A book that I often use (and love to alter or get ideas from for 1st and 2nd grade) is the
A First Book of Knitting for Children and
Knitted Animals by Anne-Dorthe Grigaff
If you don't have a book budget at your school....you should ask for one!
The lion pattern I use is from "a first book of knitting for children"
and in the past I used the pig pattern for 5th grade instead of the horse...they actually liked it more than the horse....but the horse is a little more wakeful
The Bear pattern I make with my 1st graders....I made up.
Here it is
Brown Sheep is the wool I use....and I use Bulky yarn because they see faster results with that yarn and when you stuff bulky it doesn't show the stuffing inside as well as the worsted weight does.
starting at the bottom (where the back legs are)
cast on 28 stitches
Knit 7 rows
cast off 7 stitches ....knit across the row and on the next needle cast off another 7 stitches
this will be the back legs
Now knit the belly for 3 to 4 rows
cast on 7 stitches for the right leg ...knit across the row and on the next needle cast on another 7 stitches for the left leg
Knit 7 rows
cast off 10 stitches on the right arm....Knit across the row and on the next needle cast off another 10 stitches.
There should be 8 stitches left for the head
Knit 5 rows
Sew up and stuff while you sew .
I have the kids sew up their legs first...head and last belly