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The Farm: For All Seasons

Bond Elementary, Central A&M District
105 North College Street
Assumption, IL 62510
Teacher: Lynne Kaye Bilyeu
Grade Level: 4 th and 5 th (same students, two consecutive years)

Introduction

Over the past 30 years, fewer of our students live on and/or are from "farm families". Even though we live in America 's heartland, some people here have little concept of what is going on around them in the fields of Illinois . Many children cannot identify certain animals and agriculture, in general, is a mystery to them. The goal of this project is to give a view of a working farm through the eyes of 9 and 10 year old children. Through the Dudley Smith Farms, along with pictures, songs, art work, and script, this project will present a child's representation of a farm.

Objectives

There are four primary learning objectives.

  • Science
  • Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments, and solve problems.
  • Art and Music
  • Apply skills and knowledge necessary to create and perform in one or more of the arts.
  • Language Arts
  • Comprehend a broad range of reading materials and write to communicate for a variety of purposes
  • Social Studies ( U.S. emphasis)
  • Understand world geography and the effects of geography on society

Activities

The students will travel to, observe, journal, and photograph activities during the farm seasons. These activities include, but are not limited to: use of machinery, care of livestock and field crops, field practices, and farmer activities. The information gathered from the farm visits will be used to create a power point presentation. The students will then "take their show on the road" by presenting their project to various civic and interested groups in the area. In conjunction with the presentation, students will use their observations, photographs, and other resources to write newspaper articles that report the class activities. Finally, a picture book will be created so that the learning experience can be shared with younger students.

Methodology

The students will see a working agriculture unit at work. By getting a first hand look and visiting the farm in each of the four seasons, the students will acquire a better understanding of the local area and the agricultural activities associated with it. They will also develop a greater understanding of the importance of agriculture in the economy. They will come to learn that agriculture more than just cows and plows; it is an inter-dependence of jobs and life in the community, state, country, and around the world. The students will have a "hands on, put it together, and instruct others" role in the project. They will be writing the script, preparing the presentation, writing the songs, learning native music of Illinois , and creating art work.

Participation

The students will begin the project in the winter of 2003-04 as 4 th grade science students and complete the project in the 5 th grade. There are 33 students participating in this project.