Classroom programs and workshops

Kids sitting in circle learning about AHS

Learn more about location capacity for onsite programs, scheduling a classroom visit, program fees, discounts and more.

Our classroom programs offer interactive, educational presentations about specific subjects in animal welfare, and can be provided offsite or at any one of our five locations. Presentations are tailored to the audience’s age level and interests and are available to groups of any kind, including schools, clubs, home school groups, and community organizations.

All programs are 45-60 minutes unless otherwise specified. Offsite classroom programs require presentation space, a small table for materials, and a screen for a PowerPoint presentation.  Max classroom size is 50 students, unless noted.

While some programs include an appearance by a small animal companion (small mammals only, such as guinea pigs, rabbits, or domestic rats), participants should not expect significant animal contact as part of these presentations.

August is fully booked for shelter tours and programs.

Program descriptions

Furry Tales (Ages 3-5)

Our popular story time taken on the road! Perfect for daycare centers, our humane educators travel to you and read an animal related story book. We'll read the story aloud, engage students in games and activities geared to their age level, and teach gentle animal petting skills. Students will practice their learned skills on visiting guinea pigs.

Max group size for this program is 20 students.

Length: Approximately 45 minutes
Program fee: $50

The Good Kind Giant (Grades K-1)

This story-telling program features a giant who acquires a pet boy, but doesn’t understand the needs of a human child. Through the story, students gain greater understanding of compassion toward pets by learning about the importance of proper habitat and care.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science: 1.4.2.1.1, 1.4.2.1.2
Language Arts: 0.8.1.1 (c), 0.10.5.5 (d), 0.10.6.6, 1.10.6.6
Social Studies: 0.3.2.3.1, 0.4.1.1.1

Length: Approximately 45 minutes

My Pet Needs to Know (Grades 2-3)

This program shows students that just as they have needs, so do their pets. Students will work in small groups, using a variety of pet care items, and learn the nine basic needs that all pets share.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science: 2.2.1.1.1, 3.1.1.2.1
Language Arts: 2.8.1.1 (d), 3.8.1.1

Length: Approximately one hour

Understanding Pet Language (Grades 4-5)

This program teaches students basic information about the many ways that animals (and people) communicate their needs and emotions. Understanding what an animal is saying increases empathy and respect and can also keep children safe. Students will use their observational skills to interpret animal body language and vocalizations.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science: 5.1.1.1.3
Language Arts: 4.8.1.1, 5.8.1.1

Length: Approximately one hour

Urban Wildlife (Grades 6-7)

From rabbits and birds in our yard, to deer and turtles in the park, wild animals have adapted to living in urban environments and coexisting with humans. This program reviews the rewards and challenges (for humans and animals) that result from living together and interacting so closely. Students will gain a new understanding of how we can benefit from having a strong wildlife population around us.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science: 6.1.3.4.1, 7.4.2.1.1, 7.4.2.2.2, 7.4.3.2.3, 7.4.4.1.2
Language Arts: 6.1.1.1.1

Length: Approximately one hour

Pet University (Grades 6-7)

Students attending Pet University explore a series of hands-on activity stations that reinforce concepts in pet care and animal welfare. Topics include veterinary care, pet costs, pet grooming, pet perspectives, animal cruelty, and animal careers. Pet University is only offered at AHS locations.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science: 6.1.2.1.2, 7.1.1.2.4, 7.4.3.2.3, 7.4.4.1.2
Language Arts: 6.9.2.2, 7.9.2.2

Length: Approximately 1.5 hours

Endangered Species (Grades 6-7)

What is an endangered species? This program explores the definition of “endangered,” what it means for an animal species to be at risk, why animals become endangered, and what we can do about it. It also features items from the Suitcase for Survival, a collection of poached and wildlife trade items that illustrate the role humans play in endangering animal species.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science: 7.4.2.2.2, 7.4.3.2.4, 7.4.4.1.2
Language Arts: 6.9.1.1 (c), 6.9.2.2, 7.9.1.1(c), 7.9.2.2
Social Studies: 6.1.1.1.1

Length: Approximately 1 hour

Animal Related Careers (Grades 8-12)

This program helps students explore a variety of animal-related careers, including the veterinary field, shelter work, animal behavior and more. Students will discuss the benefits and challenges of these careers and learn more about the training and education required to pursue them.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science: 9.1.3.2.2, 9.1.3.3.1
Language Arts: 8.9.1.1 (d)
Social Studies: 8.1.1.1.1, 9.2.2.2.1

Length: Approximately 1 hour

Anti-Dogfighting Workshop (Grades 8-12)

Our Anti-Dogfighting Workshop uses group dynamics to initiate a debate among students about their thoughts and experiences regarding dogfighting. Each workshop includes five steps that lead students through a process of questioning, knowledge building, and discussion that ultimately requires them to take a stand on the issue. AHS staff educators facilitate each workshop, helping students to examine facts about dogfighting and understand the impact this kind of animal abuse can have on dogs, families, and communities.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science: 8.1.1.1.1, 9.1.1.1.5, 9.1.1.2.2
Language Arts: 8.9.1.1 (c), 8.9.1.1 (d), 9.9.1.1 (c), 11.9.1.1 (c)
Social Studies: 8.1.1.1.1

Length: Approximately 1.5 hours

Circle of Compassion (Grades 8-12)

The Circle of Compassion shows us how the treatment of animals and people is interconnected. While this program uses examples of abuse and violence, it also shows that with compassion, empathy, and respect, we can make the world a better place for both people and animals. Students will learn what to do if someone finds an animal in distress, how to work together with law enforcement and social service agencies, and how to protect both animals and humans from further violence.

This program includes sensitive content that may be upsetting to some students.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science: 9.1.1.1.2, 9.1.1.1.5, 9.1.1.2.3
Language Arts: 9.9.1.1 (c), 11.9.1.1 (c)

Length: Approximately 1 hour

All classroom programs presented at AHS include an AHS shelter tour for an additional fee.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline