This week’s theme is farm animals. Our “Growing Minds Day by Day” educational resource lists are designed for families and educators to use during the COVID-19 quarantine and beyond.
Growing Minds Day by Day
Week of August 17, 2020 – Farm Animals
Books for Monday, 8/17: Three Lyrical Farm Stories
A Farmer’s Life for Me
One, two, three it’s a farmer’s life for me! Author Jan Dobbins’ lyrical story about farm life is recommended for grades K-2, and was recently added to our farm to school lending library. Readers will spend a day out in the fields and find out what farmers do! They’ll also find endnotes with fascinating facts about farm animals and crops. This book is available for purchase in a Spanish edition entitled ¡Vivamos la Granja! Watch an animated singalong of this book with music by The Flannery Brothers.
The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred
Next up is a lyrical bilingual book, The Cazeula That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos. This is the story of how the farm maiden and all the farm animals worked together to make the rice pudding—arroz con leche—that they serve at the fiesta. Cleverly incorporating Spanish words, adding a new one in place of the English word from the previous page, this book makes learning the language easy and fun. Watch a lively librarian-led read aloud here.
The Cow Who Clucked
Our final farm animal-themed recommendation is The Cow Who Clucked by Denise Flemming, for preschool-2nd grade. One morning, Cow woke up to find that she had lost her moo. What’s a cow without a moo to do? Listen to the sounds on a farm and meet the many animals who call the farm home, as Cow tries to get her moo back. Watch a read aloud on YouTube.
Find more books
Visit the Growing Minds’ farm to school literature database to discover more of our favorite children’s books about farms. Type “diversity” into the search bar to find books that feature characters from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. A Farmer’s Life for Me and The Cow Who Clucked are both available to check out from our lending library.
Recipe for Tuesday, 8/18: Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Cheese
This week we’re sharing a local food recipe from our Farm to Preschool Toolkit, which features eggs that come from chickens, plus milk, butter, and cheese from cows. If spinach is not available at your farmers market, you could substitute a different leafy green, such as chopped kale or Swiss chard, or another seasonal veggie of your choice!
Kids can… rinse the veggies, dice up the onion using a kid-safe knife, crack the eggs, whisk together the eggs, milk, and seasonings, and grate the cheese. Depending on what they help with, preparing this recipe can earn kids a square or two on our Kids Cooking Bingo card!
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Cheese
- 6 eggs
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 small onion, diced (optional)
- 4 oz. local spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Toast or tortillas (optional)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion (if using) and cook, stirring, until golden brown.
- Add spinach to the skillet and sauté until it is wilted.
- Add egg mixture and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle cheese over eggs and stir. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 4 minutes.
- Serve scrambled eggs with toast or warmed tortillas and salsa, if desired.
Resources for Wednesday, 8/19: Farm Visit and Lesson Plans
Virtual Farm Tour
Take your children or students on a virtual tour of Shared Blessings Farm in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Meet the farmers and the many animals they raise on their diversified farm, including donkeys, miniature horses, cattle, pot bellied pigs, geese, goats, sheep, chickens, and more. Watch the video here.
Educators can use the resources in The Hayride: A Resource for Educational Farm Field Trips to plan future farm visits for their students.
Growing Minds Lesson Plans
- Farm Animals (K-2): Students will be introduced to different farm animals and learn about what food and materials they can provide to us and our community.
- Butter Investigation (3-5): Students will predict how much butter will be made from different types of milk and test their hypothesis.
- Egg Investigation (3-5): Students will investigate different colored eggs and compare differences between eggs purchased at the grocery store and farmers market.
Activities for Thursday, 8/20: Storytelling and Dramatic Play
Farmers don’t just grow fruits and veggies, they grow animals too! Many farms in our Appalachian region raise pigs, chickens, goats, cattle, and honey bees, and some raise more unusual creatures, like trout, llamas, or bison. Introduce your children to the variety of animals that live on farms. Help them understand the commitment involved in raising farm animals. Make the connection to the responsibilities they may be familiar with that come along with owning a pet.
Encourage your child to come up with a story about a day in the life of a farm animal of their choice. What does the farm animal eat? Where does it play or sleep? What other people or animals does it interact with throughout the day?
Once they’ve come up with a story, children can illustrate a scene about their farm and its animals by making a drawing, painting, or a shoebox diorama. They could even create a song or play about their farm animal and act it out for their class, friends, or family.
Have children play pretend farm animals for this week’s energizer. Explain to children that when you shout out an animal, the child has to walk like that animal would walk. Choose from cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, sheep, horses, and many more. How do these animals eat, run, and sleep? Have the children attempt to mimic all of these movements (and the sounds the animals make!) in a large open area.
Freaky Friday, 8/21: Bonus Book
Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis
In honor of the late Civil Rights leader and lawmaker John Lewis, this week we’re sharing an additional book, Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis, written by Jabari Asim and illustrated by E.B. Lewis. A young John Lewis grows up on his family’s farm in rural Alabama. He aspires to be a preacher and a leader when he grows up, and discovers that the flock of chickens he is charged with caring for makes an attentive congregation.
Educators and parents should stick around until the end of this educator-led read aloud, where she offers tips for tying this story to further conversations and curriculum connections with children in grades K-5. Watch a read aloud of this story on YouTube.
This book is available for educators in the Asheville-area to check out from our Growing Minds lending library.
That’s it for this week. Check back next week for new resources. Click here to access Day by Day resources from past weeks. If you didn’t find what you’re looking for here, please visit our Lesson Plans page.