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Lesson objective

Students will look at the basic needs of farm animals and discuss how these needs are not met. Students will recognise the similarities humans share with other animals in terms of what we need to survive and live happily. They will understand that all living things have needs, as well as the importance of having these basic needs met. Students will gain an understanding of the responsibility that comes with using animals for food.

Year Level: Year 1 | Duration: 50-60 minutes | Revised: July 2015

Subject area: SCIENCE

Learning Areas (ACARA National Curriculum) 

  • ACSSU211 – Living things live in different places where their needs are met.
  • ACSIS024 – Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events.

Brief lesson outline:

As a class, students will use the three-part Meeting Needs activity book to guide them through this lesson. The first part is a word find activity which introduces students to the basic needs of farm animals. The second part lists discussion points covering these needs in detail and how they are similar to our own. It also briefly discusses how farm animals are not provided with these needs on most farms today. The third part asks students to think of some ways farmers can change their practices to meet the needs of their farm animals.

Accompanying resources/learning materials:

Note: If the booklet is too difficult for students to complete independently, complete this as a class activity with teacher recording jointly constructed responses.  

Prior Knowledge:


Humane education learning outcomes:

  • Students will consider the physical and emotional needs of food animals, devising ways in which these needs can be met
  • Students will question the way in which food animals are raised and treated on factory farms today
  • Students will understand the importance of meeting the needs of other animals through empathy and recognising important similarities between our needs and the needs of farm animals
  • Students will understand the responsibility that comes with using animals for food. They will recognise that humans have the power to ensure that the basic needs of farm animals are properly met


1. INTRODUCTION (10 minutes)

1.1 Ask students to complete the word find in the student activity book. Words hidden are some of the basic needs of farm animals (e.g. shelter, food, water, cleanliness etc.)

2. BODY (25-30 minutes)

2.1 As a class, discuss some of basic needs listed in the second part of the activity book (e.g. activities, beds, cleanliness, company and space). Spend about 2-3 minutes discussing each need and how it is not properly met for animals on farms today. As you go along, ask students to tick the boxes asking them if we share the same needs. At the end, ask students to raise their hands if they ticked “Yes” to each of the needs listed. Students should agree that we share very similar needs to farm animals.

2.2 As a group, ask students questions relating to each of the needs discussed, such as: “How would you feel if you did not have this need met?” “How do you think farm animals feel when they do not have this need met?” “Do you think it is important for us to have this need met?” “Do you think it is important for farm animals to have this need met?”

3. CONCLUSION/REFLECTION (20-25 minutes)

3.1 Ask students to complete the activity in the third section of the work book, ‘How can farmers meet the need of farm animals?’. Allow 10-15 minutes and then ask students if they would like to share some of their answers with the class. Write some of these answers on the board until you have several ‘solutions’ written down. Ask the class if they think we should work harder to make sure the basic needs of farm animals are met.

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