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January 24, 2011

Combat Cruelty: Be a Mentor

Teach kids to be kind to animals

Talk to an elementary school class about the importance of being kind to animals and what they can do about animal cruelty.

1. Ask teachers you know if you could talk to their class, or contact a school’s main office. Explain who you are and that you would like to give a presentation on what kids can do about animal cruelty. Set up a date and time that works for you and the class. 

2. Put together a brief presentation, about 15 to 20 minutes, using basic points you learned. Practice your presentation in front of friends or relatives. (For more in-depth help, sign up for Make Your Voice Heard, our free online course about creating effective and engaging presentations.) Before the day of your talk, go over your points with the class's teacher to make sure it’s age-appropriate. 

In your presentation, be sure to emphasize that children should never try to help an abused animal or confront an abuser on their own. They should always ask a trusted adult, such as a parent, teacher, school counselor, or police officer, for help.

3. For materials you can hand out to students, see our tips for elementary school kids and teens and the “What would you do if you saw someone hurting an animal?”, which you can fill out beforehand with phone numbers for the local police department, animal care and control officer or animal shelter, and a wildlife hotline or rehabilitator.

If you're planning to talk to students in 4th grade or younger, contact us for a free copy of our What Is Animal Cruelty? And What Can You Do About It? coloring book. You can read aloud from this and make copies of the pages to hand out. Make sure you have all the materials you’ll need for each student beforehand. You can also give information to the teacher about spotting signs of animal abuse.

One fun way to wrap up your talk is to hand out our Junior Animal Care Agent badge to each student (right-click the link and select "Save Target As" to download the badge to your computer). Tell each of them that they can be a junior animal care agent and help stop cruelty where they live.

4. Before you leave the students, ask them to fill out a survey, including questions like: What did you learn today? When it comes to animals, will you do anything differently from now on? If so, what? What was your favorite part of this lesson?

Go back to main Combat Cruelty project page

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