I can’t think about a farm thematic unit without a little John Denver flying through my head.
“Well life on the farm is kinda laid back
Ain't much an old country boy like me can't hack
It's early to rise, early in the sack
Thank God I'm a country boy…”
The smells, the sights, the sounds, and yes, even the joys of manure pies are among farm-life fun that I am always anxious to share with my students.
A farm theme is a great example of how starting with a general idea can mushroom into many smaller themes. Actually every facet of a farm could lend itself to thematic instruction. After I present the broad theme of the farm, I let my student’s interests guide the way to the facets that most interest them.
As with all themes, I like to start with quality literature. My favorite place to begin a thematic quest, is with my classroom, school, public libraries and places like amazon.com. One of my favorite books to begin a farm study with, is my all-time favorite, Mrs. Wishy Washy. This tale by Joy Cowley has been loved by all of my students for nearly three decades. They always beg for it again and again. Additionally to a farm study, it is a great book for an author’s study later down the road, as she has written so many great versions, and additional stories for this great character.
This fun song encourages students to further enjoy Mrs. Wishy Washy and her farm. The original Mrs. Wishy Washy story does not have a cat, but imagine my students excitement as a cat is introduced in other stories like Mr. Dishy Washy, and Mrs. Wishy Washy’s Tub.
The song also makes a great pocket chart song. With it's simple lyrics, students can easily build the song in the chart after it has been introduced and sung as a group.
After you have selected the books, the songs, and the fingerplays, it is time to include all cross-curricular elements into the learning. Our thematic unit is packed with ideas! We have done most of the planning for you. We even include your own planning guide.
The Muddy Farm: Naming Alphabet Letters (or Sight Words)
Potato Truck Bingo: Alphabet Letter Identification
Barnyard Flash: Reading CVC Words
Down on The Farm: Segmenting Words into Phonemes
Where's The Chick? Matching Sight Words
Writing Words: CVC Words
Digraphs on The Farm: Identifying Digraphs
The Auction: Making Sums of 10.
Farmyard Flip: Greater Than/Less Than/Equal To
Farm Patterns: Extending and Creating Patterns
This Little Piggy: Counting Items to Match a Given Number
Pigs In The Mud: Subtracting Objects
Farmer Fran: Connecting Numbers 1-20
Number Barns: Reading and Writing Number Words
Guided Reading Books
The Farm -Level A
The Farm- Level C
Class Made Books
Making Ice Cream: Changing Liquid Into a Sweet Solid
Is It Alive? Classifying Living & Nonliving
What I Know About Farms
Farm Word Wall
Make a Shape Farm
Art School: Drawing Farm Animals
The Wishy Washy Farm