Friday, May 20, 2016

Farm Life

Hello, teachers!


I don’t know about yours, but our students lately have been fascinated by growing things. They love digging in the garden on the playground and watching plants come up. We’re starting a container garden soon, so I’ll edit this post with pictures once they start coming up!


And where do we grow lots of plants? On farms, of course! It doesn’t help that I have been playing a LOT of Stardew Valley lately, so my mind is right there on the farm along with the kids. Come join our class as we journey onto a farm and get a glimpse of what life is like there.  


Art

One thing you can tell about our classroom is that we love art. For farm week, we let the kids do some marble painting on some cow shapes. 


The next day, we started a project to work on cutting skills, something our kids really need practice with. They tore and cut green paper, then glued it all over a giant piece of white paper. The next day, we provided cutouts of farm animals and encouraged the students to choose some and glue them on. Those who were able cut out their own animals. As you can see from the picture below, our farm animals don’t like to follow the rules of gravity!



We also sang Old MacDonald had a farm and encouraged them to draw their own animals. We put them into a class book called “Old MacDonald had a Farm!” They loved looking at their pictures in the book and singing the song.


Then, since some of them were interested in flowers, we printed out some paintings of flowers. The kids loved looking at them and were inspired to make their own paintings. I didn't get any pictures of these, but one girl took the time to put her green right below a spot of red, just like the painting.


Motor Skills

This was a fun one. Have you ever pretended to milk a cow using a rubber glove? No? You should try it. I know it’s one that keeps popping up on blogs and that’s because it’s so much fun for the kids and great for fine motor strength! We mixed up a little bit of white paint with water, then filled a rubber glove with it, tied it off, and poked tiny holes in the fingers. The students loved squeezing the fingers and figuring out the best way to get out the “milk.” Some of them got literal and thought it really was milk! We let them smell it to find out the truth.

Music


Something that worked well with music this week was printing out the lyrics to “5 Little Pigs.” We went through the song a few times as the kids kept requesting it. Then we posted the lyrics on the wall. Throughout the week, children continued to request it and we saw some of them pointing to the lyrics on the wall as they sang it to themselves.


Math

Do you know how easy it is to create grid and number games? It’s so easy, I ended up making 2: one is a grid game in which children roll a die and put that number of horses in the barn squares using one-to-one correspondence. The kids loved counting the pips on the die, counting the horses, and seeing how many horses still needed to go in their barns. Click on the picture below to download it for free!
The other one is a numeral matching game. Students matched the number of eggs in a basket with the numeral on a chicken. To help them out, I also wrote the numerals on the backs of the eggs so that children could match them directly. Self-help skills! Click on the picture below to download it. This one's free, too!




Science

I saved the best for last. We told the story of the Little Red Hen and had lots of fun deciding whether or not the animals should get any bread at the end of the story. Then, we made our own bread. But first, we made our own butter.


We put heavy cream into a recycled container and shook. “Shake it off, shake it off!” Ok, we shook more than the kids did, but they had fun trying. We looked at it several times throughout the process. “Is it butter yet?” Then we stuck it in the fridge.


The next day, we made bread!*
Using this recipe, the students watched and counted as a teacher measured the ingredients. The children were able to stir a few times and watch them turn into dough. I had brought in my mixer with the pastry attachment to mix it up properly. When we were finally done, well. A picture is worth a thousand words.






*Now, I do have a warning for you. This took ALL DAY. As in, we started in the morning and weren’t able to bake it until the afternoon. Part of that is my fault for not reading the directions and finding out that it needed to rise twice (once for the dough, once again when you pinch the dough into rolls). So if you use the linked recipe, read it all the way through and make sure you let it rise twice. It might even be better to let it rise on the first day, then stick it in the fridge and bake it the next day.


For lots more activities about farm life, I have a lesson plan available for the price of a cup of coffee on TeachersPayTeachers.


What kinds of activities do you do with your class while studying about farms? Comment below!


Happy Teaching!

Love, Amy