Good Pet, Bad Pet by Elizabeth Schleichert

Teacher Guide by Elizabeth Pedro

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Good Pet, Bad Pet Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Good Pet, Bad Pet Include:

“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.

Good Pet, Bad Pet Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

"Good Pet, Bad Pet" | Informational Text Summary

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.

Summarizing "Good Pet, Bad Pet" - Owning a Dog


  • best friend
  • variety of sizes/breeds
  • lives 8-16 years


  • time consuming
  • may not like kids
  • may shed and smell
  • may bark or bite


  • dogs need a lot of exercise
  • puppies need to be housebroken and trained
  • they need to be fed and groomed daily


  • purebreds are between $500 and $1000
  • accessories cost $250
  • shots cost $150-$500
  • yearly cost is $300 or more

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Key Vocabulary in "Good Pet, Bad Pet"

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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."
  • Examples: banned, outlawed, prohibited, unlawful
  • Non-examples: legal, ethical, lawful, permitted

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a Frayer Model for one of the vocabulary words from "Good Pet, Bad Pet".

  1. Choose a vocabulary word and type it into the center title box.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary and enter it into the description box under Definition.
  3. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the Definition cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  4. Think of at least three characteristics that help expand the meaning beyond the definition.
  5. Provide written and visual examples of the word.
  6. Provide written and visual non-examples of the word.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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Compare/Contrast Pets

In this activity students will compare and contrast three possible pets and identify the pros and cons of each one. This example compares: dogs, small birds, and monkeys.

DogsDogs require great effort, time, and money; there are many rewards to having a dog, but owner must be responsible and serious about owning one.
BirdsBirds are a good first pet; they are small, like to cuddle, and are cheaper than dogs, but they do require time for play and cleaning.
MonkeysBirds are dangerous and very expensive; they may carry diseases and are often taken illegally from the wild.

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Integrating Texts

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."
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Using Text Evidence

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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:

  1. Fish are beautiful and easy to take care of; these pets are a good choice for kids of any age.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that answers the prompt using at least three examples from Good Pet, Bad Pet. Click on "Add Cells" to change the number of examples.

  1. Type the question into the central black box.
  2. Type a response to the question in your own words in the title box.
  3. Think about examples from the text that support your answer.
  4. Type text evidence in the description boxes. Paraphrase or quote directly from the text.
  5. Illustrate each example using scenes, characters, items, etc.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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A Quick Synopsis of "Good Pet, Bad Pet"

“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"

  1. How does this text’s structure help readers?
  2. Is it important to inform people about pets before getting one? Why or why not?

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•   (English) Good Pet, Bad Pet   •   (Español) Buena Mascota, Mala Mascota   •   (Français) Bon Animal de Compagnie, Mauvais Animal de Compagnie   •   (Deutsch) Gutes Haustier, Schlechtes Haustier   •   (Italiana) Buon Animale Domestico, Bad Pet   •   (Nederlands) Goed Pet, Bad Pet   •   (Português) Bom Animal de Estimação, mau Animal de Estimação   •   (עברית) Pet טוב, כולל חיות רעות   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) جيدة الحيوانات الأليفة، والحيوانات الأليفة سيئ   •   (हिन्दी) अच्छा पालतू, बुरा पालतू   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Хороший Питомец   •   (Dansk) God Pet, Bad Kæledyr   •   (Svenska) Bra Pet, Bad Pet   •   (Suomi) Hyvä Pet, Bad Pet   •   (Norsk) God Pet, Bad Pet   •   (Türkçe) İyi Pet, Kötü Pet   •   (Polski) Dobry Pet, Bad Pet   •   (Româna) Bun Pet, Bad Pet   •   (Ceština) Dobrý Mazlíček, Špatný Mazlíček   •   (Slovenský) Dobrý Domáci Maznáčik, zlé Pet   •   (Magyar) Jó Pet, Bad Pet   •   (Hrvatski) Dobar Kućni Ljubimac, loš Kućni Ljubimac   •   (български) Добър Домашен Любимец, Лошо Домашно   •   (Lietuvos) Geras Tinka Bad Gyvūną   •   (Slovenščina) Dobro Pet, Bad Pet   •   (Latvijas) Laba Pet, Bad Pet   •   (eesti) Hea Pet, Bad Pet