Above & Beyond
Kids can become animal experts at any age thanks to our humane education lessons.
NEW! Virtual Education Lessons
Our curriculum engages children by raising their compassionate awareness of – and respect for – animals and people.
Due to COVID-19 we’re unable to bring our humane education lessons to schools or give them on the Marin Humane campus, but we are offering them virtually!
Send a request to schedule a live Zoom presentation or visit our Humane at Home page to see a selection of pre-recorded virtual presentations.
Our school programs support professional educators, complementing their goals while sharing our vision. We key our lessons to California State Standards and create specialized programs for schools and other community organizations. Programs are led by our education staff and/or volunteer docents and their trained animal ambassadors.
There is no charge for these programs, but donations are always welcome. Many groups like to collect items from our Wish List or work on a fundraiser before their visit. Check out Compassion in Action for some ideas. We always need small bags of dog and cat food and other supplies for our Pet Care Assistance program.
Kindergarten – 3rd grade: “Playing It Safe With Dogs” (45 minutes)
This dog bite prevention lesson includes a short video followed by Q&A. We then discuss how to safely meet a dog and how to act respectfully around dogs. Each student will have the opportunity to practice safely meeting a dog.
Pre-school – 1st grade: “Sharing Sam” (30 minutes)
A felt board presentation tells the story of a stray dog being found, brought to the shelter, and adopted. The basic needs of pets and how similar they are to ours will be emphasized and each student will have the opportunity to practice safely meeting a dog.
Kindergarten: “The Five Senses” (30 minutes)
This lesson about our senses is taught through interactive material. The dog’s senses are compared to the child’s, and the dog demonstrates some of his/her senses. Each student will have an opportunity to practice safely meeting a dog.
1st grade: “Animal Heroes” (30 minutes)
This lesson begins with defining what a hero is and how we all can be heroes for animals, while focusing on people who work to help animals. Each student will have an opportunity to practice safely meeting a dog.
2nd grade: “Animal Care” (30 minutes)
This interactive lesson compares the dogs’ needs with a student’s. Similarities and differences are explored and students learn how they can help properly care for their companion animals. Each student will have an opportunity to practice safely meeting a dog.
3rd grade: “Dogs Breeds” (45 minutes)
Students will learn about the variety of dog breeds, their varied behaviors and needs, and domestication, followed by a discussion on choosing appropriate pets. As part of the lesson, there will be at least two animal ambassador dogs for comparison. Each student will have an opportunity to practice safely meeting a dog.
4th grade: “Living with Our Wild Neighbors” (45 minutes)
Students will learn about the wild animals who share our community, how we can coexist, and how we can help them. This is followed by a discussion about differences between wild and domestic animals, and the prey/predator relationship in the wild.
5th grade: “Scat!” (45 minutes)
This lesson includes an in-depth presentation of the digestive systems of humans and dogs, followed by a discussion of scat, the end product of digestion, and what we can learn from studying it. Each student will have an opportunity to practice safely meeting a dog.
2nd – 5th grade: “Animal Services Officer Visit” (30 minutes)
A Marin Humane Animal Services Officer visits with students to discuss their work in the community. They will share rescue stories and show off their unique equipment with a tour of their truck.
6th – 12th grade
For older students, we have student service clubs that meet twice on campus twice a month. Animal Care Club is for middle school students and Roots & Shoots is for high school students. We also encourage independent youth community service projects for this age group.
For more information, call 415.506.6288 or submit an education program request now.
Contact our education department about developing a specific program just for your students!
Here are some suggested humane education online resources:
Latham Foundation for the Promotion of Humane Education
Association of Professional Humane Educators (APHE)
Red Rover Kind News
Humane Education Coalition