Actively involve students when teaching about the farm with cognitive games, songs and stories during circle time.
There are endless possibilities and ways to include a preschool farm theme for circle time. You could explore the animals, food, machinery and types of farms through singing, music and movement, felt boards, memory games, and discussions. Some ideas are outlined below.
Sing Some Farm Songs
The most obvious song that comes to my mind is ‘Old McDonald had a Farm.’ You could hand out picture cards or puppets, so during the song all the cows can make the cow noises and then all the sheep can make the sheep noises and so on. Allow the small groups to move across a designated area and become that animal. The children will be eager for their turn to make their animals noise and you may see some interesting movement interpretations. Other songs you might like to also include are:
- Farmer in the Dell
- Five Little Ducks
- Little Bo Peep
- Baa Baa Black Sheep
- B I N G O
- Mary had a Little Lamb
- Little Boy Blue
You could play a game of memory using matching pairs of animals or other farm related pictures. Other matching games could also include things that go together such as:
- Chicken and egg
- Cow and milk
- Harvester and wheat
- Sheep and wool
Or try matching animals to the sounds that they make for example a picture of a cow and the word ‘Moo.'
A guessing game is always fun. The teacher can use descriptive words to give the clues for the group of children to guess what they are thinking of. For a sheep you could give clues such as “It has 4 legs," allow 1-2 guesses and add more clues “It likes to eat grass." Allow the children turns to be the descriptive person. This is a great activity to increase new farm related words into the children’s vocabulary.
You could also include color recognition and labeling by viewing and discussing the various colors of different animals, fields, barns and tractors. There are also many opportunities to include counting in farm scenes. Count the sheep, the chickens, the trees, the dogs and the people.
Use books with farm related themes to begin discussions about:
- Different types of farms
- What things are on a farm?
- What happens on a farm?
- What do animals eat?
- What do the different machines do?
- Have you ever been to a farm?
Stories can also be told using felt scenes. These are also great to allow children further exploration to make their own stories later during play time.
Actual photos or photo cards are also great for preschoolers to see the item while a story line can be added to hold their attention. Ask children to bring in and share any photos and farm experiences that they have had.
A Weekly Guide
Song = ‘Old McDonald had a Farm’ and ‘Five Little Ducks.’
Cognitive = Memory game matching farm related pictures. Count the ..
Discussion = What things are on a farm?
Story = Five Little Ducks, by Annie Kubler. Photo cards of various items on a farm
Song = ‘Farmer in the Dell’ and ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’
Cognitive = Matching game of things that go together
Discussion = What different types of farms are there?
Story = Books featuring certain farms such as dairy, eggs and grains.
Song = ‘Little Bo Peep’
Music and Movement = ‘Old McDonald had a Farm’
Written language = Match animal picture to sound word
Story = Book featuring animal sounds
Song = ‘B I N G O’ and ‘Little Boy Blue’
Cognitive = Guessing game using description, What color is..?
Discussion = What do the different machines do?
Story = Book about farm machinery
Song = ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’
Music and Movement = ‘Farmer in the Dell’
Cognitive = Why do we have farms and what would happen if there were no farms?
Story = Farm book featuring food production, Felt stories
You will find that including a preschool farm theme during circle time will be eagerly anticipated by the children and a great way to include learning experiences that cover different developmental areas outlined above such as vocabulary, counting, colors, listening, memory, thinking and matching.