• fine motor
• social studies
• fine motor
• social studies
Materials• collect pictures of red barns, farms, and books about farms, such as Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise-Brown (HarperCollins) and My Little People Farm by Doris Tomaselli (Random House)
• large appliance box (from an oven or washing machine) and one small box
• red, white, and black tempera paint, paintbrushes, smocks
• plastic farm animals
• plastic fruits and vegetables, recycled fruit and vegetable baskets
• large sheets of drawing paper
• variety of tempera paints, crayons, markers
• pretend farm props (aprons, work clothes, straw hats)
• utility knife for cutting boxes (to be used by an adult)
DirectionsAll About a Farm. Read a book about a farm. Hold a discussion about farms and encourage children to share what they already know. Use pictures and additional books to stimulate children’s thoughts. Place books, plastic farm animals, and pictures of farms in the block area. Include books about farms in the library.
Big Red Barn. Re-read the farm book the following day and share pictures of red barns with children. Ask them to notice how the barns are similar. Show them the large and small boxes, and explain that they will make a big red barn for the dramatic-play area and a smaller barn for their block area. Invite older children to work together to design the barn and offer assistance to the younger ones. Provide children with the suggested art materials and smocks to paint the barns.
Life on the Farm. Work with children to redesign the dramatic-play area with props to enhance play including clothing, hats, work gloves, plastic fruit and vegetables, and fruit and vegetable baskets.
Farm Animals. Invite the group to create a list of different types of farm animals. Provide them with large sheets of paper and a variety of tempera paints to make farm animals for their farm. Cut out the animals and suggest children attach them to the barn and the surrounding wall area.
Barn Dance and Sing-a-long. This is a perfect time to sing farm songs like “Down on Grandpa’s Farm” and “Old MacDonald.” Play some square dancing or country music and invite everyone to an old-fashioned barn dance for a fun movement activity.
Remember: Younger children are usually interested in learning about baby farm animals and they love to mimic the sounds animals make.
Lesson ExtensionsTake-Home Activity
Farm Products in Our Home. Send home a sheet of drawing paper and invite children to draw pictures of food items at home that are grown on a farm.
Curriculum Connection: Social Studies
The Farmer’s Market. Plan a trip to a local farmer’s market to learn about the different products that are grown on farms. Take photographs to document the trip. Afterward, invite children to draw and write or dictate information about their visit. Assist them in creating a farmer’s market or produce stand in their “farm area.”
Let’s Find Out: Farm Animals
by Wiley Blevins
(Scholastic, 2006; $9)
Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm
by Joy Cowley
(Penguin, 2006; $6)
On the Farm, Vamos a la Granja
by Mandy Stanley
(Houghton Mifflin, 2003; $4)