Teller Elementary School: Challenge Project Pets The Challenge Project is an optional activity for students who want to extend their learning experiences, to work beyond the classroom requirements, and/or to explore alternative topics



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Teller Elementary School: Challenge Project
Pets
The Challenge Project is an optional activity for students who want to extend their learning experiences, to work beyond the classroom requirements, and/or to explore alternative topics. Families may need to lend support, encouragement, and assistance at home. The Challenge Projects are organized by Ms. Bass, Teller’s GT Specialist.



  1. Pick an animal that you would like to have [realistically] as a pet or that you would like to learn more about. If the animal that you pick has numerous breeds or types, be specific with your choice. For example, instead of picking a dog, pick a specific breed, such as an English bull dog.




  1. Research that animal breed or type, and make a chart of the pros and cons of owning that pet. Consider:



  • Who will take care of the pet daily?

  • How much will it cost to adopt or buy the pet?

  • How much will veterinary visits cost?

  • How much will a license cost?

  • What will we feed the pet? How much will that cost?

  • Where will we keep the pet where it will have enough space that it is safe and secure? Is that another cost?

  • Do we need to train the pet? How much will that cost?

  • What else might the pet need?




  1. If you cannot decide between pets, make a chart of the pros and cons of owning each animal. For example, which would be better for your family, a dog or a fish? A tarantula or a hamster? A ferret or a parrot?




  1. Analyze your research and make a decision on which would be the best pet. Either write (or have someone help you write) a paragraph about your choice, or write a persuasive letter to your parent or teacher telling why that pet would be ideal for home or school.

Do one or more additional projects about pets.


  1. You might want to interview a veterinarian asking for his/her professional opinion about your pet ideas. Be ready with questions before your interview.




  1. Create a first aid kit for the pet you have chosen. Consult a veterinarian about the items you should have in case this pet is injured or poisoned.




  1. Some parents might want you to have experience before you own a pet. Talk to them about volunteering at an animal shelter.




  1. You might want to start a business related to pets. If so, get help developing a business plan, advertising, and /or developing products:






  1. Let’s look at logistics:

  • Who will take care of the pet daily? Create a written plan detailing feeding, exercising, playing, cleaning, etc.

  • How much will this pet cost? Create a spreadsheet detailing as many costs as you can think of. Here are a few to include:

      • Initial cost

      • Vet bills

      • License

      • Food

      • Training

      • Equipment (halter, leash, litter pan, dog house, aquarium, hot rock, cage, kennel, fish bowl, saddle, bird cage, etc.)

      • Care when you are away

  • Where will you keep the pet so that it will have enough space and is safe and secure? Draw a floor plan.

  1. Consider the behavior and background of the animal [or its ancestors]. Learn the natural differences between herd animals and pack animals. Consider the differences in behavior of animals that are naturally “prey” versus those which are naturally “predators.” Which behaviors are normal animal behaviors versus those that develop when an animal is stressed or sick?




  1. Some people would like to keep wild and/or endangered animals as pets. Research this topic and determine if this is acceptable or unacceptable, legal or illegal, and humane or inhumane.




  1. Is your pet bred and trained for work? If so, research the breeding and training of dogs (search and rescue, police, therapy, etc.) and horses (police, race, draft, etc.).



  1. Make a timeline of the evolution of the animal that you’ve chosen as a pet. Include illustrations.



  1. Get or draw an illustration of the animal that you’ve chosen to study. Label its external parts. You might also want to include an internal illustration with its skeletal system (if it has an endoskeleton). Label the main bones. How is the animal’s anatomy suited for survival or suited for the work it has done throughout history and/or does now?

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