Preschool Activities for "The Big Red Barn"

By Tracey Bleakley

"The Big Red Barn" by Margaret Wise Brown has been a favorite book for young children for years. These activities are fun to use when your preschoolers are learning about farms, farm animals or even the letter 'B.'

Letter B Activities

Use The Big Red Barn to teach or review the letter 'Bb' with your preschool students. After reading the story ask the children what letter the word barn starts with. Write the word barn at the top of a piece of chart paper or a piece of bulletin board paper cut into the shape of a barn. Then read the story again and have the students listen for other words that start with the letter 'B.' Besides barn they'll hear big, brown, black, bat and a few others. Write the new 'B' words on the chart. Then have the children brainstorm other words that start with 'B'. Give the students a piece of paper and have them write (or trace for younger students) the letter 'B' at the top. Then have them draw one or two pictures of things that start with the letter 'B.'

Big Red Barn Art Activity

Here's an easy barn activity that you can do with the youngest of students. Use a die-cut machine to make a large barn shape out of red paper for each child. If you don't have a barn die-cut, you can cut one out. Then use the smaller die-cuts to make other shapes that would be part of a barn scene. You can make farm animals like, pigs, cows and chicks, as well as other shapes like the sun and trees. Give each child a larger piece of construction paper and a barn shape to glue on their paper. Then let them choose several of the other shapes to glue onto their papers to make a farm scene. Before they start gluing remind them of the proper amount of glue to use. They can also draw in other things on their pictures with crayons or markers if they want.

Class Book

Students will love to read this class-made, predictable book based on The Big Red Barn over and over again. After reading the story, show the class the sentence frame for the book written on a sentence strip. "A ___________ lived in the big, red barn." Read over the sentence several times and then ask different students to read it, filling in the blank with an animal when they read. Then give each child a copy of the book page for the class book. Have each child draw and color a picture of an animal that might live in a barn. Then go around and write the animal for each child in the blank. When the illustrations are finished collect them and bind them into a class book. Share it with the class.

Class books are great to send home with the children to share their parents. Just put the book in a large envelope with a class list attached to the front and note that says, "Please share this book with your child and return it to class the following day so that the next family can enjoy it." Mark off each child's name as he takes it home and returns it. Preschool children will be so proud to show their families the book that they helped write.

These activities are a great way to celebrate this classic book with your students. After reading The Big Red Barn try some of these other fun preschool farm activities too!