Classroom Activity
Learning About Veterinarians
Calling on an animal expert will help
children learn more about pets
and how to care for them.

AGES 5–6


  • chart paper and marker
  • drawing materials
  • camera and film, tape recorder (optional)

Objective: Children will learn about the work of a veterinarian and the importance of keeping pets safe and healthy. This activity will also help them develop critical-thinking and language skills.

In Advance: Invite a veterinarian to visit the classroom. Explain that children will be learning about pet care and the importance of keeping pets safe and healthy. Ask the veterinarian to bring different types of medical instruments that are used to care for animals.


  1. Tell children that they will have a visit from a pet doctor or veterinarian. Engage children in a discussion and ask them to share what they know about veterinarians. Have they ever taken their pet to a veterinarian? Explain to children that they will work together to prepare questions for the visit. What would they like to learn or know more about? Write each child's name on chart paper and record his question. Leave space beneath each question for the veterinarian's response.

  2. During the veterinarian's visit, invite each child to ask his particular question and record the response below. Take photographs of the veterinarian and the different instruments she shares with the class. Engage children in a discussion about the similarities or differences between veterinarians and their own doctors. Do both use similar types of medical instruments? Do animals and humans have similar needs?

  3. Invite the children to write and draw about the veterinarian's visit. Use the photographs, the question-and-answer charts, and children's drawing and writing to create a display about the visit. Send a copy of the children's work to the veterinarian along with a thank you note from the children.

  4. Invite children to create a veterinarian office in the block or dramatic-play area. Provide props such as a telephone, writing pads, pretend medical instruments, boxes, and blankets, and encourage children to bring in a stuffed animal for a visit to the doctor!

Curriculum Connection

Literacy: Pet Care Book.
Ask children to work together to create a book on how to care for pets using information they learned from the veterinarian's visit. Children can get additional information from a local pet store owner or from the humane society. Assist children in organizing and writing or dictating the information for their book. Make copies of the children's book to share with other classrooms and for the class library collection.

Arthur's New Puppy by Marc Brown
(Little, Brown, 1997; $5.95)

Franklin Wants a Pet* by Paulette Bourgeois
(Scholastic Inc.; $4.50)

Veterinarians by Dee Ready
(Children's Press, 1997; $14)