Class Pet Writing Journal

I took some time today and updated my Class Pet Writing Journal Resource.   This activity has been something that I have used since 2003.   It begins with a staged special delivery to the classroom.  Inside is a stuffed animal, directions about naming and caring for the animal, and a whole lot of inspiration for writing!

Here are some pictures from yesteryear….

A package mysteriously arrives at our door just in time for writer’s workshop.  It has air holes and fragile tape all over it.  (Got the hook up at my local post office.)  Students make predictions and inferences.  We rule out killer whale and Tyrannosaurus Rex.

 Well most of us do…

 THE CHOSEN ONE opens the package.  His qualifications are mature rug behavior and the ability not to shank himself with scissors while opening a package.  School nurse on standby.

 Inside the package is our class pet with a towel, rescue team instruction letter and class notebook.
 “See I told you it couldn’t be a Tyrannosaurus Rex”

 A small amount of chaos with a HUGE amount of instant love connection happening in this picture.  Lots of ooohing and aaahing.

 The share chair where “Snowflake” the South Texas Tiger sits when we is returned from his adventures.

 He almost always comes back to class in one piece…

This year I am going to use the tiny unused pet carrier I bought last Summer for my mini poodle.  She let me know that the kenneling thing was a NO GO…she currently sits upon her couch throne rolling her eyes at me as I decorate this kennel.   In case you are interested I got this carrier for $16 dollars at Walmart.

 I emptied out the notebook from last year’s class.  WOW! Talk about inspiring a lot of writing.  Snowflake was pretty amazing.

 All set for a new year!  The Class Pet Writing Journal has been updated in my store.  Click HERE to get your updated version! 

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  1. Cute class "pet" idea! I got those frogs in the little cube aquarium one year but they were so lazy the kids always asked if they were dead – lol! Might as well just get a cute stuffed animal instead!
    P.S. Would love for you to come check out my little blog if you are not already! 🙂
    Mrs. Cobb's Kindersprouts

  2. I did this last year with my first grade class. I had the special delivery, the oohs and ahhs, the desperate pleas to be first to take home 'Gerald' the tiger. Ohmyword!! I could not BELIEVE the amazing writing and pictures that came back! The kids were so proud! I was especially impressed that everyone brought the pet and binder back when due and they took such good care of Gerald! My favorite was when one of the moms gave him a bath and sprayed her 'good' perfume! PRICELESS!! Thanks for the ideas and the packet–Can't wait to do this again this year!


  3. Reagan,
    I wanted to tell you your chevron addiction can be solved at Kohls. They have the gray chevron college dorm accessories on sale now. Happy shopping!

  4. I have been doing this for many years although my "pets" never made the entrance that yours have. I do have a pet carrier and new pet for this year. I may use that this year to transport our friend. I love the creative writing that goes with this. Now that digital photos are so popular we have had lots of photos to go with the writing. Oh the places our pets have been!!! Every so often I would take the pet home to go to the "spa". Such a great idea. I can't wait to check out your packet to see where I can tweak this activity.

  5. This is a darling idea!! LOVE seeing the pics of the kiddos meeting their new class pet…I can just imagine it happening as you described! 🙂 The teacher next to my room has a hamster and my kiddos always ask for a class pet. I tell them I already have 2 dogs at home to take care of (not to mention how icky I find those caged pets)! I also love how much writing is inspired by your class pet…so great!

    🙂 Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  6. I do this every year as well. I ask the parents to chip in to purchase the BIGGEST stuffed animal we can find (you can find them fairly cheap and large at grocery stores sometimes, or Costco. OR I might purchase a large one around Valentine's day and keep it for the following year. The kids take it home each weekend with the journal and take it on adventures – kinda like Flat Stanley. The take photos and put them in the notebook too. THEN at the end of the year we have a drawing and someone gets to keep it forever. This helps reinforce the need to keep it clean and in good condition because they might be the one to get to keep it an they will want to have it in good condition!

  7. I downloaded your packet and did this at the end of the last school year (the students just got to keep the pet for the night). I am going to go over and download the update: I am ready to do it full force next year (special delivery and all!).


    Bitty Bilinguals

  8. Might I suggest…buy a back up class pet? When I do this with my class, I but two of whatever stuffed animal I am getting, at the same time. That way, when one kid moves that night (it's happened to us…twice. ugh.) or somebody leaves it at the park, or it drives off with an auntie never to be seen again, you can whip out the replacement and, with a steady hand and direct eye contact, lie that Little Muffin was just returned via express mail, and just carry on.

  9. Oh my word! I LOVE this idea!!!! I laughed out loud twice….once about the missing tail. The look on that girl's face is PRICELESS!!! And, I have. Dog who would be doing the same thing about the carrier! She is currently sitting on the back of the couch behind me with her head on my shoulder. She scoffs at crates. Loving this idea!

    I am one of your newest followers!

    Fluent in Fourth

  10. This is such an adorable idea! I especially love this for the beginning of 2nd grade to encourage students to write at home. Looks super motivating, engaging, and powerful way to engage our little learners to practice journal writing at home!


    Table Talk with C&C

  11. Ohhh mylanta!! I wish I saw this post before I actually adopted a Guinea Pig as our class pet…

    Love this! I will try it out in 5-7 years. 🙂

  12. I buy a new stuffed animal every year and get a shoe box that we decorate. Everyone takes a turn daily to take the pet home and they have to write what they did that night with the pet and bring it back the next day. They share their evening with the class. On the last day of school I draw a name and they get to keep the pet forever. I have kids from the past say they still have theirs.