I’d Love to be Your Pet!–Basic Horse Care-Non-Fiction

This writing prompt is a must for any and all horse lovers. It’s especially fitting for a child who genuinely wants to have a horse as a pet.

Here’s the synopsis: A HORSE tells the readers that he/she would LOVE to be their pet. However, the horse is truthful about the many needs it has.

Before I share the writing lesson, I want to take a minute to share how this idea came about.

horses looking out their stalls

My Favorite Summer Writing Camp

Without question, my favorite summer writing camp to date was the one year that we held an art and writing camp at a local horse farm.

Each summer, the writing camps are in the morning, so I would arrive at the farm right about the time the horses were all waking to be fed. They were noisy!

Although they were neighing away in a very loud fashion, I found being on a horse farm early in the morning, during the summer, extremely peaceful.

I had two campers that needed before camp care. We would stroll back and forth between the stables and the open fields feeding and admiring the horses and goats.

horses grazing in the field

This particular camp was very rare.

It just so happened that this horse farm had a tiny apartment above the barn. We turned the tiny livingroom/kitchen into a classroom.

The space was tight, but the few campers that fit loved it and so did I! It was truly a unique setup that I wish we could replicate.

Stables with a Classroom

The only reason we haven’t held more art and writing summer camps on a horse farm is because it’s hard to find a location that has a conducive classroom setting.

Add a classroom if possible!

If you happen to own a horse farm and are thinking about building a horse stable of any kind, I strongly suggest adding on a classroom! I feel very confident saying that you will find use for it easily and regularly.

First, you can offer your own horse camps.

Next summer, 2020, we’re partnering with a local horse farm for a field trip. Our campers will be authoring and illustrating a book about horses and then visiting their farm.

The owner has a VERY small room, 10 by 6 feet maybe, if that. He’s sharing his regrets that he wishes he would have built a bigger classroom.

They have their own summer horse camps. Their campers use the space to put their backpacks down and take a break from the heat. The truth is, that’s all there is room for.

Enrichment camps on a horse farm is golden!

OR, you can rent out the space to teachers like myself! Kids love horses and having an enrichment camp on a horse farm is golden for many summer campers.

The farm we’ll be visiting next summer wanted to partner with us to hold a week long camp on their property. Unfortunately, the space was just way too small for us to work with.

Alright, back to the lesson.

Let’s get back to that summer writing camp on the horse farm.

A key component of our art and writing camp was that the children received a 30 minute tour of the farm each day after lunch. Specifically, the owners of the horse farm focused on a different aspect of horse care for each tour. I knew horses required a lot of work and commitment, but I had no idea just how much!

In addition, at the end of each tour, the campers were able to spend some time grooming the horses. This was perhaps the best time of the day for the campers AND the horses!

After learning about the time commitment it takes to care for a horse, I created this writing lesson. I thought writers would have fun writing as if the horse was talking to convey such real and important information. The writers that I had did!

NOW THE LESSON!

The information gathered for this lesson came from the websites:  http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/horses/basic-horse-carehttp://www.horses-and-horse-information.com/articles/0498eating.shtml

Common Core State Standards

NOTE:  This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standards:  CCSS.ELA.LITERACY.W.K.2, W.1.2, W.2.2, W.3.2, W.3.2.A, W.3.2.B, W.3.2.C, W.3.2.D, W.4.2, W.4.2.A, W.4.2.B, W.4.2.C, W.4.2.D, W.4.2.E, W.5.2, W.5.2.A, W.5.2.B, W.5.2.C, W.5.2.D and W.5.2.E

To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post.  The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use.  Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7

Tell the Story Line

  1. Tell the storyline: “You’re considering getting a horse as a pet.  The horse is going to tell you things you need to know to be a good horse owner.  It’s going to teach you specifically about founder, a disease that hurts the horses feet. You will write in first person using I and my because the horse is talking to the writer.”

Brainstorm

2. Brainstorm (or teach) a horse’s most important needs:

            A Balanced Diet

            Regular Exercise

            Feet and Teeth Care

            Grooming

            Shelter

Teach

3. Teach the facts listed in the Information Box about basic horse care:

For younger students, you can simply read these facts to them and discuss them.  For older students, you can give them their own Bio Box to read, discuss and refer to when they write.

Show the 5 Sections

                        Question(s)/Main Idea

                        Diet

                        Exercise

                        Grooming/Feet Care

                        Main Idea/Question(s)

NOW TO WRITE!

Guide the students through each step.  They are free to use their own words.

  1. Write a question to grab the reader’s attention.

            Do you want a horse?         

            OR     

            Are you considering buying and owning a horse?

2. Follow the question(s) with the main idea that horses require a lot of work.

Here are some examples:

I want to be your pet, but I am a lot of work!         

OR

I’d love to be your pet!  However, horses require a lot of work.  We are a big responsibility.  We require a lot of time and effort.  We are also expensive.

3. Write about diet and founder.

I need a lot of grass and hay.  I can’t get fat.  It will hurt my feet.          

            OR

I will need a lot of food such as pasture and hay.  It’s better for me to graze in the morning and evening when the sugars in grass aren’t as high.  I love to eat, but it’s important that you don’t feed me too much.  If I’m overweight, I can develop a disease called founder that hurts my feet.    

4. Write about exercise.

I need lots of exercise so I don’t get fat.   

OR

It’s important to make me exercise each day.  There are several ways I can exercise…

5. Write about grooming and/or feet care.

Use a curry comb to get out the loose hair.         

OR

Grooming can be done in three steps.  First, …

6. Restate the main idea and ask a question for the reader to reflect on.

So you see, I am a lot of work!  Do you think you can handle it?  If so, I’d love to be your pet!

Print the Lesson

student's sample writing

EASY ART ACCENTS

When students are finished writing they can place horse stickers* around their border.

GAMES TO PLAY!

Correct the Paragraph

Words With # of Letters-using horse vocabulary from books

Tale or Truth-telling a horse story