Big Red Barn, by Margaret Wise Brown

What do farm animals do all day? This book is a nice introduction to farm animals and the barn.

Materials

  • Small amount of hay or grass.
  • Large box to make a barn, or a sheet to cover the table to make a barn,
  • Several jars of bubbles and bubble wands (bubble wands can be made by bending pipe cleaners)

Vocabulary

  • Weather Vane (A device that sits on top of a barn and points the way the wind is blowing)
  • Tomcat (a big Daddy cat)

Before Reading the Story

Ask the children to name all the farm animals that they can think of. Write all the answers on a large piece of paper.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; begins to express and understand concepts and language of geography in the contexts of the classroom, home, and community. AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem-Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

Reading the Story

Show the children the weather vane and explain that it tells which way the wind is blowing. When you get to the page that talks of the sheep and the goat making noises in their throat, ask the children if they know what kind of noise they make.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

After Reading the Story

Tell the children that you are going to guess farm animals. Say “I see a /g/ pause /oat/. That makes a goat! Now I see a /sh/ pause /eep/. That makes a _____. See if the children can make a farm animal by saying the first letter sound and then adding the rest of the letter sounds. Ask the children if they can recall the animal that was up during the night.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness of beginning and ending sounds of words.

Discovery

In the story the animals were out and about during the day. Which was the only animal that was up in the night? Discuss with the children what they do during the day and the night. Make a Venn diagram that shows the differences and similarities of the day and the night.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurements; begins to make comparisons between several objects based on a single attribute. Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks.

Music and Movement

Teach the children the Baby Animal Song, to the tune of My Eyes are Little Windows

I had a cute cabalito/pony

My Dad he gave to me,
But now he is a caballo/horse
He grew so big you see.
I had a cute cerditto/piglet
My Dad he gave to me,
But now he is a cerdo/pig
He grew so big you see.
Careritto/lamb-cernero/sheep
Pantorrilla/calf-pantorro/cow
Pollita/chick-pollo/chicken

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied spoken vocabulary.

Blocks

Ask the children to build a barn and add any farm animals you have.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; shows increasing abilities to use compromise and discussion in working, playing, and resolving conflicts with peers.

Art

Use red finger paint today. Show the children how to make a barn in the paint(using a square and a triangle for the basic structure).  Encourage the children try to make farm animals also.

Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic.

Library and Writing

Make a copy of the animal picture cards and cover with contact paper. Add a small piece of Velcro and the children can use these on the flannel board to make a farm scene. Encourage them to tell a story as they play.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Sand and Water

Add hay to the table today and let the children scoop it into buckets. If you do not have hay, use grass. Give the children shovels, tongs, and measuring cups to experiment picking up the hay/grass and putting it into a bucket.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Dramatic Play

Use a sheet to cover the dramatic table to make a ‘barn’. Make sure you can easily observe inside the barn. Or if you have room, use a box. You could take it outside and let the children paint it red the day before.

Creative Arts/Drama; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Math and Manipulatives

Make several copies of the barn picture and color them different colors. The children can then use small cubes, chain links, etc to match the color object onto the correct color barn.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in a series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape,or size.

Outdoor play

Ask the children if they remember what the weathervane is used for. Then ask them if they can think of another way to tell which way the wind is blowing. Bring out the bubbles and let the children blow bubbles into the wind and away from the wind, what happens?

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Transitions

Dismiss the children by asking does this animal live on a farm? Name animals that do and do not live on a farm. The children respond yes or no. You can also have the children make the animal sound.(growl-no, meow-yes).

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

Dear Parents, today we read a story about animals who live on the farm. You can play a simple game called, ‘does it or does it not live on a farm’. Then begin naming animals and see if your child can recall if it lives on a farm or not. Let your child have a turn asking you about some animals.

 Accompanying Book, Farm Animals, by Wade Cooper

Resources

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Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack

Farm animals try to help a little boy find the perfect gift for his Mother’s birthday. Find out what the perfect gift is while reading this simple book with your children.

Materials

  • Picture of cow and bear with word printed underneath.
  • Feely box (shoe box with a hole cut out of each end so child can put their hands inside) A pillowcase will work also.
  • Bear Face
  • 1 brown lunch bag per child
  • Many foil squares and wrapping bows
  • Roll of crepe paper
  • Homemade or store bought “birthday” hats and any other birthday supply

Vocabulary

  • Fine (something that is made very well)
  • Wool (a kind of fur)

 Introducing the Story

Turn to the first page and ask the children how they think the little boy is feeling. Why do you think he is feeling this way? Explain to the children that Danny is sad because he does not know what to get his Mother for her birthday. Ask the children what they would do if it were them?  Tell them the story is called Ask Mr. Bear, why do you think it is named that?

Social & Emotional Development/Social relationships; progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry; and in expressing empathy or caring for others.

 Reading the Story

As you read the story give the children the opportunity to name the animal and make the animal sound in the appropriate places  When you get to the page where Danny’s Mother is guessing what Danny has gotten her for her birthday, stop and ask the children if they can guess too.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; chooses to participate in an increasing variety of tasks and activities. AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find o more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

 After reading the Story

Show the children the front cover of the book. Ask the children to remember what animals were in the story that are not on the cover (bear and cow).

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell or dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in as story.

Cover the cow and bear picture with a piece of paper. Slowly slide the paper off the picture and stretch the word so the children can hear the individual sounds.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness f beginning and ending sounds in words.

 Discovery

Introduce the feely box. Put a familiar object inside the box/ pillowcase and show the children how to put their hands in the holes to feel it. Use familiar items from your classroom. Can they guess what you have put in the box? Teach them to play this game with their friends.

Science/Scientific Knowledge & Skills; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

 Music and Movement

With the book in hand, ask the children to show you what walking looks like, skipping looks like, hopping, galloping, trotting, and running

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary. AND Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency , control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, hopping, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

 Blocks

Put out the many foil squares and encourage the children to wrap blocks like birthday gifts. Let them attach wrapping bows for decoration.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motors; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

 Art

Have the children cut a bear head out and glue it to a brown paper lunch sack to make puppets Let the children water color their puppet.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motors; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer. AND   Creative Arts/Art; develops growing ability to plan, work independently, and demonstrate care and persistence in a variety of art projects.

 Sand and Water

Fill the bottom of the sand table with an inch or two of dirt. Take the children outside to help gather sticks, small branches, and rocks. Put these into the table along with several plastic animals or people. Encourage the children to make a forest scene.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Library and Writing

Put out the cow and bear pictures, encourage the children to practice writing the words and then drawing their own animals.

Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computers.

 Dramatic Play

Set up a birthday theme by adding hats, crepe paper, and small boxes that the children can put objects in. Add self sticking wrapping bows.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

 Math and Manipulatives

Use counting bears to make simple patterns. Ask the children to make one just like yours. Ask the child to show you how many bears old they are, how many people are in their family

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances ability to recognize, duplicate, and extend patterns using a variety of materials. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

 Outdoor Play

Encourage the children to act out the story with you. Depending on how many children are interested you will have to include other animals and movements. Example; Then Kerry asked Kangaroo, do you have a gift I can give my mother? But Kangaroo said no and so they all jumped along and jumped along until they met Snake.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell or dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in as story.

Transitions

           As children are laying down for nap or getting ready to leave, give each a hug and say; Here’s a big bear hug just from me.

Dear Parent- Today we read the book Ask Mr. Bear in which a child tries to find the perfect gift for his Mother’s birthday. Talk to your child about when his/her birthday is. Give the child the date and then state something that will happen close to the date so the child can begin to become aware of things that happen near their birthday. (Kerry your birthday is in the spring when it starts to get warmer outside. Roger, your birthday is just after your father’s birthday).

Resources

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