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If your school will permit it, keep a small young mammal as a pet in the classroom (e.g., a mouse, a a rat, or a hamster). It is a good idea to check and see if any students (or even the teacher) has an allergy to animals. If so, forget this project. You don't have to have a furry creature. Perhaps a little lizard or frog would be a good classroom pet. For the sake of this project, we will assume that a mammal in the classroom is okay.

Provide your class pet (maybe it could be a mascot?) with a good cage and feed it a proper diet. The library has books that will offer instructions as to what the animal should have to eat and if it needs other provisions. Some animals require cable television, and some like to have stereos. I made up that part. Sometimes they need to have a stick to climb on or a little pool for an occasional bath. Maybe a sauna and a weight set in case it gets fat. Another lie.

Measure and weigh the food portions you feed to your pet. Weigh the animal once a week by placing it in a tall coffee can or a small box or oatmeal carton and setting it on a balance scale. You have to weigh the container first, then subtract the container weight from the total weight.

If your container has 1/2-inch marks on the inside of it, you can tell how much taller it has grown since last time. Then you can make a graph showing weight gain and height gain. The graph should have indications for periods of time, such as "one week," "one month," and the dates. Remember, mice do not take twenty years to grow into adults like people do.

You can wonder about the amounts of food your pet ate, and
how it relates to it's weight gain and general growth.

Beside your graph, you can make notes about the kinds of activities your pet displays. If you can draw, you could make a picture of your mouse sitting on an easy chair, watching his little television set, or lying on his workbench pumping iron!


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