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Grade K-2

“What Pet Should I Get?” Dr. Seuss and Decision Making

Updated: October 14 2015,
Author: Lynne Stover


There is a new book out by Dr. Seuss entitled “What Pet Should I Get?”  In this story Kay and her brother need to make a choice. They have to decide what pet to get at the pet store. Their father said he would pay for whatever pet they selected, but they had to choose one pet and be home by noon. Can you help them make a decision?

Task List

Have you ever heard of a Yent? It is so big it must stay outside in a tent!

This is one of the make-believe animals in the new book “What Pet Should I Get?” by Dr. Seuss. In this lesson you are going to listen to a story about two children trying to choose a pet to take home from the pet store. You are going to help them make a choice with the help of a decision-making grid. You will also have a chance to learn about the goods and services the new pet may require.



Opportunity Cost: You are going to learn about making decisions and opportunity cost. When you choose something, you give up your next best choice. This is an example of opportunity cost. For example: If Kay only has 15 minutes to do her favorite activity during recess, she is going to have to make a choice. Will she play tag, play catch, jump rope, or stay inside and do her homework? If she gives up playing tag to jump rope, then playing tag is her opportunity cost. The activity sheet, “Kay Makes a Choice” will help you understand this concept. 

P.A.C.E.D. Decision-Making Grid: Kay and her brother need help selecting a pet from the pet store. If they had a paper and pencil with them they could make a P.A.C.E.D decision-making grid. This kind of grid follows this pattern:

       P.A.C.E.D Decision-Making Grid

  • State the Problem.
  • List the Alternatives.
  • Identify the Criteria.
  • Evaluate the choices.
  • Make a Decision.

You can see an example of the grid they may have created here: “What Pet Should They Get?” 

Enrichment Activity: Do you have a problem that involves making a choice? Use the P.A.C.E.D. Decision-Making Guide to help you solve that problem.


Dr. Seuss’s books are funny and full of surprises. They also teach the reader many lessons. In this book, “What Pet Should I Get?” you learned how to make a choice. Now that you have learned how to use a tool to help you make a choice, you will be better prepared to make thoughtful decisions.

Assessment Activity

How much did you learn in this lesson? Answer the six questions on the activity sheet, “A Trip to the Pet Store” to find out.

Extension Activity

Once Kay and her brother get their new pet home they will find out they must buy many goods and services to keep it safe, happy, and healthy.

  • A GOOD is an object that can be touched, like a dog collar or catnip.
  • A SERVICE is an action performed by a person such a providing overnight boarding at a kennel or shampooing at a groomers.

Can you tell which item on a list is a good and which is a service? Complete this activity to test your understanding: “What Pet Should I Get? Goods and Services”