Small Animal Care Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan may be used to help your students learn how to care for small animals. Further, students will determine whether a rabbit, hamster, or guinea pig will make the best classroom pet and possibly care for that pet.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Describe how to care for pet rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs
  • Identify the equipment that a small animal will need to thrive
  • Select the best small animal for the classroom setting

Time Length

90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.


Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

Lesson Instructions and Activities


Students will be able to describe the following terms related to small animal care:

  • burrow
  • cage
  • commercial pellets
  • den
  • dormant sleep
  • exercise wheel
  • grooming mitt
  • harness
  • hutch
  • infestation
  • next box
  • litter box
  • molting
  • nocturnal
  • rodent
  • scruff
  • socialized
  • stress
  • styptic powder
  • water bottle


  • Copies of Rabbits: The Key to Understanding Your Rabbit by Virginia Parker Guidry
  • Copies of Hamsters: The Ultimate Pocket Pet by Virginia Parker Guidry
  • Copies of Guinea Pigs: Practical Advice for Caring for Your Guinea Pig by Virginia Parker Guidry
  • Pictures or examples of vocabulary words
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Sticky notes

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