Fun at the Farm

Yet another wonderful unit study by Donna Godfrey! This one has activities for a farm unit study. It includes songs, subject activities, art, cooking, and other hands on activities to enthrall many different age groups and cognitive levels. Several different learning styles are utilized during this unit.

Farm Activities

1. Practicing milking a cow. Fill a rubber glove with milk and poke a small hole in the end of each finger. Have the children milk the "udders" into a bucket.

2. Make butter! Place some heavy cream in a baby food jar. Have the kids shake the jar. If desired, mix in a pinch of salt and a few drops of yellow food coloring. Spread the butter on crackers for kids to taste. If you insert a clean marble into the jar, it will not need to be shaken as long.

3. Play farm animal charades. Each child can act like a certain farm animal and the others can guess.

4. Make a venn diagram about farming long ago and today.

5. Make a class farm animal counting book.

6. Make game cards with mother and baby animals, let the kids match them or play concentration.

7. Make a farm mobile each child can cut out a barn as the center of the mobile and hang the farm animals from it.

8. For a class graph, have each child choose their favorite farm animal to color in and add to the graph.

9. Make a class mural of a farm, be sure to include speech bubbles for all the sounds the animals make.

10. Put out farm animal counters let children sort them by animal type, color etc.

11. If you have a drama center in your classroom have farm animal puppets available. Also have a stool for cow milking, straw hats, rubber boots, etc.

12. Have children record themselves making farm, animal noises. Or Write a class story with animal sounds, then record the story and the children can add the animal sound effects as you record!

13. You can put a bushel of hay in your reading corner along with your favorite farm books.

14. Laminate seed packets (take the seeds out!) and put velcro on the back. ON a large poster put the words in my garden I will plant, _______ and _____. The children can choose the seed packets to "plant". They can draw a picture of they what they planted.

15. Have children plant the left over seeds and keep a seed journal.

16. Have children make a farm map, make sure to have room for all the animals.

17. Purchase some farm-related rubber stamps. I have a Stamp a Story center in my room. When we are studying farms the children use the stamps to make the picture and then write the story.

Group Activity:

Share the following information about cows:
o Cows are female cattle. Males are called bulls and babies are called calves.
o Cows provide milk, which is the source of daily products, including cheese, butter, and yogurt.
o The organ on a cow that holds her milk is called an udder or a bag.
o There are many varieties of cattle.

Transition: Have the kids moo like cows as they move to the next activity.

Art: Ahead of time, cut sponges into chunks. Clip each chunk into a spring-type clothespin. Pour Black paint into shallow dishes. Paint cow spots on large sheets of paper.

Dramatic play: Ahead of time, make a pinhole in each fingertip of a latex glove. Outside, hang a clothesline about three feet above the ground. Clip the prepared glove to the clothesline with a spring-type clothespin. Place a pail below the glove and a low stool or chair beside it. To help the kids understand more about cows, milk a glove! Fill the prepared glove with water. Let the kids take turns squeezing the fingertips of the glove as if milking, so that the water goes into the bucket.

Science & Cooking: Make butter! Place some heavy cream in a baby food jar. Have the kids shake the jar. If desired, mix in a pinch of salt and a few drops of yellow food coloring. Spread the butter on crackers for kids to taste. If you insert a clean marble into the jar, it will not need to be shaken as long.

Make butter in film canisters. Write books that give each animal name, and make corn husk dolls. We draw and write about our own balloon farm and make scarecrow glyphs that relay info on our pets, milk likes/dislikes, and gardens. Here are the goodies I have collected from different online groups and stars. Here is a pig idea...it is a movement idea using the song Hokey-Pokey. Have students stand in a circle and follow your lead.

Bulletin Boards: During the unit we also do two bulletin boards as a class. The students help me collect used packages of farm products; such as, butter wrapper, package the bacon came in, egg carton, etc. I have farm animals on the board and the kids attach the products to the board and yarn is connected to the animal and the product it gives. I also put up a stuffed scarecrow and do a board titled "The Cream of the Crop".

Writing Activity: Ears of corns on stalks can be spread apart with writing paper inside. The kids write one thing that is special about them selves on the paper. We design our own scarecrows during this unit. We also make butter using heavy cream. We shake the cream in used, but clean, baby jars. We put the butter on crackers.

Video: There is also a great video about farming called A Trip to the Farm. It is very informational, but presented at a level that first graders grasp and enjoy.

Science: We also learn how to plant seeds and how to take care of them. This is a good time to read The Carrot Seed and teach sequencing. I also have several file folder games that I use during this unit. Animal - mother and baby match. A Math game where kids have to add correctly to get to the silo...etc.

Social Studies Activities:

I also have a barn that I made out of a refrigerator box. Making atop for it was not fun, but the kids love it. They like to take turns and read books in the barn. We also sing farm songs that are sung to the tune of other songs. Example : ( Sing to the tune of "The wheels on the bus....." The cow in the barn goes moo, moo, moo . I think I got these songs out of a book called Terrific Topics - Farm by Carson - Dellosa Pub. Co.Well, hope this helps. Also on the farm, one of our teachers put up this darling b.board. There is brown paper at the bottom for the dirt, then blue for the sky with a farm I think. Anyway, she rolled long tubes of brown paper, the width of the board, and taped them to the brown paper in rows going across. She used real seed packets but you could make them, and put the children's names on the seed packets, glued them to tongue depressors and stuck them behind the rolls of paper, like they had been placed in rows of the garden. I hope I'm describing this well enough. It was really cute. The three-dimensional effect was great. She titled it "Watch us grow in first grade". You could put farm words, or animals or anything else on the sticks and plant them in your garden b.board. With our farm lesson last week we started talking about different kinds of farms. We talked about the dairy farm first. We read the Milkmakers (Gail Gibbons), tried milking a cow with the rubber glove with water in.

Books about Farms:

A Farm by Aurelius Battaglia
A House Is A House For Me-Mary Hoberman
A Visit to a Farm by Coby Hol
Baby Farm Animals -Garth Williams
Baby's Animals On The Farm-Rebecca Heller
Barn Dance-Bill Martin Jr.
Barnyard Banter - Fleming
Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming
Barnyard Lullaby by Frank Asch
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
Cat and Dog-Else Minarik
Chicken Little-Sally Hobson
Chickens Aren't The Only Ones-Ruth Heller
Cock-a-doodle Doo-Steve Lavis
Color Farm by Lois Elhert
Cows Can't Fly by David Milgrim
Duffy On The Farm-Marilyn Elson
Farm Noises by Jane Miller
Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell
Find the Duck-S. Cartwright
Find the Kittens-S. Cartwright
Go, Dog, Go-P.D. Eastman
Good Morning, Chick-Mirra Ginsburg
Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm- Jerdine Nolen
Henny Penny - Galdone
How Puppies Grow-M.E. Selsam
If You Give A Mouse a Cookie-Laura Numerof
It's Pumpkin Time - Hall
Little Quack-Ruth Woods
Look! Look! Look!-Tana Hoban
Moo, Moo, Brown Cow by Jakki Wood
Mouse Count-Ellen Walsh
Mouse Paint-Ellen Walsh
My Barn by Craig Brown
My Cat Likes To Hide In Boxes-Eve
Old MacDonald Had A Farm-Carole Jones
Old MacDonald Had A Farm-Pam Adams
On the Farm -Richard Scarry
Pig, Horse, or Cow Don't Wake Me Now- Arlene Alda
Rooster's Off To See The World-Eric Carle
Rosie's Walk - PatHutchins
Seasons On the Farm ABC Adventures-Pat Whitehead
Sheep In A Jeep-Nancy Shaw
Sheep, Sheep, Sheep, Help Me Fall Asleep- Arlene Alda
Six Little Ducks-Chris Conover
The Animals of Farmer Jones - Leah Gale
The Cat In the Hat-Dr. Suess
The Cow That Went OINK!-Bernard Most
The Cow Went Over The Mountian-J. Krinsley
The Day the Goose Got Loose - Lindbergh
The Farm Book-Jon Pfloog
The Farmer in the Dell - Rae
The Farmer In The Soup-Freyah Littledale
The Little Red Hen-Byron Barton
Three Billy Goats Gruff-Macmillan Early Skills Prog
Time for Bed - Mem Fox
Tingalayo-Kate Duke
Where is Clifford?-Norman Bridwell
Who Lives On The Farm-Lisa Bonforte


Farm Songs and Poetry

Here Is The Barn
(fingerplay)

Here is the barn (Form a roof shape with your hands)
Where I like to go (Walk in place)
It's as tall as a tree (Point up overhead)
And cozy, you know (Hug body with arms)
Here is the barn, (Make a roof shape with your hands)
I'll go there with you (Walk in place)
To pet a sweet lamb (Pretend to pet a lamb)
And cuddle it, too! (Pretend to hug a lamb)


A Horse
A horse can trot. A horse can run.
A horseback ride is lots of fun!


Goats
Nanny goat, billy goat. What do you say?
"Maa, maa", Silly goats, Run away!


The Cow
The cow is big. The cow says "moo".
The cow makes milk for me and you.


Pigs
Pigs can oink, pigs can snort.
Pigs are fat and kind of short.


Sheep
Sheep are quiet. Sheep are cute.
Sheep give wool to make a suit.

Geese
Geese can honk. Geese can squawk.
Geese can fly or take a walk!

Old Rooster
Old Rooster woke up just so he could say,
"How do you cock-a-doodle do today?"

The Farm
The farm has a cow and a horse and a pig.
And a sheep and a goat and a barn so big!

You put your right hoof in;
You put your right hoof out;
You put your right hoof in and
you shake it all about.
You do the Higgy-Piggy,
And you turn yourself around,
That's what it's all about!
Oink!

Continue the song and dance routine with the following verses:

You put your Left hoof in....
You put your right hamhock (hip) in...
You put your left hamhock in....
You put your snout in....
You put your curly tail in...

I have done some activities in connection with farm and scarecrows with the poem/song "Ten Crows All Shiny Black"

It goes to the tune used with "Ten Green and Speckled Frogs"

Ten crows all shiny black,
Sat on a scarecrows back,
Eating some most delicious corn. Caw, Caw!
Scarecrow jumped and hollered Boo!
Scared one crow, away he flew,
Now there are nine black shiny crows. Caw, Caw!

FIVE FRIENDLY FARMERS
Wake up with the sun,
For it is early morning
And the chores must be done. (stretch and yawn)
The first friendly farmer
Goes to milk the cow.(pretend to milk a cow)
The second friendly farmer Thought he'd better plow.(working a garden)
The third friendly farmer Feeds the hungry hens. (throw seeds to the chickens)
The fourth friendly farmer Puts the piggies in their pens. (pretend to shoo pigs)
The fifth friendly farmer Picks the ripe corn(pick corn)
And waves to the neighbor When he blows his horn.(wave)
When the work is finished And the evening sky is red Five tired farmers (yawn and stretch)
Tumble into bed!(go to sleep)

We make a counting book, ten on first page, nine on second and so on. We use fingerprints for the crows and draw beaks and feet. I can't remember where I got it from but it is NOT original.

We also make small child size scarecrows instead of one large one by having each student bring in one piece of clothing (child size) and then have parent helpers help each group of 4 or 5 stuff and put together the scarecrows. Then we name them and each child gets a copy of their birth certificate. We use large safety pins to hold each piece in place and us white t-shirt for head and draw on features. Then the students create a story about their scarecrow and dictate it to the parent helpers who copy them down to make into a book that each child in the group gets and illustrates. It is kept very short, just 4 or 5 pages. They love sharing the little scarecrow books with the other classmates.

Build a scarecrow and making haystacks with chow mein noodles.


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