The child discovers his body through his relationship with others, he sees the resemblance with his mother, his father, his peers, but he also sees the difference with pets. This double approach will allow him to build his own body diagram.
Contact with animals promotes the development of the senses. The child approaches this living being, he looks at it, he feels it, and he touches it. This curiosity puts his sensory functions on alert and helps to refine them. The visual attention which is in my opinion an important point of the work in the discovery of the world is mobilized by this different “other” who also lives.
The animal gives the child a sense of power so essential in building self-confidence. Being able to carry another living being, being able to feel protective, being able to play with him, and being able to feed him represents a base on which the child valueshimself. An easy way to develop the self-confidence of children with the help of animal role play is affirmation cards. On these cards, there are pictures of animals with a great sentence to learn about animal habits.
Thinking about the animal’s vital needs teaches children respect for life, a universal value that everyone internalizes on the condition that they are accompanied, and this is the role of the adults around them. Breeding offers a reality to this general dimension. The snail, by virtue of its fragility, raises questions about life and death.
The responsibility established in the tasks that breeding involves also nourishes self-esteem, the teacher by assigning such or such a role indicates to the pupil that he is worthy of it and that the group counts on him. It is common to see a majority of students participate in a motivated way because they feel recognized and important.
The effect on language is undeniable insofar as the group unites around the animals and seeks to answer questions relating to their discovery and well-being, identification works while being put from a distance and the interest is major. Many small talkers find in these activities a sufficiently powerful motor to enter into communication, this can also be done first with the animal in a relationship of affectivity and sensitivity.
Many agitated students find appeasement in taking charge of or observing these living beings which sometimes require a lot of patience, such as snails for example.
Animals have a structuring role because the child discovers that he can be listening, in the observation of a being different from him and to understand him without going through the language.
Despite all the good that I mention, it is nevertheless necessary to know how to respect the fears, disgusts, apprehensions that some students may have at first glance. And it is in prolonged eye contact with the animal and in observing other students that a child will (sometimes not) overcome his reluctance. There is, therefore, no question of forcing a student to handle or even touch the animal if he is in apprehension.
For all these points, contact with the animal can only promote the understanding of the living in the child.
You are starting your breeding, I have chosen to point out, in general, the interest of such educational work. However, I remain pragmatic and I will let you express your questions, your concerns, your remarks if it seems necessary or even urgent to you. We will try to answer them together.