Sunday, April 26, 2015

Down on the Farm!

Hey there, farm folk! It’s spring and it’s time to go to the farm.  We always enjoy learning about farm animals this time of year.  Here are some of our favorite activities.

An easy but fun center is pictured here. Put out some small plastic farm animals. (We got ours at Michael's Crafts).  Children can add a pond by tearing a small piece of blue construction paper and maybe a mud puddle for the pigs.  Add a bale of hay from the craft store, too.  Allow the children to construct some corral fences by gluing together craft sticks.  We found a cute box at the craft store that looked like a barn but the children can build one using wooden blocks. Ask the children to bring in any additional items from home that would fit in this center.  This activity center sparks LOTS of conversations about farms.  Use it as a springboard for writing activities before or after visiting a local farm (if you are lucky enough to teach near one that allows field trips!). 

The Little Red Hen story has been around for a LONG time but it never fails to delight. Many authors have retold this classic tale and it is fun to read and compare several versions. There are even some “twists” on the classic such as The Little Red Hen and the Pizza and With Love, Little Red Hen. Here are some pictures of books that we use every year. Create a comparison chart for several traditional books or use a Venn Diagram to compare a "classic" version with a newer "twist" version. See how the authors used parts of the original tales to create their "twist"! 

Here is a simple but cute way to display student writing. Add some wings that "flap" and the head of the Little Red Hen at the top. Have students write summary sentences that retell parts of the story. 
We created a retelling of the Little Red Hen in SONG!
{HERE} to link to it at our TPT store.
After learning about (and maybe visiting) a farm, provide some themed writing paper for your students to use. Here are two students' writing using the paper we have for you at our FREE DOWNLOADS page. The paper comes in 3 variations for differentiating levels of writing. Click {HERE} to link to it. 
We LOVE to sing so we created a Pocket Chart song and the cards to go with it.  It is easily sung to the tune Are You Sleeping (A.K.A. Frere Jacques) Click {HERE} to download the words and picture cards shown above.

Be sure to read LOTS of books about the farm, especially Non-fiction. Here are some of our favorite titles.  Did you know Joy Cowley wrote several books starring Mrs. Wishy-Washy?  Be sure to look for Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Farm as well as the original Mrs. Wishy-Washy! After you read some books aloud, provide the students with some Beginning Readers of their own!  Here is a FREE Little Reader called "The Farmer and His Goat".  It comes with several extension activities that include an INTERACTIVE project your students will enjoy. Click {HERE} to link to it at our TPT store. 

Click {HERE} to link to all our Farm-themed products! 


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