Lesson Plan Suggestions » Reception Year (Ages 4 - 5) » Reception Year - lesson 1


(Prior to lesson – send out letter asking children to bring in a photo or drawing of their family pet).

Read ‘Dear zoo’ as introduction to a concept of an ideal pet. Ask children if they have any pets? Circle time - Share photos, drawings children may have brought in.

Set up display table or wall about the children’s pets and talk about them.
Use a small soft toy dog as class pet. Think of a name and then brainstorm with children what the class pet needs to be looked after properly.Just for example:

  • What name would you give your pet?
  • What kind of food and drink do dogs need?
  •  What else does a dog need in order to feel happy (walks, exercise, etc)?
  • What does he need to do when he is ill?

Possibly children could take it in turns to take this toy pet home for the weekends, they could create a diary showing in words, photos or pictures of what the dog did with the family over the weekend.
Talk to the children about their basic likes and dislikes, draw pictures and make lists.

Then introduce the CD ROM ‘The Blue Dog’.

We are going to watch a programme about Blue the dog. He lives in a house with Simon, Sarah, their parents and Tommy the cat. He is going to teach us about how to behave with pet dogs.

  • In the Blue Dog parent guide , select the ‘Teddy’ story on page 24 or download this page from the materials. Talk through scenario why Blue growls when Sarah reaches for her teddy near where Blue is eating his bone.

  • In the Blue Dog parent guide , select the ‘Teddy’ story on page 26 or download this page from the materials.  Simon tries to take his toy out of Blue's mouth. The story explains why Blue will not let go of the rabbit.


What have we learnt from Blue about how to behave around dogs so far?
E.g. - What are the dog's warning signs? ( showing teeth, growling)
      - When should you ask a grown up for help?
      -  How might dogs feel?
      - What kind of food and toys are special to dogs?

ICT (Extra materials)

In the downloads you will find

  • Pictures for colouring






  • Shapes to make animals

  • Animal picture cards for games

Example 1: Understanding what a pet is.
Identifying the animal.
Which one is the ideal pet?
Match the animal with the right home.




Example 2:
Understanding the needs of a dog.
What kind of food does Blue need?
What objects does Blue need?
What things do children need?






The children's corner can be used as an interactive tool:

Daan's Zoo
In the Zoo, there are different animals. Look for the ideal pet!

How to play the game:

When an animal appears, pass the computer mouse over the squares and match the one showing the correct colour and animal noise.




Tiny's Kids
In the game Tiny's Kids, there are pet and wild animals. Have a look ...

In this game, Tiny's kids are looking for their mum. All kids look different.

Match the right mum and kids.

See how happy the kids are when they find their mum. Listen to mum singing a lullaby.

Blue is thirsty
Blue lives in a nice confortable home. Right now, Blue is thirsty and looking for a drink. Can you help Blue to find the right water to drink?

Click on the different places that contain water.
Many are not suitable for drinking. Can you help Blue find the one place where the water is for drinking.

Use this game to help talk about a dog's needs.




Blue is hungry
Blue is hungry and he goes to the shop with his owner. There are many things for sale: some a good for Blue to eat but others are not. Can you help Blue find the food that is good for him?

Click on the different things on the shelves. The wrong things will give him a tummy ache, but the right food will make him happy.





Blue at the vet
Blue is feeling not very well and his owner has taken him to the vet. See Blue sitting on the vet's table looking sick and a bit scared.

Ask the children to help the vet by clicking on the objects along the bottom.






Blue at the toy shop

Blue is in the toy shop and he is looking for new toys to put in his basket.

Can you help Blue to pick the toys that are best for him?
How does Blue feel when he gets a toy in his basket?

(If he pics a child's toy, it jumps back on to the shelf)





Do the children understand what a pet is?
Do children understand what a dog needs?


Lesson notes for evaluation of project / evidence / resource list





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