Photo of students playing a game

Primary grade lesson plans

Main Content

Activity 1: What does a guide dog do?


• demonstrate active listening
• make connections to own experiences and ask appropriate questions
• demonstrate understanding of ideas in an oral discussion
• create a poster/text displaying the important ideas of an oral text OR
• write a short text using a comparison
• demonstrate an understanding of graphic text
• sort and organize information in a diagram


Background for teachers: Read the information page: "What does a guide dog do?" that is attached below:

  • paper/cardstock
  • markers
  • pencils
  • paper
  • Venn diagram printout (attached below)
  • Venn diagram option on computer
  • 2 hula hoops or 2 pieces of yarn or string about 2m long (to create a tactile Venn diagram)


Ask who has a pet dog? Talk about some of the things the dogs like to do. What does your dog do during the day? What do you do when you take the dog outside? Where does your dog go?  Where is your dog not allowed to go?
Find out how much students know about guide dogs.  What is a guide dog? Who do they help? How do they help?

Activity 2: Venn diagram of pet dogs vs. guide dogs

Students will determine which activities are done by guide dogs, pet dogs, or both.


1. Write or type each of these ideas on a 2"x5" card:

• go in restaurants
• go in your house
• eat people food
• eat dog food
• play in the backyard
• play in dog parks
• sleep
• guide a blind person
• walk on a leash
• go on an airplane
• can be petted by you
• chase cats and squirrels
• understand commands like "sit"
• understand commands like "find the door"

2. Place the cards in a box or bag that students will reach into to ull out a card

3. Make a Venn Diagram on the floor using the hula hoops or the string


1. Explain the Venn diagram to the students and give students the option to feel it to understand how it is designed. This will assist students with sight loss and students with different learning styles to have a better sense of what it is.

2. Explain that one side is for things guide dogs do, the other side is for things pet dogs do and the centre piece is for things they both do. 

3. Invite  student to pull a card out of the bag/box.  

4. Read it out loud to the class and as a group decide where it goes on the Venn diagram.

5. When the diagram is complete, review the similarities and differences between pet dogs and guide dogs.

Follow-up activity:

Depending on their skill level students can:

1. Draw a picture of something a guide dog can do that a pet dog can't do.
2. Make their own Venn diagram showing the similarities and differences (see link to Venn diagram in materials).
3. Write a paragraph or essay: “How guide dogs are different from pet dogs.”
4. Share this information with the school community in a display.

Other Ideas:

  • Contact CNIB Guide Dogs and have a volunteer guide dog user speak to your class.
  •  Read one of these books:
  1. "Guide Dogs: A Kids Book About Guide and Other Assistance Dogs,” Lionel Paxton
  2. "Guide Dogs,” Kara L. Laughlin
  3. "Guide Dogs,” Jessica Rudolph
  4. "Guide Doggie, ”Daniel Saynuk
  5. "Looking Out for Sara,” Glenna Lang