Lesson Plan: Five Freedoms

Last updated: January 24, 2013

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Battery Hens in a cage

Handy Hint: This lesson is P-3, Class based.

Audience: P-3 (Preschool – Year 2)

Duration: 35 mins


Through discussion and hands on activities, students will develop an understanding of how to be a responsible pet owner. Students will recognise that different animals have different needs. Students will learn the RSPCA 5 freedoms for all animals.

Prior knowledge

A little bit of background knowledge of the RSPCA would assist greatly here. You can brush up on your RSPCA knowledge on the official RSPCA website www.rspcaqld.org.au, or alternatively, you can browse the WOAW (World Of Animal Website) for more information about the organisation.


  • 4 hoola hoops
  • Soft toys or pictures of a dog, cat, bird and horse
  • laminating pockets and laminator (if you wish to reuse or share your activity)


  1. Lesson Plan
  2. Student Activity Instructions (laminate if you wish)
  3. Activity Items – bird (laminate if you wish)
  4. Activity Items – cat (laminate if you wish)
  5. Activity Items – dog (laminate if you wish)
  6. Activity Items – horse (laminate if you wish)


Lesson Procedure
Topic Notes
1. Introduction  
1.1 (5 mins)

1.1 What does the RSPCA do? Prevent Cruelty to animals. What kinds of animals? Companion Animals, Wildlife and Farm Animals.

Today we’re going to talk about caring for animals. Who has a pet at home?

Brainstorm ideas about what is needed to care for a pet.

2. Body  
2.1 Guided Learning(10 mins)

2.1 Introduce the Five Freedoms concept – there are five things that the RSPCA wishes for all animals. Have a guess at what they might be.

Freedom from hunger and thirst - what can we do so our animals have this freedom?

Freedom from discomfort – what does discomfort mean? How can we make sure this doesn’t happen?

Freedom from pain, injury or disease – Who do we take our animals to if they are sick or hurt?

Freedom to express normal behaviour – what does that mean? What is normal behaviour for a dog? Cat? Bird? Horse?

Freedom from fear and distress – how can we stop this? Prompt students to think about storms, fireworks, other animals (wildlife) being left alone, overcrowding (farm animals).

Is this only for our pets? What other animals would we wish this for? Discuss wildlife, farm animals. All creatures great and small!

2.2 Application(15 mins)

2.2 Five Freedoms Activity.

Place four hoops on the ground with enough room for groups of students to sit around them. Place either the toy animal or the picture of the animal in each hoop.

Divide the class into four even groups and get each group to sit in a circle around their hoop. Give the students their pack of animal images (see resource 2).

Students need to look at each image and decide whether or not the item helps to be a responsible pet owner for that animal. If image is needed place inside the hoop – if not outside the hoop.

Students are to take a turn at each hoop if time. Encourage students to think about the Five Freedoms.

Handy Hint:

  1. Start one as an example with the whole group.
  2. To avoid any conflict about who might want to hold the soft toy – set some rules. For example- students hold the toy as they pick out an image that they present to the group. Once decided if it is an item needed or not – pass the toy and the image packet to the person on their left.
3. Conclusion


3.1 Conclusion (5 mins) 3.1 Quick discussion with students about the activity. Do all animals need the same things? What was different/the same? Who can tell me the 5 freedoms (one student per freedom)?

Curriculum Links

Curriculum Links for this lesson
Key Learning area Curriculum link

Life and Living
1.1 Students discuss their thinking about needs of living things.

2.3 Students make links between different features of the environment and the specific needs of living things

3.1 Students draw conclusions about the relationship between features of living things and the environments in which they live.

3.3 Students describe some interactions (including feeding relationships) between living things and non-living parts of the environment.

D3.4 Students recognise patterns of similarity and difference between groups of familiar living things.

D3.5 Students establish a model environment which meets the needs of living things within it. English Speaking and Listening Level

English Speaking and Listening Level 1
Students interpret and construct simply structured brief texts that make connections with own experiences in familiar situations. They use textual resources including awareness of stages of the generic structure of texts, patterns of simple sentences, words, letters, images, sounds and voice. They identify similarities between textual representations and own experiences.

Place and Space
1.3 Students participate in a cooperative project to cater for the needs of living things

HPE Enhancing Personal Development
1.4 Students demonstrate basic speaking, listening, sharing and cooperation skills to interact effectively with others.

Suggested Homework Activities

Students can select their favourite animal from today’s activity and create a poster to raise awareness of that particular animal’s needs. Write the name of that animal in the centre of the poser. Next- draw the items around the animal that it needs to stay healthy and happy.

Suggested Extension Activities

For those with an interest in a different animal, such as a lion or kangaroo- students can have a go at drawing the items that this particular animal might need to be healthy and happy.

Suggestions for Adapting this Lesson for Lower or Higher Year Levels

Students can investigate an animal of their choice in more detail by researching on the internet, in books and encyclopedias. Create a poster of their chosen animal outlining all the things that it needs to be healthy and happy. Some of the subheadings could be:

  • habitat (including location and shelter)
  • diet
  • life expectancy (wild versus captivity)
  • issues that this animal faces for survival
  • likes and dislikes of the animal
  • sounds that the animal makes


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