Some grade schoolchildren may come from a farming community and understand what a farm looks like. Many children, however, only know what a farm is from illustrations, songs and movies. You can help grade schoolchildren better visualise different aspects of farm life by having them create 3D farm projects.
Stand Them Up
Print farm figures. These might include cows, horses, chickens, dogs, cats, sheep, pigs, a farmer and his family. Print a large barn on cardstock, making sure leave a three inch strip along the bottom. The children colour and cut out the figures. Provide a cardboard square the children colour green or cover with green tissue paper. Make a forward fold on the barn picture and glue to the underside of the cardboard. Out of cardstock, cut strips four inches long. Fold in the middle and glue both to the figures and to the cardboard base to create a 3D farm scene. Instead of cardstock strips, glue craft sticks to the figures, cut slits in the base and anchor the sticks into the slits with glue. On a piece of paper with a barn, add people and animals cut from cardboard. Glue on for a 3D appearance.
Tip a shoebox so the opening becomes the front of a shadow box. Glue a barn to the back and cut styrofoam to fit the bottom. Create farm figures from cut-outs. Colour, cut out and glue craft sticks to the lower halves of the figures. Arrange by sticking craft sticks into the styrofoam. From black construction paper, cut a frame opening and glue the frame around the shadow box opening. Use a round hat box in which you cut a side opening. Cut a styrofoam circle the size of the bottom. Colour both sides of figures and barn. Arrange on the circle, leaving the centre clear. Use a fastener brad or wire to attach the styrofoam to the hat box bottom. This allows the viewer to turn the circle around to view the 3D farm scene from any angle.
Use a box or tray with low sides. Fill with sand. Purchase plastic farm animal sets. Cut down a milk carton and paint it red for the barn. Cut the carton to make a large door on one side and use ribbon to create roads. Glue toothpicks horizontally across vertical toothpicks and stick into the "ground" for fencing. Add the animals. Set a large box on it's side. Tie thin wire or string around the plastic figures. Colour the back of the box with a farm scene that includes a barn, trees and fencing. Make 4-inch slits in what is now the top of the box. Insert the string from the figures through the slits made and tie them off on craft sticks to secure the line. The craft sticks fit horizontally over the slits with the figures dangling below, just touching the "ground." You can move the figures back and forth along the slits. Plan the best location for the slits ahead of time. Suspend the figures from a hanger with the illustration of a barn glued onto it for a mobile.
Use interconnecting blocks to create a barn and other farm items, such as trees and fences. Add cut-outs of farm animals. Build farm buildings with wooden blocks. On rectangular blocks glue farm figures. Create the farm scene using rocks, twigs and leaves in a tray with low sides. Paint large and small rocks with farm illustrations. Build fencing with twigs and use leaves for hay piles. Add grass clippings for the lawn and kernels of corn for crops.
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