Kids this age love farm animals so much. We went to the zoo for a field trip last year and the kids talked about the animals for weeks afterwards. We are starting a unit on plants and seeds so talking about farms and farmers is one way to introduce the topic. So we sing “THE FARMER IN THE DELL!”
I have a Farmer in the Dell game I bring out for the kids once a year where they become the characters in the song. It’s a stuffed version of the I bought at a teacher convention that has the farmer, the wife, the child, the nurse, the dog, etc. And the kids hold them as they go around the inside of a giant circle during P.E. and pick their friends to walk around in the circle with them. My class is so small though that everybody is in the circle just about, by song’s end!
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert is such a terrific book. I LOVE the artwork in it. It’s an interesting and quick read about what grows in this garden. It’s filled with super colorful illustrations of many different kinds of flowers and how they grow from different kinds of seeds. It is a perfect springboard to a study of plants and seeds. We always plant something in small, clear cups so the students can see the roots growing out of the seeds. It’s a cool process to watch. We also have grow lights, so that makes things grow even faster and healthier. They were a gift to our school from the Red Butte Garden’s outreach program in Salt Lake City, Utah. Very nice of them if you ask me!
|We finished our flower garden mural showing parts of a flower plant….
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert is a great book for going through the process of planting vegetables from seeds to veggies, to making soup! I bought some seed packets for many different veggies and flowers and I’ll let the kids choose. After we fill their clear cups with potting soil, and they pick their seeds, we water them and label them with popsicle sticks. so they remember what they are growing 😀 kids LOVE to have their choice of seeds to plant and LOVE even more seeing what happens over the weeks of growing.
There are so many jobs on a farm to do. As a city kid, I was fascinated going to visit my Uncle Merle’s farm in Iowa and seeing the silo, the automated grain feeders and how they grow popcorn. City kids love farms!
Alphabet Soup Rap (snap or clap)
Reader 1 : A-B- CDE, Down on the farm is where I want to be!
Reader 2: F-G- HIJ, Milking the cows and bringing in the hay!
Reader 3 : K-L- MNO, Where trees and plants from seedlings grow!
Reader 4: P-Q- RST, Riding a horse across fields so free!
Reader 5: U-V- WXY, But it’s time to leave and say good-bye!
All: Z-Z- ZZZ, Down at the farm is where we want to be! Ye Ha!
Copy and glue this on the back of the farm scene for a shared reading/singing activity.
|Pop up books we made before Spring Break
|Naughty little Peter Rabbit, running through the vegetable garden….
|ROOT VIEWER – Kids love to watch the roots growing…
We finished making Peter Rabbit story pop up books before Easter break. They depict Mr. McGreggor’s Garden. They always turn out super cute. So this is a perfect time to introduce the plant and seed unit we do in our K-2 core. I have a Root Viewer set so kids can see 3 different veggies growing inside.
A few years ago I won my root viewer from a teacher science workshop. It is a really fun addition to my plant and seed unit. It shows the roots growing in the long, clear tubes and kids like that. Then we all planted our own plants in recycled soup and vegetable cans and we covered them with cute scrapbook paper.
AUTHOR STUDY: I love the author Joy Cowley because her books always have a surprise ending. Mrs. Wishy Washy is a big book by Joy Cowley most of my students got last year in Kindergarten. So I tell them that the fun author has written lots of other stories like The Rusty, Trusty Tractor we will be reading. They all love Mr. and Mrs. Wishy Washy. I wonder if we wrote a class letter to Joy Cowley if we would get a response back? Hmmm….. LOIS ELHERT is another great author we will study her 2 books above in our plant and seeds unit. She does quite a few good science books that are excellent for introducing the topic.
Copy off and have kids cut out a construction paper red barn from clip art. Glue some yellow crinkled, shreded paper onto the front of the barn like hay falling out of a window. Then choose blue or yellow background paper. Color and have the kids choose which animals to glue around their”Farmer in the Dimple Dell” barn collage. We will take pictures in cowboy hats and bandanas around our necks and use them as our farmer selves on a green, John Deere tractor, (or in our case “Vera Deere”, or ” Matt Deere” tractors of course!! The wheels we had help cutting out with fancy scissors and then a brad in each yellow circle “just for the hubcap look”. I just used PHOTOBOOTH on my school laptop to take instant pictures of all the kids in hats and then printed them directly into the computer lab color computer. Super easy! But they are not super clear. They look like a cross between black and white and color, but they will do in a pinch. I found the farm animals and the barn and the writing paper in one of the Scholastic Monthly Idea Books.
|Nova and Allie’s farms
|Close up of the cute art project.
|Nova’s art and multiplication array…
|did you notice who is sitting in the tractor? All the kids in my class!
A Fun Math activity designing a garden for Frog and Toad for their 24 plants can be found HERE . It is a math “problem solving” that is challenging and fun. I will give the kids icons of plants to color and choose the amounts to use to make a “GARDEN ARRAY” and multiply the rows and columns. The book is called Frog and Toad Together. The chapter is called The Garden. This will go great on the back of the farm art project. We’ll just call them “Farmer John Dear”. hehe. Then we will graph how many of each plant we planted in our garden. It was easy for my first graders.
|After we did our arrays last week we graphed our vegetable gardens this week!
|Trace’s farm 4 x 3 = 12
|Addie’s farm…the kids chose the veggies, and the amounts to make their arrays…
|Vera’s Farm…… 3 x 4 = 12
|Peter’s Farm… 3 x 3 = 9
Kate’s Farm and her math array… 2 x 4 = 8
For our writing workshop to go along with our farm and planting week, we are going to become farmers. The cute writing paper I found is called “A Day on the Farm”. The kids’ assignment was: Make up an animal character, his friends, the problem, and a solution. We divided our sloppy copy paper into 4ths and on one corner wrote the problem, on another corner the solution, another corner the 2 character names and who they are, and the 4th corner was the setting. Was it in the field? Or was it in the Barn? Or was it in the farmer’s house?
Then I modeled a story on the board about a farmer whose pig runs away. The kids all had their own ideas as we talked about possible farm problems.
|Here’s Peter’s story…the rooster stopped crowing! Oh No!
|Here’s Andrew’s story…the cow stopped giving milk! How Awful!
|And Matt’s story is about the tractor hitting the barn! Bonk!
|This tractor really did hit the barn! (photos of us in cowboy hats) on the tractors!
Well, now that Spring has finally arrived in Utah, maybe I can actually get my own garden planted!
I better get on that real soon. I’m kind of excited to grow some stuff after doing all this planting and
“farming” in my classroom. : D