Monday, March 21, 2011

It was a sad day in room 113

One of our class pets died today. :(

We started the year with our little tadpole, Jacob, and two guinea pigs, Bella and Alice. (Yes, we named our class pets after Twilight characters. The kids actually chose Jacob and Bella on their own. I may have encouraged them to choose Alice for guinea pig #2...)

This morning, Bella died.

Thankfully, it happened before the kids got to school. And what did I do?

I lied.

I told the kids that I had a friend who was a teacher without a class pet and that her class was learning about animals just like we were. We all agreed that the pets helped us learn a lot about how to take care of an animal and that it was a good thing to let Bella join their class so that they could learn, too.

Question - Was I wrong? I know that death is a part of life, but I also know how attached they were to this little creature and how devastated they would be to know she died. Would you have told the truth? Or would you have created a happier story, too?


Erica Bohrer said...

I am so sorry to hear about Bella!
I have a 9 year old guinea pig as a class pet and I plan on letting the kids know when she dies. I know it is not going to be easy. I myself will probably be a mess, but I think it is an important life lesson.
Years ago, I had Beta fish in the class named Fluffy (because he fluffed out his cheeks). When he passed, we read I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm and The Tenth Good Thing about Barney by Judith Viorst. We then wrote 10 good things about Fluffy to remember him. My principal happened to walk in and thought it was a great lesson for the kids.
I also have the books Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven; when a family pet dies, I send the appropriate book home with the family to borrow. On the inside covers, I write "This book was read in loving memory of..." It helps the kids to see that other students and teachers have gone through the same sort of loss.
I also just bought a book at a Scholastic book fair called Houdini Was. It was written by a class of primary students after their hamster died. They each wrote something nice about Houdini and illustrated it.
Feel, free to email me. Let me know how it goes and if you decide to tell them.
Erica Bohrer's First Grade

Rachelle said...

I'm so sorry! That is so sad. When I read that you lied, I kept thinking that I would have done the same thing.

Ms. Morgart said...

Both of you have such great prespectives! Honestly, I think I might have done the same so hard to lose a beloved pet :(
Curls and a Smile