Yesterday, we were lucky enough to have an animal expert, Dr. Steve Gross, join our class to answer some questions about what it is like to work in an animal hospital. Here are a few of the questions they asked.
Where do you work?
What do you feed the animals?
How much do you work?
What do you do for the animals?
What kind of animals do you help?
What medicines do you give?
How do you give shots?
Do animals ever jump on you?
Do the animals get covered up with a blanket?
What room do the animals go in?
Do the animals have to stay over night?
We learned that veterinarians take care of animals in many of the same ways that doctors take care of people. They even use some of the same medicines. We also learned that animals hate shots just as much as we do, or possibly more! Animals also have specific doctors for checks ups, surgery, and can specialize in different parts of the body just like people doctors do. The biggest difference between animals and humans is that people can tell you what is wrong, while animals cannot. Sometimes it takes some investigating to find out what is wrong with the animal before they can be treated.
We also learned that some veterinarians work in a doctor’s office or emergency room while other vets do house calls. Vets will visit animals at their home if there are many animals that need checked, if the animal is too big to visit the office, or if the owner is not able to drive their pet to their check-up.
The excitement surrounding animals hospitals and veterinarians is continually growing. The students have discussed how they can take care of animals and have relished the opportunity to tell their own pet shenanigan stories. We are very excited to learn more about our furry (and sometimes not so furry) friends and those that take care of them.
Following many play scenarios involving pets, we decided to focus more directly on this topic. We began the study by creating a list of all of our favorite animals. (We tried to include some animals we didn’t love as much, too.) Next, each child helped sort the collection into two groups: Pets and Not Pets. After a lengthy discussion, it was concluded that some animals can be considered to be both. For instance, a fish can be a pet, but if you catch one in a pond, it is a wild fish and needs to be free in the pond. (Luckily, no one had recently eaten freshly caught fish, or I would have been having a completely different conversation.)
Each child then imagined what it would be like to have the pet of their dreams. Using a few prompts for help, the children answered such questions as: What does your pet like to eat? Where does it sleep? What does it like to do? The plan is to use these answers to create a book.
One of the conversations we heard in play centered around taking care of sick animals. We chose to revisit their beloved potion making station and create medicinal potions for sick pets. We took this activity one step further this time, building off of our previous week’s introduction to recipes.
Mystery Project on Wednesday provided the children with a chance to design their own pet using random art supplies. Watching them plan, glue, change, re-glue, demolish, and recreate a variety of animals was almost as much fun as making them ourselves.
Of course, once you have a pet, you need to have someplace for it to live.
And we can’t forget that we’ll need someplace to shop for all of our pets’ needs. Our simple cardboard pet shop was instantly transformed with tables, beds, more cages and kennels, food dishes, decorations and a large selection of aquariums.