Studying farms teaches children about agricultural history, biology, nutrition and more. Since the late 1990s, the Farm to School program has connected local farmers to schools with fun activities and fresh produce for school lunches. Farm activities, crafts and art projects will enhance a teacher's classroom curriculum.
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A field trip to a local farm would offer a real experience for children. Children would see firsthand how a farm really works. They may be able to pick their own vegetables and feed livestock. Other field trips would include a vegetable or food processing plant and a grocery store. In the classroom, songs are useful learning methods about farms. Songs, such as "The Farmer in the Dell," and "Old McDonald," are classic songs for young children that teach about farms. Teachers should also display posters and books about farm animals and plants, and older children should write research papers about aspects of farming.
A paper model farm is an ideal craft project when studying farms. Using a piece of cardboard, craft farm buildings from card stock. Glue paper buildings in place, and use play dough or modelling grass and dirt for the fields. Students may work together in small groups on model farm projects. Younger children may colour colouring pages about farms, while creating papier mache farm animals is a craft for older students. In the classroom, teachers may assign craft projects using animal cutouts from construction paper.
Older students would benefit from an outdoor drawing project at a farm. Set up easels for painting at a local farm or give students drawing paper for sketches at a farm. Crayons or finger paints are appropriate for art projects with younger children. Writing stories or songs about the farm would teach children about farms. Another art project for young students would be creating farm animals from play dough, while older children may use clay to be fired in a kiln. A video or photo documentary art project for older students would also work when teaching about farms.
Teachers and parents must use age-appropriate farm activities, craft and art projects for children. Young children do have the hand coordination skills for difficult papier mache projects. However, older children may benefit from singing songs like younger children. Studying farms is also an ideal introduction into nutrition lessons. Field trips to farmers' markets and using purchased produce for cooking soups and other healthy dishes would teach children about the concepts of farmed food and healthy eating plans.
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