Resources for Teachers and Classroom Presenters
The United Federation of Teachers’ Humane Education Committee (UFT/HEC) was formed in April 1989. Since that time, it has offered conferences and workshops for teachers at all levels – in grades pre-K to 12 – as well as science and essay contests for students. The goal is to help educators bring humane, environmental and animal-rights philosophies and materials into their classrooms as a source of information for discussion and debate and to help both educators and students better understand how their daily choices affect the environment, animals and other people.
UFT/HEC offers teacher training workshops, lesson plans and other resources designed to assist educators in developing classroom programs dealing with a wide variety of topics including: companion animals; “wild” or free-roaming animals; the use of animals in education or research and alternatives to this practice; farmed animals; nutrition emphasizing plant-based food choices; environmental and human rights issues; a healthy, compassionate lifestyle; and the relationship between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans.
Humane education materials are readily blended with reading, writing, science, music and art programs. During the school year, the committee also offers essay and humane science contests for elementary, middle and high school students.
As an example of resources available through UFT, the following website contains activities, lesson plans, and discussions on many animal and environment-related topics: Humane Education Resource Guide. It is a 171-page resource compendium created by the UFT with the ASPCA and HEART (Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers) with contributions from several animal welfare groups as well.
The Humane Education Resource Guide is very comprehensive with many humane education topics appropriate for grades K – 6, and is a particularly convenient resource for teachers with time limits who want to try adding some humane education discussions into their classrooms.
Humane Education Resource Guide LESSONS
Companion Animal Issues
|Animals and Humans Have Similar Basic Needs (Grades Pre-K – 1)||✓||✓||✓|
|Companion Animal Care: Fostering a Responsible Attitude to Guardianship||✓||✓||✓|
2 levels: K-2, 3-5
|Animal Shelters in Society||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Laws That Protect Animals|
|Pigeons in the City||✓||✓||✓|
|Animals in Our Urban Environment||✓||✓||✓|
|Wild Animals Do Not Make Good Pets||✓||✓||✓|
|Monkeys and Apes||✓||✓||✓|
|Why Are They Endangered||✓||✓||✓|
|Bird Observation Experiment||✓||✓||✓|
|Bird Watching as an Alternative to Chick Hatching||✓||✓||✓|
|Animals in Entertainment||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|A Whale’s Stomach||✓||✓||✓|
Farmed Animals and Food Issues
|Exploring Good Food Habits||✓||✓|
|Studying Human Nutrition||✓|
|Farm Sanctuary Selection|
|New York Coalition for Healthy Food Choices|