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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

15 of the best farm books and activities I've found

15 of the best farm books and activities I've found - from Paula's Primary Classroom
There are a lot of awesome children's books about the farm and farm animals, and there's no way I can talk about ALL of them - but here are some of my favorites, both old and new.

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Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle 
If you have preschoolers and have not yet met this book, you absolutely must find it!  The copy at our library is frequently checked out, because it includes farm animals and trucks - 2 all time favorites with the preschool crowd.

Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell
I love Farmer Duck for lots of reasons, not the least being the thankless nature of his tasks (no-one working with small children ever does thankless tasks, do we?).  I think the best part is that Duck answers with a single word every time he's called, "Quack!"  The kiddos love to join in and help me read/perform this one, and I love that!

Rooster's Off to See the World by Eric Carle
This is an oldie but a good one, any children's book collection should probably include something from Eric Carle's amazing list of titles!

Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming
Another artist whose work is always amazing, Denise Fleming does a lovely job of combining simple rhyming text, animal noises, and an easily found but sort of hidden goose on each page.  Little ones love finding the goose and of course, making the noises.

Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker
Perhaps this is actually a tour of some of my favorite children's book artists, because Keith Baker is another  whose art is amazing!  In each of his books there is something hidden on each page, in this case the word HEN is on each hen in the book.  If you have a child who loves combing the pages looking for hidden treasure, you'll fall in love with all of Baker's work.

Color Farm, by Lois Ehlert
Bold colors, cut outs in the pages, clever use of shapes - fantastic!  This would pair beautifully with the tangram activities I suggest further down this list!

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
I first heard about this book from a child who had heard it elsewhere, and couldn't stop talking about it, for weeks.  Anything that engages a child that long is well worth checking out, and I was not disappointed!  Bonus feature, if you have students who blurt, or need to work on self control, this book is a gentle way to bring that to their attention in a fun way.

Pete the Cat Old MacDonald Had a Farm, illustrated by James Dean
You can't help but sing along with this song, and adding Pete the Cat makes just about everything better, right?  Do we cry? Goodness no!

Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop by Lisa Shulman
Old MacDonald is a woman in this book, and she has a fantastic set of wood working tools that make awesome sounds.  This one will easily be a class favorite for the great combination of the familiar tune and new sounds and motions you can make with it.

Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith.  Click here to watch a performance of the song that the book is based on - I don't know about you, but I think I need the printed words to make it all the way through!

Hedgie's Surprise by Jan Brett
Okay, this is definitely a tour of farm books by awesome picture book artists!  Like most of Jan Brett's books, this one is a slightly longer picture book read, and the illustrations are phenomenal!  I like to point out the action in the frames around the main picture - Jan Brett always includes extra information in these smaller illustrations - it's a great way to engage students further with the book, makes reading the pictures easier for the youngest kiddos, and shows that we get information in picture books from both the pictures and the words.  Working on narrative skills? Students can use these extra pictures to tell more of the story than the text alone provides.

Of course, no matter how many amazing books we read to our students, we also need great follow up activities!

I adore these mixed media cows - an idea inspired by this post (in French). I explain how we made them on our class' Artsonia page. This project lends itself to a discussion of squares, circles and rectangles, worked fine motor skills as we worked with scissors, crayons, watercolor paint and crayons and frankly looked awesome as a bulletin board!
15 of the best farm books and activities I've found - from Paula's Primary Classroom

We combined math, art and literacy for this next project:
I'm really happy that I recorded each child reading their page, and made a read aloud of our class book.  What a neat treasure to look (and listen) back on! If you haven't recorded your students reading yet, having them read their page of a class book is a simple first step - and with only a few words (which they wrote!) for each child to read, it feels more like an opportunity to show what they can do than a challenging task to complete.  Isn't that how we want our students to feel about reading?
15 of the best farm books and activities I've found - from Paula's Primary Classroom

A couple more ways I like to include math learning is with farm tangrams (see how I use them in this youtube video!)...
farm tangrams for 2D math learning

... and hands on math games.



If your students are beginning to read, you'll want some sight word rich text for them - maybe like this one that's available in my TeachersPayTeachers store:

Do you still need more ideas about the farm?  Check out my farm Pinterest board!  Thanks for stopping by!