Deuteronomy 16:15

Deuteronomy 16:15
For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Farm Unit

This spring we did a big Farm Theme Unit. As I began to plan this unit, I realized that I needed to narrow down exactly what I wanted to do because "farm" covers such a wide range of things. I broke it down to:

The Life Cycle of a Chicken
Products That Come From Cows (and briefly pigs, sheep, goats and chickens)
Crops: what they are, different types, and how they are planted
The Grain Chain (how grain is grown, harvested, turned into flour, and then bread, ect)
Jobs and Life on a Farm
Tractors, Tractors! (for Nathan)

Unfortunately I wasn't consistent at pulling out the camera this time, especially as the unit wore on, but I will share what I have!

Although our local library is generally a disappointment, they had a huge selection of farm books, which was a nice change! I love these shelves from Ikea that allow me to display books facing out. The kids always read more when I have books displayed this way.

These were the books we narrowed it down to as we learned about the life cycle of a chicken.

We talked about a chicken's nest, and how they sit on the eggs to keep them warm. Here we were making a nest for our poster.

This part of our poster was Naomi's idea! I was just going to print off a picture of an egg cracking, but she shot that idea down quickly. She said we had to SHOW the baby chick coming out of the egg. Not only that, but she was impressed by the fact that chicks have a lump on their beaks called an egg tooth, and she wanted to show that as well. So here is our pompom chick, chipping its way out of the egg with its egg tooth!

We made a foam chick as a craft, and to use on our poster. We talked about how the chick is born with down, and how the down changes into feathers as the chick grows.

Using Naomi's handprint we made a full grown hen.

This was the finished poster we made to show what we learned about chickens! Naomi did many presentations about the life cycle of a chicken using her poster. I think presentation skills are so important, so she presented to everyone we could find!

Here Naomi is using sequence cards I printed off of All the printables I used for this unit are from KidSoup. You do have to buy a membership for this site, but they have some great printables, divided by theme, for Pre-K and Kindergarten level skills.

The sequence cards in order.

A worksheet that Naomi also did.

To cover the topics of jobs on the farm, and life on a farm, we read lots of books, both fiction and non-fiction. I had a couple little worksheets that we did, but for the most part we read, and then acted out what we had just read about.

Both kids love imaginative play, so this was such a fun way to apply what we were learning. The fun thing is, they didn't even realize they were learning! After we read a story about caring for animals, we would go play, and I would just work into our play what we had read about. We milked cows, sheared sheep, and even turned the pig into a ham for Christmas dinner! Nathan plowed, planted, and harvested crops for hours on end. They learned tons of new vocabulary words, and it was all through reading, and most importantly, PLAY! Not only was this great for them, but it was more fun for me, as I felt like I was accomplishing goals, and had a purpose.

Nathan got a ride-on tractor for his birthday and is in LOVE with tractors. I got piles of books about tractors from the library. We read some, and  he also spent tons of time just looking at them with me and by himself. He would get a book, run over, and tell me who in our family got to drive that tractor and what we were going to do with it. Nathan is good at identifying and naming animals, but we practiced this some more, along with what sounds the different animals make. I pulled out this LeapFrog magnet barn toy, and we had fun playing and talking about the different animals. It was a great way to keep him busy when I need a moment to help Naomi with something too. I also printed off some different sized tractors for Nathan, and we practiced putting them in order from biggest to smallest.

Doing some farm pages together. I printed off a mini book for Nathan to practice coloring farm animals.

To kick off learning about cows products, Naomi traced this cow.

We read and talked about the different products that come from cows, and how they are processed. We also made the cow in the middle of this poster together as a craft.

The kids worked together to glue down all these products that come from cows. Naomi cut them out by herself ahead of time.

Nathan working on a farm puzzle.

Here Naomi was doing a farm maze. As it turns out, we have a ton of farm themed toys. It was fun to pull them all out and tie them into our unit.

Here is where I dropped the ball on taking pictures. We read and talked about what crops were, that there are different types of crops, the difference between straw and hay, some of the things we get from crops, and the all the steps involved in planting wheat to baking bread. We read the book "From Grain to Bread" (A Start to Finish Book) which was excellent! It explained everything from planting the wheat, harvesting it, milling the wheat into flour, and baking the bread. We also read "The Little Red Hen" which tied into this perfectly! After reading the book, we watched several different versions of "The Little Red Hen" on YouTube. The kids enjoyed this, and it really solidified the grain to bread process. For fun, we acted out the story of The Little Red Hen. Naomi was the hen (of course!) and Nathan and I were the dog and cat. The kids LOVED this and I don't think Naomi will ever forget the process of grain to bread, after acting out the story again, and again! We also did some pages related to this from KidsSoup.

We really enjoyed this unit! This is the last big unit we will do this school year. I have some fun pirate things planned that we may do in June, but otherwise we are wrapping up for summer break. When the weather is nice, we spend most of our time playing outside. To check out the links to where I got many of my ideas for this unit, and other farm ideas that we didn't get to, check out my farm page on Pinterest!


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