We learned about farmers and farms by taking a field trip to a local farm/pumpkin patch! This was my first ever field trip with this age group so I, of course, was completely stressed out and worried for the entire week leading up to the trip! But in the end, it was a huge success and everyone had a great time! We got to see a farm show where we learned about different farm animals and farm equipment. The children loved having the opportunity to pet all the different kinds of farm animals and see them up close!
After the farm show they gave us popcorn and juice and then we got to explore the pumpkin patch! They had a couple old tractors out the children could climb on and explore, hay bales piled up to make pyramids (they enjoyed climbing to the top), and a corn “maze” (not really a maze – but that’s what they called it) for the children to walk through, and a “cave” for them to explore! They loved every second of it! We all brought our lunch so after exploring the pumpkin patch we sat down for a picnic – then all the children got to pick a pumpkin before we headed back to school! I only wish they had had a hay ride for us – I always loved those as a kid! Since this trip went so well I’m already thinking about where we could go in the spring!
In honor of our Farm Theme I have transformed our playhouse into a barn. I have use a very large cardboard box to make a barn. I have no idea what this box was used for – all I know is that it came from a body shop. I believe at one time it might possibly have housed a hood for a car. It’s been painted red with white on the doors. Windows have also been cut into the sides. I use a combination of duck tape and staples on the ends that touch the walls to make it stand up. It’s in one corner of our room and big enough for 4 children to lie down inside! It’s really awesome! The playhouse clothes are overalls and cowboy hats (all acquired at thrift stores or the goodwill) and the baby dolls have been switched out for small scarecrow dolls. I even have two of those horse head things on a stick (totally can’t think of the names of those things right now!) – the kids love to play in the playhouse and pretend to live and/or work on a farm! Parents, teachers, and children alike seemed impressed! And what fun time we have in our big red barn! 🙂
I got this idea from another teacher – and a friend sent me the picture! Excuse the crappy cell phone pic – this is what the other teachers looked like – I don’t have a picture of mine but I pretty much copied it exactly!
Well – I’m back! After a ton of computer issues over the past week – I’m finally back online and back on my blog! This week we started our unit on Farms. At the start of our farm unit I always like to do a couple days on apples – because they are being harvested this time of year and because most children are familiar with the fruit.
I teach all the different parts of the apple: the skin, the core, the seeds, the flesh, and the stem. We cut them open and look at the different parts. We smell apples. We touch them. We taste them. I buy red, yellow, and green apples and we compare their tastes, smells, textures, and appearances. When we’re done, we graph which apple we liked the best and then compare those results. We count which color had the most people like it and which color had the least.
We sing songs about apples. We read books about how apples grow and about orchards. We sequence the life of an apple tree – from seed, to full-grown tree. And we make apple prints with red, yellow, and green paint to match the color of our apples. I don’t usually do art with food – it makes me feel guilty because I feel it’s a waste – but every so often I make an exception.
Apple days in my class are always fun for everyone – and it’s a good way to lead in our farm unit! 🙂