Life On a farm Integrated Literacy Unit

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Life On A Farm


Integrated Literacy Unit

1st Grade






Kari Anderl

Melissa Damon

Allison Huber

    Sara Vogele


ED 342 Teaching Literacy

Professor: Michelle Pickel

December 12th, 2002



Dear Parents,

I am sending you a letter to tell you about the exciting things that will be happening in our classroom for the next two weeks.

On Monday, we are going to start a unit called “Life on the Farm”. In this unit we will focus on helping children learn about all aspects of a farm, including: different animals that live on a farm, sounds animals make, what kinds of crops are grown, the typical daily routine on a farm, why farms are important to people in many aspects of their daily lives, and why each farm is special. The students will also have the opportunity to grow their own lima beans, make their own butter, and create their very own scarecrow. This unit will let children use their creativity and give them the opportunity to experience new and exciting wonders that take place on a farm.

During this unit, your child(ren) will learn songs, read books, play games, and do physical activities that will help them learn about the many different daily activities that take place on farms. They will also be watching the movie Babe and reading from Charlotte’s Web. One of the very exciting things we will be doing is taking a field trip to Old McDonald’s Farm in St. Croix Falls on the 17th. Here, the children will be able to apply what they’ve learned to what they see and have a “picnic” with the cows, pigs, and horses. A permission slip will be sent home with the next student newsletter sometime early next week.

If you have any questions or concerns about the unit, or if you are interested in helping out with any activities, please contact me. As always, parents are invited to come and help anytime they are free. We would love to have you!



Mrs. Bares


As always, here are some ways parents can get involved outside of the classroom:

1. While driving, point out animals that you may see along the road.

2.       Read stories with/to your child about farms/farm animals.

3.       Sing songs with your child about the different sounds an animal on a farm would make.

4.       Visit a real life farm.

5.       Take your child for a tractor ride.

6.       Do dramatic play, such as: dress up as farmers and tend to your crops.

7.       Make a scarecrow with your child.

8.       Take your child to the Farmer’s Market and ask them what the different foods are.

9.       Draw pictures or a have your child dictate to you a good idea for a story.

10.   Lastly, listen to your child, and show him or her that you are interested in what they are learning.


Literacy Unit Pretest


The pretest would consist of a KWL chart. The students would have a chart that would be split into three sections the first would be Know and the students would list what they know. The second would be “what do what they want to learn”. The third section would be “what they learned”. Here’s a list of questions that could be asked in the beginning to see what the children know.


1.      How many of you have been to a farm?

2.      What does a farm look like?

3.      What kinds of animals live on a farm?

4.      Who takes care of the farm?

5.      What happens on a farm?

6.      What are some of the sounds that the animals make?

7.      What are some of the plants that grow on the farm?

8.      Would you find a farm in the city?

9.      Is a farm small or big?

10. Why is a farm important to your lives?


These are a few questions that can be used to assess the level that the children are at before the start of the unit. This way the teacher will have some idea of what to change or add to the unit.







1.      The students will know what is on a farm (buildings, animals, and people), and be able to explain the function of each.

2.      The students will be able to know what a scarecrow is, the function of a scarecrow, and create their own scarecrow and share it with the class.

3.      The students will be able to differentiate how different animals are born and explain how baby chicks are born with the use of an incubator in the classroom.

4.      The students will be able to participate in a field trip to an actual farm and write or draw their own story and what they enjoyed about the trip to the farm.

5.      The students will be able to describe how fields are planted and how crops are harvested and be able to plant their own vegetables after the lesson on “How to Plant Your Own Lima Bean.”

6.      The students will be able to describe how farm help other people by visiting a farmers market.

7.      The students will be assigned a project, pick a topic for his or her project, and complete their project, and share the project the Thursday of the last week of the unit.

8.      The students will watch the movie “Babe” on the last day of the unit and

be able to write or draw his or her favorite part of the movie and orally tell

why the part they choice was his or her favorite.

Life On A Farm

2 Week Unit




Monday: “Pre-test” (what they know about farms, animals, crops, jobs, who works on a farm, etc.)


· Have children make a list of what they already know (KWL


· Have them share what they know (so that you as the instructor have some idea of what they already know, and what they have not learned)

· Play game called, “What Is a Cow” (have children tell you descriptions about what a cow is, what a sheep is, and so forth)




Tuesday: What’s on a farm (buildings, animals, people, etc.)?


· Names of buildings, etc.: Silo, Barn, Horse Stall, Chicken Coop, Pig Pen, Pasture

· Descriptions of buildings, etc. (ex. Pasture: grassy area where cows and sheep graze)

· Read the book, “The Little Scarecrow Boy” by Margaret Wise Brown and David Diaz

· Talk about scarecrows and what they are used for on the farm

· Have children make their scarecrow and share with class


Wednesday: How animals are born? How to take care of them?


· Bring an incubator into the classroom, and allow children to watch chicks hatch


Thursday: Jobs of animals on farms


· Read books on cows

· Centers / divide up the room into different centers to learn about the different animals and why they are all important, (like the uses of cows: used for milk, and for their meat)

· Play “Cow Chase,” (which is explained in the following lessons)



Friday: Take a trip to Kelley Farm


· Have them write/draw their own story or journal entry

· Creative writing about what they liked on the farm

· Milk a cow/goat if applicable (or have children watch the

farmer milk

the cow)

· Discuss with the children what they learned about the milking process, what they liked and disliked, and why.

· Feed goats and other animals (under supervision)




Monday: Jobs of people on a farm: (farmer, butcher, helpers who tend the crops (field hands), Milk maids, children, etc.) - have the children give descriptions of what each of these workers do


· Process drama and reenact story (possibly reenact the song “The Farmer and The Dell.”

Tuesday: How fields are planted/crops are harvested


· Plant his or her own plant

· Bring in vegetables

· Do the lesson plan on “How to Plant Your Own Lima Bean”


Wednesday: How farms help other people


· Take a trip to the Farmer’s Market

· Review different vegetables with children, play the game “When I went to The Farmer’s Market I Decided To Buy Something Green (or any other color)…” This game is similar to 20 questions (children ask questions about particular vegetable or fruit until they figure out which one it is, then it is their turn to pick a vegetable or fruit to buy).



Thursday: Project sharing day (make something of choice to share with class, art, story, etc.)


· Play the game “What did they eat”

        Music/Drama lesson “Pen Pals”


Friday: Watch the movie “Babe”



 Below are links to complete Lesson Plans for this unit:


Learning Area(s):   Fluency                                                Grade Level(s):       first

Lesson Title:   What’s Your Favorite Story From a Farm?        Lesson Length:30 minutes



Learning Area(s):  Reading/Decoding (sight word recognition)            Grade Level(s):  first

Lesson Title: What Would They Eat?                                               Lesson Length:  30 minutes



Learning Area(s):  Physical Education and Fitness Grade Level(s): first          

Lesson Title:  Cow Chase                                    Lesson Length: 45 minutes


Learning Area(s):   Scientific Concepts and Applications Grade Level(s):   first

Lesson Title:    Growing My Very Own Lima Bean   Lesson Length: 30-60 min.


Learning Area(s): Math                                              Grade Level(s):   first  

           Lesson Title:   Animal Counting                                  Lesson Length:   20 minutes


Learning Area(s):   Writing                                          Grade Level(s): first

Lesson Title:   A Day in the Life of a Child on a Farm Lesson Length: 60 minutes


Learning Area(s):  Music, drama, and language (higher-order literacy) Grade Level(s):  first

Lesson Title:  Pen Pals                                                  Lesson Length: 60 minutes


Learning Area(s):   Social Studies                                Grade Level(s): first

Lesson Title:   Why Farms Are Important To Us       Lesson Length: 60 minutes




Literacy Unit Post-test

To go along with our pre-tests for our Life on a Farm Unit, our post- test will include the same questions of our pre-test to observe what they students have learned throughout the entire unit. A note will be sent home to the parents describing the student project given on Monday of week two.


The letter would read:


Dear parents, as you know, our class has been learning about animals and farms and the different functions of each. Each student will complete a project on his or her own regarding a topic of his or her choice. Some ideas include: description of a farm worker job, i.e., farmer, butcher, farm hands, the farmers wife, etc. I would really appreciate you taking some time on this project to help your child decide on the topic and offer any help as needed by your child. At the bottom of this letter is a list of questions that can be used as an aid for choosing a topic for your child’s project. The students will share their projects on the Thursday of our last week of this unit. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at any time. Thanks for all your help and support in our Life on a Farm Unit.



Mrs. Bares



1.      How many of you have been to a farm?

2.      What does a farm look like?

3.      What kind of animals live on a farm?

4.      Who takes care of the farm?

5.      What happens on a farm?

6.      What are some of the sounds that the animals make?

7.      What are some of the plants that grow on the farm?

8.      Would you find a farm in the city?

9.      Is a farm small or big?

10. Why is a farm important to your life?







1.      Aliki. (1992). Milk From Cow To Carton. New York: HarperCollins Juvenile Books.


2.      Brown, Margaret Wise. (1998). The Little Scarecrow Boy. New York: HarperCollins Juvenile Books.


3.      Cowley, Joy and Oliver Dunrea. (1999). My Rusty, Trusty Tractor. New York: Boyds Mills Publisher.


4.      Gibbons, Gail. (1990). Farming. New York: Holiday House.


5.      Gibbons, Gail. (1993). From Seed To Plant. New York: Holiday House.


6.      Gibbons, Gail. (1985). The Milk Makers. New York: Atheneum.


7.      Gibbons, Gail. (2000). Pigs. New York: Holiday House.


8.      Hindley, Judy. (2002). Does A Cow Say Boo? Cambridge: Candlewick Press.


9.      Jordan, Helene J. and Krupinski, Loretta. (1992). How A Seed Grows. Topeka: Harper Trophy.


10. Kalman, Bobbie. (1997). Hooray For Dairy Farming. New York: Crabtree Publishers.







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