Learning about life on a farm holds great interest for children and many opportunities for integrated learning across the curriculum. Most of today’s children are town-dwellers and have little experience with rural and farm life. Many have no idea where their food comes from beyond the attractive supermarket shelves.
This week I have uploaded some new resources which support an early childhood K-2 unit of work about farms. However, they can be used as part of a literacy program, independent of a farm unit. Sight words and phonic skills can be developed through reading in a context that is both meaningful and interesting to children.
New resources include:
On the farm Who am I? This interactive digital story is great for use on the interactive whiteboard. Children are presented with a series of clues to help them identify an animal that lives on a farm. Children select the answer from those provided. The resource includes both domestic and “wild” animals.
On the farm Who am I? booklet is a printable version or the interactive resource, suitable for small group or independent reading.
Who’s who on the farm? Farm animals is a photo vocabulary book for learning special words related to farm animals; including the names of the young, male, and female animals, as well as names for a group of the animals.
Learning about farms and farm life can integrate learning from other curriculum areas such as science, geography and history. It encourages the development of literacy and mathematics in meaningful contexts rather than as skills in isolation. Below are some suggestions for topics that can be developed in other curriculum areas in early childhood classrooms. Be sure to include books about farms to develop interest in all areas.
Investigate living things and their:
- life stages, including their young
Earth and space sciences
- changes in the weather, including its short and long-term effects on the land, the people and the animals
- uses of earth’s resources, including water and land, for crops and pasture
- what objects are made from
- how the materials are obtained
- the purpose for using particular materials
- Investigate how things move
Identify features in the landscape and explore how they are represented on maps:
- Identify locations and features on maps
- Make simple maps e.g. of a farm visited or constructed with building blocks and toy animals
- Compare rural life with town life
- Identify features of farms, including natural, managed and constructed
- Explain why farms are important to people and need to be looked after
- Investigate the history of the local area, including families who may have been farmers
- Explore how their lives may be similar to or differ from the lives of others in the past or in different locations
- Investigate technology new to modern farming and compare it with methods used in the past
Children not only love to learn about farms and farm life, knowing about the environment and where our food and other products come from is an important part of learning about our world, especially how to care for it.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. I’m sure you’ll have many more of your own, or contact me for additional suggestions.
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