A Tail-Wagging Good Time

Scripture: Luke 17:11-19

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of the ten lepers.
  • Students will learn about dog rescues and shelters and how they affect the community.
  • Students will demonstrate compassion towards outcast animals.

Guiding Question: How can we show compassion towards animals who are outcasts?

Materials: animal rescue center/ rescuer’s home/ animal shelter, mode of transportation, adequate adult supervision

Procedure: Review the story of the ten lepers. Discuss what it means to have leprosy and how it could be so severe that the skin would often fall off. Leprosy was more than just a physical disease. It also meant that you were socially shunned because no one wanted to be around you. They were considered “unclean” and could not enter the temple. Lepers were outcasts. Discuss how we need to take care of those who are overlooked and neglected. As God’s designated caretakers of Earth, this includes animals too. Take students to a nearby animal shelter or independent rescuer’s home/business to spend some time playing with the dogs and exercising them. Explain the importance of having a system in the community to keep the dogs off the streets. Discuss things that happen to animals that cause them to need the shelter. This lesson will really connect with your animal-lovers. Especially encourage students to seek out the dogs that might be considered the ugliest or get the least amount of attention. Focus on cultivating a sense of awareness and compassion.

Note: Insure that there is adequate adult supervision for the trip. Also discuss expectations with students and appropriate behavior for the animals and environment before going on the trip.

Additional Questions:

  • What would happen if all these rescued animals were on the streets? How would it be bad for the animals and the people living in the community?
  • What types of dogs probably get the most attention/compassion? (Cuter dogs) Is this fair? Why or why not?
  • Consider the environment that the animal is in. What is their life like and how did your play time with the animal help?
  • How can you show compassion for people who are outcasts too?

Supplemental Activity: Students can make a pamphlet to advertise a particular dog that they met at the rescuer/shelter. Take pictures of the animal for the students’ pamphlet/ advertisement. Then students can describe their animal. (Note: Some dogs are even shaved due to matted fur or the need to heal from skin issues, but will grow out later). Challenge them to find the dog’s best assets. For example, a dog might not be very fluffy and cute, but when played with he is very sweet and affectionate. The reader would not know the animal’s temperament from the picture alone. Encourage the students to describe the animal’s personality accurately and persuade the reader.

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