Off to the Farm!
Even though it’s still in the high 80s, it’s Fall to me! Once September hits, I am ready for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin patches, and visits to all of our nearby farms. The best farm in my hometown is Braehead Farm. Located in Fredericksburg, VA the farm includes animals, playgrounds, flowers, picnic tables, a market, and many other seasonal activities. Our family loves visiting Braehead – especially during the weekdays when it’s not too busy. I hope that you get to take your little ones to the farm this Fall, whether it’s with your class of students or your own child at home – a day at the farm is an enriching experience for all.
What kind of things can students learn from a farm? Animal care, supply and demand, shelter, the impact of climate, where food comes from, recreational games, gardening and growing your own food, entrepreneurship, Mother Nature, problem solving, and hard work. Don’t live near a farm? Thanks to the internet, many farms feature live webcams nowadays or virtual farm field trips!
Farmer, Farmer (an Adapted Book Series)
Farmer, Farmer (an Adapted Book Series) includes three mini stories – Farmer, Farmer, What do you see? Farmer, Farmer, What do you hear? and Farmer, Farmer, Who’s Next? All of the books come with visuals to aid students in identifying sight words and are easy to set up! These books not only work on student’s understanding of farm related sight words, but also encourages them to think about the sounds that animals make and the happenings around the farm. These are great introductory stories to talking about life on the farm or can be a fun way to regroup and review after.
Animal Vocabulary Unit
The Animal Vocabulary Unit includes data sheets, spelling, writing, and tracing worksheets. Using the terms: farmer, chick, pig, sheep, goat, barn, rooster, donkey, duck, horse, cow, and hen, students can practice spelling and writing these words – including a matching activity of words to pictures. This can be a great pre-farm activity to review prior to your visit so that students can use their new vocabulary while at the farm. Feeling adventurous? Bring some of your vocabulary cards with you and review them next to the real-life animals and barn!
While at the farm, petting and visiting the animals can be such a blast! Most farms provide food to feed the animals – allowing students the chance to get up close and personal with their new farm friends. While seeing the chickens, sheep, and horses students are also getting a glimpse at the building structures the animals are housed in, the types of environments they live in – What bedding do they use? What do they eat? How do they stay warm? How do they stay dry from rain? Providing these simple prompts help students to think about the animals, how to care for them, the weather, and even what kind of materials are used on the farm to keep the animals safe.