Sunday, October 10, 2010

Theme School: Farm

Forgive me if this post seems a little ridiculous.  It certainly feels ridiculous to me…  It’s a bit long – but “farm” is something you can do forever if you choose to go that route.  (Note – this unit was initially scheduled for last April, but we only glanced at it from time to time before getting fully into it the last two weeks.  Some of the photos are from earlier on.)

Let’s start with the ridiculously long list of books – which isn’t a fraction of a comprehensive list of farm books:
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb by Sarah Josepha Hale.  An illustrated version of the song – and sort of the theme book…
  • The Cow Who Clucked by Denise Fleming.  An absolute favorite of Esmé’s that drove Mom crazy!
  • Mary Was a Little Lamb by Gloria Rand.  Another absolute favorite – Mom liked that it was based on a true story.
  • Here Comes Henny by Charlotte Pomerantz.  A fun tongue-twisting book that deals with food pickiness – perfect for Esmé!
  • Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman.  A favorite of Esmé’s – and it introduces the days of the week, too…
  • Counting Sheep to Sleep by Mary O’Brien.  A fun exercise in counting to four…
  • A Day on the Farm by Nancy Fielding Hulick.  A classic overview of farm life.
  • Barn Dance! by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault.  A fun dancing book!
  • Chicken Big by Keith Graves.  A fabulously fun new book that both Mom and Esmé loved.
  • Farm Pets by Anna Ratzesberger.  A vintage rhyming book.
  • Henny Penny by Wallace C. Wadsworth.  A classic that is fun to read in different voices.
  • Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton.  A LONG TIME dancing favorite.
  • Full Moon Barnyard Dance by Carole Lexa Schaefer.  Seriously, do farm animals do anything else besides dance?  We’re loving the dancing books – and this has a fun twist.
  • Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Christmas by Joy Cowley.  Another fun farm tale involving the bathtub.
  • Barnyard Song by Rhonda Gowler Greene.  An interesting take on barnyard flu.
  • The Boy With a Drum by David L. Harrison.  A classic farm animal tale.
  • Hurry!  Hurry!  by Eve Bunting.  The whole barnyard is excited over the arrival of a chick.
  • And the Cow Said Moo! by Mildred Phillips.  Just in case you want more practice with all the farm animal sounds…
  • The Farm Book by Jan Pfloog.  Another nice farm overview.
  • The Pig in the Pond by Martin Waddell.
  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Carol Jones.  I love songs put to book, so to speak – it’s fun to sing once in a while instead of read.  This version has sweet peepholes to keep a kid engaged.
  • The Farmer in the Dell by John O’Brien.  Another song put to book…
And videos.  We limited this to only 2, but I’m thinking of a ton more as I write this…
Did I mention songs?  Let’s see:
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb (If you’re looking for printables, check CurrClick for a free set)
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • Little Bo Peep
  • Little Boy Blue
  • Farmer in the Dell
  • Old MacDonald
  • B-I-N-G-O (sung with magnet letters)

Moving on to activities.  We went to a “farm”…

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You could go hog wild on food with this theme.  Here are our pigs in a blanket:

We also made butter by shaking some heavy whipping cream in a jar.  Who knew it was so easy to make?!  Esmé is a butter lover and wholeheartedly approved, wanting to eat the stuff with a spoon.

We played with barn sets

and tractor sets.

We made barn sets to play with.  First this awesome PINK pony ranch foam craft kit…
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Then this pipe-cleaner animal craft kit.  Esmé supervised Mom making the animals, for the most part, and then perfected them…

Speaking of animals, Esmé made her fair share, including this lamb from cotton balls, with clothespins for legs:

Also, this pink pig from a paper plate.  I cut triangles for the ears, gave Esmé google eyes and a pink nose pompom, and let her have at it.  She went with a raccoon effect.

And we made a few farmer folk as well – finger puppets from an old glove.

Play dough apple trees joined the fun.

Of course, there are a gamut of farm puzzles…

We role-played like crazy – mostly as Mary…
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…though sometimes Mary had a little crane instead of a little lamb.

The Itty-Bitty Bookworm (Mary Had a Little Lamb week) was the source for a whole lot of activities, like this beginning sounds one…

And a coloring book/easy reader of animal sounds:

Counting “animals (brown/black pom poms) on counting sheets…

And creating color patterns with animals and do-a-dot markers.  (Note our multi-tasking schoolwork with lunch.)

There was this really sweet Fall Unit lapbook over at   Dynamic 2 Moms that included a Farmer in the Dell piece…

We also did a lot of the Baby Animals tot pack over at 1+1+1=1, putting together animals…

Playing color memory.

And Esmé always enjoys drawing (on her terms)… Here is a chalk pony she made:
preschool cornerTot School abc button


ShEiLa said...

There are definitely a million things that you could do with the whole farm thing... and go in a million different directions.

As always...
you cover them nicely.


Drea said...

I always love your book lists. :)

melismama said...

Great variety of activities for the farm theme. I am seeing more and more moms using those dot-a-dot bingo markets..I am thinkin' I need to go get some! THanks for sharing everything! Stopping over from the Homeschool village!

Dorie said...

We are just wrapping up a farm unit study as well - and you are right, you could study farms forever. There really are a lot of resources out there for farms. Looks like your unit was a lot of fun. Stopping over from The HomeSchool Village.

Giggly Girls said...

I recall our farm unit lasting forever too. LOL

You had lots of great ideas!

Cheryl said...

Fantastic links. I can imagine the farm being a unit that never ends. The wonders of God's creation are awe inspiring...there is always something new to learn.

Marina said...

I am shocked at the precision that Esme uses when colouring! At her age that is amazing! I love the farm theme, and so perfect for fall!