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Help a vegan teacher out?

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EmmaG89 EmmaG89 NSW Posts: 86
1 8 May 2013
After being inspired on Bleat by fellow vegans, I've decided to embark on a journey in which my students will be lovingly nudged in the direction of veganism and the truth about the world around them. I am going to start a blog (soon as I have a 4 week prac coming up) but what I want to start to develop, with help from you guys, is a tool kit of games, books, movies, resources that I can use with children that schools/omnivore parents can't get too upset about me using (for example showing Earthlings to kindy really isn't appropriate, but Chicken Run is!).

So what books or movies influenced your love of animals as a child? What games did you play that fostered these feelings, or help fostered enough self esteem to act on them? If there are any other teachers on here, how do you introduce animal rights into your classroom? I'm almost at the end of my degree, and now is the time for me to start getting my toolbox filled with this stuff.

So any ideas, comments etc, feel free to throw them my way! xx
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Kelsey1 MsDrago Kelsey1 MsDrago United States Posts: 818
2 8 May 2013
EmmaG89 said:
After being inspired on Bleat by fellow vegans, I've decided to embark on a journey in which my students will be lovingly nudged in the direction of veganism and the truth about the world around them. I am going to start a blog (soon as I have a 4 week prac coming up) but what I want to start to develop, with help from you guys, is a tool kit of games, books, movies, resources that I can use with children that schools/omnivore parents can't get too upset about me using (for example showing Earthlings to kindy really isn't appropriate, but Chicken Run is!).

So what books or movies influenced your love of animals as a child? What games did you play that fostered these feelings, or help fostered enough self esteem to act on them? If there are any other teachers on here, how do you introduce animal rights into your classroom? I'm almost at the end of my degree, and now is the time for me to start getting my toolbox filled with this stuff.

So any ideas, comments etc, feel free to throw them my way! xx
I have a lot of vegainsm books, but the one that got me interested in being a vegetarian was "50 ways kids can help animals!" by PETA.
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Deespark Deespark QLD Posts: 328
3 8 May 2013
There are plenty of animal movies. And books. I think they have a simple Charlottes Web book now for smaller kids. I used to watch the Babe movies a lot, which is probably where my love for pigs started.

Maybe get a class pet. You could rescue an animal and it could either live in the class or you bring it in. It would need to be suitable though, able to deal with kids, have a stable home that can't be destroyed by kids, and you'd need to actually want the animal. I'm usually against the whole class pet thing myself though.

Teaching them what a vegan is, bringing in yummy vegan goodies and explaining that it has no dairy or eggs (as long as the kids don't have allergies).

If there is any sort of farm like rescue place with animals near you, you could take the kids on a trip there one day. I remember when I was maybe 6 or 7 my class went on a trip to a strawberry farm. They also had a petting zoo with farm animals. They probably ate the animals but I didn't know at that age and I have fond memories of being chased for food by goats and patting pigs and chickens.


But I have no idea, I'm not a teacher haha
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EmmaG89 EmmaG89 NSW Posts: 86
4 9 May 2013
Thanks for replying!

I'm definitely going to try and get them out to a farm sanctuary, and a real farm if I can, so they can see and compare the two. I think it's important for them to find their own understanding, and I can just help supply the options for them.

I'm hesitant about a class pet, only because they would have to be confined in a tiny space and as I work with special needs children (at the moment behavioural specifically) sometimes they can become quite aggressive or over excited, so it might not be safe for them.

I'll look into the Charlott's Web book! Sounds good!
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BFV BFV SA Posts: 138
5 9 May 2013
I loved the movie Fern Gully as a kid.
It's mainly an environmental message, but one of the characters is a bat who has escaped from an animal research facility & is terrified of humans. He sings a song about his experience with vivisection, but it might be lost on very young children.
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EmmaG89 EmmaG89 NSW Posts: 86
7 9 May 2013
I completely agree with you. I believe that if you can get respect, and expose children to the different kinds of animals, they will draw a connection themselves between animals that are friends and animals that are food.

Diet will only be touched on during science sustainability lessons where global warming, and famine are taught about. This is an easy connection to make and memorable for children to learn because of the methane gas coming from cows butts issue. (Why do kids find farts entertaining???) So the lesson wouldn't so much be about being a vegan, but cutting down consumption of meat. We could look at deforestation (palm oil), biodiversity in the ocean (introduce the issues of fishing), and in politics look at the power of non-government organisations such as Sea Shepard, AA, Edgars Mission etc.

I think that there are going to be so many ways to work this into learning, I just have to be a bit inspired and think about it.

PS. Fern Gully ROCKS!!!
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Ariadne Ariadne SA Posts: 148
8 9 May 2013
Some kids books I love:

"And that's why we don't eat animals" by Ruby Roth

"Black Beauty" and anything else by Anna Sewell, her books more than anything got me interested in animal welfare/rights when I was a kid.

Also... pig

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/3838.Vegetarian_Vegan_Friendly_Books_for_Kids

http://sapln.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/marion/search/results?qu=animal+welfare+juvenile

http://sapln.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/marion/search/results?qu=animal+rights+juvenile&te=

http://sapln.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/marion/search/results?qu=vegetarianism+juvenile&te=

the last link has some vegan material in it, but I found more searching on vegetarianism (I hope the links all work!)
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sophxx sophxx NSW Posts: 169
9 9 May 2013
I wouldn't use anything by PETA or that mentions vegetarianism/veganism. That's far too outright and the parents and school would be angry. And I certainly wouldn't be taking them to a farm.

Rather than trying to convert them, how about fostering a love for animals? Charlotte's Web is a great book for this. Other books about not leaving your dogs at home for a long time are good too. Maybe an in-class activity about researching an endangered animal. Hatching chickens was always a big thing of mine but that's not an option for obvious reasons.

As you suggested, Chicken run is a great movie for this. Another would be Finding Nemo - I loved it!
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Showbags Showbags QLD Posts: 162
10 9 May 2013
The school I work at often gets little chicks from the local chicken place (probably factory farm) and the class have to take turns looking after them or something like that. After a certain period they come and pick them up (ready for a life of misery and death).

Not sure if that is an option you could take. All the while you can be subtly dropping hints to them haha.

Its a sad world we live in that teachers like yourself aren't allowed to teach compassion and caring to young kids for animals. The only hope for Veganism in the future is for us to reach the next generation of kids before they have the status quo of animal abuse drilled into their heads.
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