On the Farm Theme Unit

© Contributed by Leanne Guenther

Note:  if you don't want to read through the theme unit, click here to go straight to the printable resources list or the book recommendation list.

Five Day Theme Unit

(suitable for children in kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2) -- portions can be used for Preschool.

This page provides day by day suggestions for an "On the Farm" theme unit. 

Printable worksheets and more detailed instructions on how to do some of the activities are provided by the Bold hyperlinks.

DAY 1:

Language Arts (Reading and Writing):

  • Before reading any stories, ask the children what they know about farms (what types of animals or crops, who has visited one, etc).
  • Take notes on the white board or flip pages.
  • Read the classic farm story The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown (this book is commonly found in libraries)
  • Revisit the white board.  Ask the children what they can add to the information now that they've heard the story.
  • Provide the Farm theme word list to each of the children (you can do a vocabulary test on these words later in the week or use them as a printing practice reference) and introduce the word wall words.

Creative Arts:

  • Provide the children with blank sheets of paper and drawing materials or their favorite of the farm animal mini coloring pages.  Sheet 1 has a chicken, cow, horse and pig.  Sheet 2 has a duck, goat, goose and sheep.
    • Favorite farm animal mini coloring pages - with ruled lines for printing or writing   [sheet 1]   [sheet 2]
    • Favorite farm animal mini coloring pages - with dotted standard block printing type tracers   [sheet 1]   [sheet 2]
    • Favorite farm animal mini coloring pages - with dotted script type printing tracers       [sheet 1]   [sheet 2]
    • Favorite farm animal mini coloring pages - just the image (no lines for printing)     [sheet 1]   [sheet 2]
  • Have each child color or draw their favorite farm animal.  Children learning to print can also print the name of their animal on the page.

Math Skills - Graphing Favorite Farm Animals:

  • Have the children show their pictures of their favorite farm animal and share with the class whether they have seen a real one (and if so, where).
  • On the whiteboard, keep a tally of the classroom's farm animal favorites OR have the children hang their pictures on the bulletin board.  
  • Pass out the Favorite Farm Animal Graph to the children
  • Have the children use the whiteboard tally marks or visit the bulletin board to make their own tally sheet and fill in their graphs.
  • Review the graphs in front of the class and have the children self assess their work.
  • Ask the children if they know which is the most popular farm animal in the class based on the results of the graphing exercise.

Staying Active - The Farmer in the Dell:

  • Outside or in the gym play "The Farmer in the Dell" -- this game can be played multiple times during the week.
    • Lyrics
    • Children stand in a circle with one child (the farmer) in the middle.
    • When the "farmer takes a wife" the child in the middle picks another of the children to come stand with them.
    • As each character "takes" another character in the song, all the children in the middle choose one of the children from the center to join them in the middle.

DAY 2:

Language Arts (Reading and Writing):

  • Discuss with the class the roll of the illustrator (the person who makes the pictures in a book)
  • Brainstorm with them some different ways they make pictures (crayons, pencil crayons, paint, etc)
  • Read Wake Up, Big Barn illustrated by Suzanne Chitwood (this book is commonly found in libraries)
  • Discuss the pictures in the Wake Up, Big Barn book.  How were they made?  (collage)  
    • Have any of the children made a collage?
    • What materials can you use to make a collage (magazines, old wrapping paper, tissue paper, leaves, fabric, etc)
    • Reintroduce yesterday's story (The Big Red Barn)  -- how was it illustrated?  Who was the illustrator.
    • Which method do the children prefer to look at?  Which would be more fun to do?
    • You can expand on this discussion by sharing Barnyard Banter by Denise Flemming -- this is easy to read and is illustrated using "pulp-painting" (created by pouring cotton pulp through hand-cut stencils)

Creative Arts:

  • Provide the children with a blank piece of paper or with one of our collage outlines (from simplest to most difficult):
    • Tomato
    • Crop Fields
    • Barn
    • Barnyard

      NOTE:  My 7 year old daughter enjoyed the barnyard but found it very challenging (it took her about 1 hour to complete) -- she does a LOT of crafts.  Please keep that in mind when picking a project to do with a large group of children (the tomato may be your best bet)

Examples of the finished collages (done by Kaitlyn, Age 7):

Crop Fields:



  • Provide the children with glue, scissors and a wide variety of collage materials.
  • Examples:
    • pieces of wool, string, ribbon and raffia
    • cotton balls (great clouds!)
    • fabric scraps
    • tinfoil scraps
    • old magazines
    • old wrapping paper, construction paper or wallpaper scraps
    • tissue paper in various colors
    • felt or fun foam in various colors (you can get precut fun foam shapes with farm animals if you like)
    • beans, popcorn, grains, uncooked noodles and rice
    • try scrunching up some of your materials or ripping it instead of cutting it.
  • Have the children "color" their designs by gluing on the collage materials
  • You can premake an example to provide inspiration for younger children


Math Skills - Estimation:

  • Fill a container with a given number of a farm related item (toy farm animals, unpopped popcorn or kernels of wheat). 
    • 100 of the item is a good number
    • the container should be an appropriate size that the item nearly fills the container
    • show the container to the children and tell them how many of the item are inside
  • Fill a second, third and fourth container with the same item:
    • assuming you used 100 in the first container -- fill the second container with 25
    • assuming you used 100 in the first container -- fill the third container with 50
    • assuming you used 100 in the first container -- fill the fourth container with 150

      NOTE:  all of the containers should be identical
  • Ask the children to estimate how many are in the second, third and fourth containers.
  • Expansion:  Fill different types of containers with 50 of the item.  Ask the children to estimate the item.  Afterwards, discuss whether it was easier or harder to estimate the item when the container was the same or different.


DAY 3:

Language Arts (Reading and Writing):

  • If you have a felt board:  Print out the Farm Themed Felt Board printables in color and prepare them as Felt Board characters.  (If you do not have a felt board, you could prepare tack them on a bulletin board instead).
  • Read Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Child's Play (or simply sing the song with the kids)
  • As the various characters come up in the story, hang up the appropriate felt board piece.
  • Hand out the Barn shapes booklets and have the children compose their own "In the barn there was a _____" Book.  If the children cannot print, hand out the pages that just require images be drawn
    • Barn booklet cover page   color  or  B&W  - one per child
    • Barn booklet pages (one to three per child) -- the children should draw a picture of their chosen animal(s) and print a sentence about the animal

Creative Arts (Coloring/Scissor Skills/Puppetry):

  • Print out the Farm Themed Felt Board printables in Black and White -- allow each child to pick 2 or 3 of the pages.
  • Allow the children to color in their chosen pages
  • Have the children use scissors to cut out the template pieces
  • Use scotch tape or masking tape to attach a popsicle stick or drinking straw to the back of each template piece to make puppets.
  • Have the children get into groups of 3 or 4 children to cooperatively create their own puppet show.
  • Allow the children to share their show with the class -- or if time is an issue, combine the groups into two or three large groups and share their puppet show that way.

Math Skills - Classifying Items (counting by 1's, 2's, 5's and 10's):

  • Set up three stations in the classroom:
    • Station 1:  10 all different items
    • Station 2:  5 sets of 2 identical items
    • Station 3:  2 sets of 5 identical items
    • Station 4:  10 all the same item
    • Items could be:
      • plastic farm animals, eggs, silk plants or vegetables (depending on what you have available). 
      • If you don't have any of these available, you could print out farm animal coloring pages and hang the appropriate number of those at the stations.   [sheet 1]   [sheet 2]
  • Divide your class into four groups.  Have each group visit a different station.  Have the children talk about what they see at the station.  Given the age of the children, you can have them print their findings on a sheet of paper.  For younger children, simply allow them to discuss what they are seeing.
  • Come together as a classroom.  Using the whiteboard, discuss with the class what they discovered at each station.
  • Hand out farm themed "Connect the Dots" sheets (all of them, or just the ones your students are ready for):

DAY 4:

  • Language Arts (Reading and Writing):
    • Provide the children with sentence sequencing cards and allow them to create some of their own sentences (there are suggestions for use included with the templates).
  • Five Little Chickens felt board/poem -- mix counting, language arts and coloring
  • Farm themed mini books

    • Venn Diagram? of similarities between the books (especially focusing on the art?)
    • Farm ABC words
    • science:  animal male, female and baby
    • science:  ways animals are useful to people
    • math:  sorting sizes
    • math:  count the cow spots

DAY 5:

Language Arts (Reading and Writing):

  • Put out a variety of farm themed books (including the ones you read as a class throughout the week) and allow the children to browse through them on their own.  Depending on how many students you have, you may need to put them in groups of two or three and have them read to each other.
  • Print out farm theme tracer pages with whatever saying you wish.  I suggest using a list of spelling words or word wall words with a farm theme.  For example: 

    barn  farm  pig
    chick  duck  egg
    cat  cow  horse
    dog  goat  turkey

    You can just cut and paste the lines above into the tracer page lines

Creative Arts (Singing):

Math Skills:


Other Resources:

Good for send home sheets or free time activities:

  1. Dairy Duo Paper Craft 
  2. Farm Animal coloring pages
  3. Farm Animal crafts
  4. Farmer in the Dell
  5. Five Little Chickens
  6. Old MacDonald
  7. Scarecrow crafts