“Good Pet, Bad Pet” by Elizabeth Schleichert is an informational text about possible pets and the pros and cons of owning them. The text examines the differences between owning certain animals, including caring for them and feeding them! These student activities make great lesson plans for elementary school teachers.
By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!
A Quick Synopsis of "Good Pet, Bad Pet" (Contains Spoilers)
“Good Pet, Bad Pet” begins by introducing the purpose of the text - to provide information about pets that will help those interested in owning one, make the best choice. Elizabeth Schleichert advises performing a number of tasks prior to making a decision: talking to others who own the pet already; reading books about the pet; talking to a veterinarian; and checking and make sure nobody in the household is allergic.
A key is provided to identify the cost of the pet in terms of both time and money. A list of pets that are included in this article are: dogs, cats, small birds, fish, rodents, rabbits, other birds, ferrets, monkeys, reptiles and amphibians, insects, and other “found” wild animals.
Essential Questions for "Good Pet, Bad Pet"
How does this text’s structure help readers?
Is it important to inform people about pets before getting one? Why or why not?
Good Pet, Bad Pet Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers
[ELA-Literacy/RI/4/2] Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
In this activity, students synthesize and summarize the text. Students’ work should reflect their understanding of the pros and cons of each pet, as well as the cost and time commitment. This exercise is crucial when preparing for related persuasive writing assignments.
In this activity, students demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words using a Frayer Model. After choosing a word, students provide a definition, characteristics, examples (synonyms), and non-examples (antonyms) of the word. Students may be provided the vocabulary words, or they can use words that they have discovered through their reading of the text.
Example for the Word “ILLEGAL”
Definition: forbidden by law or statute
Characteristics: Monkeys "can carry deadly diseases, and many are taken illegally from the wild."
[ELA-Literacy/RI/4/9] Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
In this activity, students will read several nonfiction texts around a similar topic. They will compare, analyze, and synthesize the ideas in the texts and may draw new conclusions about the topic. In this example, students will have read “Good Pet, Bad Pet” and "Pit Bulls Overcrowd Chicago Animal Shelters".
Example of Integrating Texts with "Good Pet, Bad Pet"
“Good Pet, Bad Pet”
Purebred dogs cost $500-$1000. Adding in accessories and veterinary bills makes owning a dog very costly.
Dogs may be dangerous and need to be properly trained. They are also very expensive.
"Pit Bulls Overcrowd Chicago Animal Shelters"
"For those looking to own a pet, pit bulls are everywhere. They’re for sale on eBay for up to $1,000 each, at pet stores, in parking lots."
"Some owners have to give up the dogs after they bite someone. In other cases, owners say they lost their home or lost a job and can’t afford them. Pit bulls are not allowed in many apartments."
In this activity, students will be provided a question or prompt to answer using textual evidence. The prompt here is, “Your friend wants a pet, but has a baby brother. Which pet would be the best option and why?”
The three examples provided include:
Fish are beautiful and easy to take care of; these pets are a good choice for kids of any age.
Rodents, such as mice or gerbils, are cute and don't require a lot of space or time. They are friendly and can learn to do tricks.
Insects, such as crickets or grasshoppers, are safe for kids. They can be kept in a jar with holes poked in the top, but should be set free the next day.