Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Foster, Brett. Engaging Children With Animals Increases Their Awareness of Their Footprint on Earth. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. October 2022.


Copyright Brett Foster 2022.


Teachers should reserve time in their classrooms to connect curriculum to animals and environmental topics. Connecting core subjects like writing, reading, or even math to animals builds student investment in learning as they can connect the topics of animals to their lives. Animals are all around us and are a topic that students naturally spend a lot of time with and can easily identify in the world around them. There are several benefits of incorporating animals into the curriculum, including an increased sense of empathy, an awareness of their environmental impact, and an investment in their community.

I have focused on why animal education for younger students is important to start my project. Building on that, I planned out a 5 day lesson plan that I then implemented at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo where I lead a summer camp with 4-5 year olds. I included my reasoning for why I did what I did in my lesson plan, as well as a reflection of what I would do differently if I ran the lessons again.