Developing Critical Numeracy Across the Curriculum

Teaching Activity


How responsible should we be for our pets?
5/6 Stage: 8
with emphasis on:

Maths Concepts: Number
Context: Society
Critical Numeracy: De-coding, Meaning-making,
Date of Article: 28/05/09, pg 9

Student Worksheet
Student worksheet answers
Print version of article

Teacher Guidelines:

This article looks at the increase in cats being received in a cats home. One reason cited for the increase is that people can't afford to desex their cats because of the financial crisis, leading to an increase in cat litters and unwanted kittens.

Orienting Questions

How responsible should we be for our pets?

When we have a pet what is our responsibility to our pet and to society? What might be all the costs of owning a pet? What is the value of owning a pet? Can we afford a pet?

De-coding and Meaning-making

The worksheet asks students to use the numbers in the article to work out if the recent influx of cats to the cat home is a significant increase. 


Students are asked to work out the actual cost of looking after a cat by doing some research into the costs (such as vet, food, grooming, toys) and working out an annual cost. They are then asked to write an article discussing responsible cat ownership.


What did you learn? How has your thinking on this topic changed? What new maths skills have you developed? What thinking strategies have you found useful?

What investigation would you like to consider now?

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