Lesson Plan Suggestions » Reception Year (Ages 4 - 5) » Reception Year - Initial session

This is a series of sequential activities to initiate the project. It should be covered over two or three sessions in a fairly short space of time i.e. over a period of a week and ideally not less than a fortnight, in order to maintain momentum and interest for young children.

It should be followed with the enrichment activities over the ensuing weeks to reinforce and explore the messages on the CD

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

1. Pre-lesson on being healthy and happy

SEAL posters, pictures, resources about health, well being, people who help us in our everyday lives

2. Read ‘Dear Zoo’ as introduction to a concept of an ideal pet.

Ask children if they have any pets? Use the activity Circle time to discuss the children’s pets and their needs.

YR Circle Time_st_en from Blue Dog on Vimeo.

(NB these video clips are only examples of what the activity i.e. ‘circle time’ look like, and may not be an example of the actual discussion might be)Share photos, drawings children may have brought in.

Talk to the children about their basic likes and dislikes; draw pictures and make lists.
What do the children need to be healthy and happy? Begin to relate this to pets.

Give the children opportunity to paint, collage or draw their real or ideal pet. Use their pictures and photos as background to a table top display of items related to animal pets, label with speech bubbles ‘My cat likes to play with…. ‘My dog wears a collar because ….’ ‘My hamster likes this bowl to…’

3. What does a dog need?

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. E.g. what kind of food and drink do dogs need, exercise - walk, ill - vets, love etc.
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.

YR Brainstorming_st_en from Blue Dog on Vimeo.

Set up display table or wall about the children’s pets and talk about them. Do the children help to care for their pets and what do they need?

4. Circle time on behaviours

Human behaviour scenarios – give children some small treat to eat and get another child to pretend to snatch this – how do the children feel, another child pretending to be ill and another child pulls at them to come and play What solutions do the children come up with and who, how might they involve adult help. Adult take photos of the scenarios and help children to decide on labels for these ‘I like it when….’ ‘I don’t like it when…’

5. Introduce Blue Dog puppet

What do we think he needs and how does he feel when he is eating, not well etc Then introduce book and CD – pick out a couple of the teaching points as main features or concepts to get across to the children.

6. Look at Blue dog behaviours






Use Blue dog costume and re enact scenarios and relate to previous lesson. Teacher to take photos of these scenarios – compare with human behaviours and add further speech bubbles to the display for discussion and reinforcement

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.

Scenario 1: Choose option ‘Teddy’. Turn to page 24
Talk through scenario why Blue growls when Sarah reaches for her teddy near where Blue is eating his bone – follow guide.

Scenario 2 Simon tries to take his toy out of Blues mouth – follow guide page 26 (link to pdf online?)
Explain how to manipulate the program and that we will be exploring different aspects of this project over the coming weeks – NB at the end of the project the CD Rom may be made available for the children to use independently, but the adult should guide the children through the scenarios initially and explain what the correct behaviours are to use around any dog, including those in the family home.


What have we learnt from Blue about how to behave around dogs so far?
E.g. warning signs
showing teeth, growling
to ask a parent for help
how dogs might feel
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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In this lesson you will learn

To understand what a pet is
To understand a dog’s needs




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