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If you haven’t thought about it before, you might want to consider adding farm lessons to your learning.
One time I asked a child, “Where does your food come from?”
“The grocery store.”
She was nine years old.
Unfortunately, this answer isn’t that unusual. (If you don’t believe me, the next time you are around a group of kids, ask them.)
Many kids today just don’t have a complete understanding of a plant or animal life cycle and where the food in the grocery store comes from (before it ends up in the store).
So, your child definitely isn’t too old (or too young) to tailor a farm lesson for them.
Why Farm Lessons Are Important
I have always considered farming to be an important part of homeschooling. For a while, my kid attended a “farm school” one day each week where she learned more about the process, working on a farm, the food cycle, and animals.
(She loved it! In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up doing some kind of farming when she grows up.)
In order to live a healthy life and make informed decisions about food, one of the first things we need to do is talk to our children about the origins of food.
It’s important for kids to understand that food doesn’t just magically appear in the grocery stores and that farmers work hard at their job to provide our food. This helps kids have a better understanding of and connection to the land, understand the jobs that provide food, and make better choices about what they eat — all things that will carry them into adulthood and throughout their whole lives.
Farming and farm animals is probably an interesting topic for many kids to learn about, so incorporating farm lessons into your studies is an easy sell.
Here are some fun ways you can add farming, gardening, and more farm lessons fun to your learning.
Farm Lessons | 14 Unique Ways For Kids To Learn About Farm Animals, Food, and Farming
FARM LESSONS #1: Learn About American Farming
Need help getting started on a farming topic? This is a great comprehensive farming lesson plan. It’s listed as grades 3 through 5, but you can definitely adapt some of it for younger ages.
Also, check out the National Association of Agriculture Educators, who have a wide range of lesson plans, outlines, and other farming resources to use for class.
Then, head on over to Learn NC who has put together a list of agriculture and farming lesson plans and websites.
FARM LESSONS #2: Watch and Talk Food and Farming
If you have older kids, maybe you want to pair up a food movie and discussion guide/theme movie lesson plan?
Food, Inc. Movie
Check out the Food, Inc. movie and then use this free Food, Inc. discussion guide from from the Center for EcoLiteracy for further learning and discussion.
Food Inc. Movie Trailer Video:
NOTE: Food, Inc. is probably best for older kids because it does cover some serious topics and has images that younger kids might not like. Common Sense Media recommends ages 13 and older.
Farmland is a really great documentary.
(I mean, really great.)
It covers the new generation of farmers, their struggles, and even how they’re using new technology to grow food.
It’s a fantastic option to watch with your kids (for the whole family) to discuss farming.
Watch the movie and then use this Farmland lesson plan as a follow-up.
Check out the Farmland movie trailer video:
FARM LESSONS #3: Farm Animals Lesson Plans for Preschoolers, Kindergarten, and First Grade
FARM LESSONS #4: Understand Animal Babies on the Farm
Here’s a free farm lesson plan for preschoolers to learn about all those cute animal babies!
Make the flash cards and kids learn the names of farm animals by matching them to the names of their babies.
FARM LESSONS #5: Get Farm Animals Pictures
Pixabay is a free photo sharing site where you can download images, clip art, and photos and use them in your work.
If you want to create your own worksheets with the images, check out Canva.
Canva allows you to create documents, posters, invitations, books and so much more. It’s great to use to create worksheets and lessons because it’s easy to drag and drop images, add fonts, and more.
There is both a free and a paid version of Canva. (The free version is more than adequate to make worksheets and other learning tools.)
FARM LESSONS #6: Read Farm Animals Books
Need some cool farm animal books to incorporate into your farm lessons?
Check out these animal books:
FARM LESSONS #7: Understanding Products Produced By Animals
Michigan Farm Bureau has a fun lesson plan called Honeybees, Chickens and Cows, Oh My! that talks about the different products that are made by animals on a farm.
FARM LESSONS #8: All About Beef
Learn about cow farming with this Beef Education Lesson Plan.
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FARM LESSONS #9: Discover Dairy
Discover Dairy has lesson plans and learning tools for grades 3 through 8.
FARM LESSONS #10: How Potatoes Grow
Idaho Potatoes has a cool kids’ site that includes online games, coloring sheets, downloads, quizzes, word searches and more.
FARM LESSONS #11: Get Corn in the Classroom
Missouri Corn has many resources on — you guessed it! — corn!
Illinois Corn also has a good set of lesson plans and learning resource, worksheets, recipes and more on the topic.
FARM LESSONS #12: Learn About Gardening
Purdue University has a kids’ printable booklet that would make a perfect gardening and plants learning unit.
The Collective School Garden Network has assembled a very large curriculum database on farming, gardening, food and more.
FARM LESSONS #13: Make Your Own Greenhouse
You can plant your own mini green house with these Build Your Mini Green House instructions.
What a great way to talk about farm foods!
FARM LESSONS #14: Make a Living Plant Necklace
Want to wear a plant?
If you’re talking about farming, plant life cycles and more, then you’ll definitely want to incorporate this wearable plant jewelry as your craft.