All About Animals: Primary Teachers: Good or Bad, Happy or Sad?

How does this fit into the curriculum? Pupils should be taught to represent observations, ideas and feelings (2c) and to review what they and others have done in order to form their own opinions (3a).

Teachers’ Note: Read the following passage about animals in zoos to your pupils and ask them what they think. Hold a brief discussion on the issues or ask pupils to consider different points of view and represent their own opinions by creating pictures. Is it good or bad to keep animals in zoos? Are animals in zoos happy or sad? Display the pictures and ask students what they can tell about the creator of each picture. How does he or she feel about zoos? How does the picture represent those views? Some people think it’s good to keep animals in zoos; others disagree.

Good: Zoos are entertaining. Everybody loves going to the zoo and seeing animals. It’s great fun!
Bad: People might like seeing animals, but that doesn’t mean that animals like to be seen. Animals belong in the wild.

Good: Animals in zoos never go hungry.
Bad: Animals in zoos are not usually fed a natural diet. Besides, there is more to being happy and healthy than having a full tummy!

Good: Animals who are born in zoos don’t know any other life. They have never been in the wild.
Bad: If you took a human baby and put him or her in a zoo, the baby wouldn’t know any better either … but it would still be wrong.

Good: Animals in zoos are cared for, safe and well-fed.
Bad: Animals would rather be free in their natural habitats than “safe” in zoos. Plus, animals in zoos often die when they are still young.

Good: Animals in zoos have absolutely nothing to worry about – what a great life!
Bad: Many animals in zoos go crazy because they are so unhappy and bored. They pace up and down, lick the bars of their cages constantly and rock to and fro.

How do you feel about keeping animals in zoos? Is it OK to use animals for our own fun? Are animals in zoos happy? Using whatever materials you like, create a picture to show how you feel about animals in zoos.