K-2 (could be adapted to older students)
Findlay City Schools (Bigelow/Northview), Findlay, OH
AUTHOR OF LESSON:
Emily Fackler, School Counselor
Students will learn boundaries and rules about meeting dogs, especially their School Therapy Dog.
Students will be able to say the safety rules for being around their School Therapy Dog and also other dogs they may not know.
Therapy dog, scarf/vest, toys, dog treats
Handler will set up appropriate boundaries and rules with each class when dealing with Clover.
Handler will introduce Clover and how to behave when they see Clover entering the classroom. (Students should be quiet and pretend Clover and the handler are invisible.) Enter the classroom with Clover several times so that students can practice being quiet and pretending they don’t see the dog and handler.
Next the handler will talk about how students should behave in the hallway when Clover is passing them. (They should keep hands to themselves and make a silent wave with their thumb or their hand.) Practice this with the students, either in the hallway or in the classroom.
Students will review certain rules about petting Clover and giving her treats or toys. Students will practice letting Clover sniff their hands and petting her from her head/shoulders down her back. The handler will tell children that they are never to give Clover a treat without having permission from the adult with her. They will practice having a “flat hand” when they are allowed to give her a treat. They also will learn that they are not to bring any treats or toys from home for Clover. All treats will be provided only by the handler. The handler will also talk about never taking a toy or food from any dog’s mouth. Any dog or pet should be treated exactly the way you would want to be treated.
Ask, “Why should we always be cautious around a dog we do not know?” Answers will vary. (Dog could be lost and scared, dog could be afraid of strangers, dog could attack, etc.) Ask, “What could you do if you saw a dog that looked like it needed help?” (Answers will vary but could include tell an adult, don’t approach it on your own, etc.)
During the lesson, watch for students who seem to struggle with showing kind behavior or understanding safety issues with animals. Talk with them individually if you feel they need reinforcement.
Have students say the basic safety rules for being around dogs, in general. Have them also say how they need to behave around Clover who is at school every day.
For a Printable PDF of this Lesson Plan, download this file: AP-LessonPlan-Dog Safety
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