Humane Education

Resources for Educators

Through our humane education programs, the MSPCA strives to help children develop empathy and a sense of justice, increase their understanding of personal responsibility for animals, people, and the environment, and become motivated to make a positive difference in the world.  The MSPCA believes that by encouraging critical thinking in children, we can help them formulate a system of self-initiated humane ethics by which they can determine appropriate and inappropriate behavior.

Humane education can be easily integrated into a traditional classroom setting, as part of a lesson within a core discipline, or as its own stand-alone activity.  For information on a variety of lesson plans and other suggestions for teaching humane themes, please click on the links below.

Humane Education Lesson Plans
These prepared lessons address a variety of humane themes for elementary, middle school, and high school students.  Lessons are aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and include an instructor's introduction and resource guide.

Ethical Dilemma Stories
This collection includes seventeen stories that each introduce a different ethical dilemma and appropriate humane solutions.  Educators can teach these stories individually or together.  Ideal for students in grades 6 and up.  You can now purchase a beautifully bound, full-color copy of our collection of stories!

Careers with Animals

This resource is great to share with kids and young adults considering a future career in animal science or animal welfare.  Included are descriptions of various careers and contacts for local organizations and colleges specializing in programs of this nature.


Animals in Education

As an organization, we recognize the benefits of studying animals in a hands-on setting.  Our first concern, however, is the welfare of these animals.  This link provides information on considerations to make before acquiring a classroom pet and alternatives to classroom chick hatching projects, dissection, and other projects that involve animals.

Click here to learn about the MSPCA at Nevins Farm's new "Pledge NOT To Hatch" campaign, which promotes the use of alternative projects in teaching children about the chicken-egg cycle.

Developing Sensitivity
Educators and parents can help children understand, respect, and be concerned for all living things.  Since educators and parents are also role models to children, they have critical roles in helping children achieve these goals.  As children are engaged in humane education learning activities, educators and parents should be aware of how they may be communicating personal attitudes toward pets and animals.