completed the assignment, have students vote on the top three products to submit to the animal shelter to use. The element of competition helps drive students to create their best work! Specific needs that could be addressed in the advertisement include: adoption, supplies, money, volunteers to care for animals, etc. See below for how the project should be addressed in lower and upper grade levels.

  • Lower Grade Variation - Flyer: Students in lower grades should create a 1-page flyer on a sheet of copy paper. Students must include a title about the need they are addressing, the name, location and phone number of the animal shelter, an image and a one sentence explanation of why people should help. It is best to create an example for students to reference.
  • Upper Grade Variation - Brochure: Students in upper grades should create a trifold brochure on a piece of copy paper. This can be done on the computer or by hand. Ideas for the six sections of the brochure include: shelter information, needs of the shelter, how the shelter helps the community, a paragraph persuading people to help, a ''biography'' of an animal at the shelter, and student name/ class information. Students should be sure to make the brochures neat, colorful, and full of images.
  • Materials needed: copy paper, coloring materials

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