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Kindergarten - Science - Farming - Overview
The science lessons for May are a continuation of the lessons started in April. Children will discover how some food comes from farms as crops, the different types of farms, the work of a farmer, and how crops are harvested and transported for people to consume. An optional craft activity included in Lesson 44 requires a collection of small boxes (a Jell-O box and an individual cereal box for each student) and small lids (orange juice or milk jug lids, small jar lids or large buttons, 8 per student). You may wish to begin collecting these boxes and lids prior to Lesson 44 if you intend to do the follow-up activity.
Extend these lessons by visiting a farm, inviting a farmer or gardener to come to the class to talk about their job, and rereading The Little Red Hen and singing The Farmer in the Dell and Old MacDonald.
The biography of Wilbur and Orville Wright is also covered this month.
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 41
Review that different seeds produce different plants.
Review that plants grow from seeds and change as they grow.
Review George Washington Carver.
Graph favorite fruits and vegetables.
Collection of magazines for children to cut pictures from
A large sheet of chart paper
Ehlert. Lois. Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z. San Diego: Harcourt, 1989.
An alphabetical tour of the world of fruits and vegetables from apricot and artichoke to yam and zucchini. Bright, bold illustrations.
Review science lessons covered in April (Lessons 35-40). Ask: What have we learned about seeds and plants? Allow time for the children to recall as much information as possible. (Plants grow from seeds. Seeds need air, water, sunlight, and soil to grow. A plant changes as it grows. Plants have roots, stems and leaves. Plants make their own food.)
Say: We learned about a famous scientist who worked to help farmers grow better plants. Ask: Do you remember the name of the man who worked with peanut plants? (George Washington Carver) Allow the children to recall information regarding the work of George Washington Carver (Lesson 40).
Say: We are going to learn more about farms and farming. What are some things you already know about farming? (Allow children to share any knowledge they may have regarding farming.)
Tell the children they will be learning about farms that produce crops. Define crop as food grown on a farm. Ask: What are some crops that farmers might grow? (Allow speculation.)
Display some of the seed catalogs. Show the wide variety of seeds and plants available in the catalog. Explain that the seeds and plants can be ordered by mail from the catalog company. Farmers usually don't order from seed catalogs. They get seeds for crops from large seed or grain stores. Explain that the seed catalog is used by people who wish to grow fruits and vegetables in their own yard. Ask: Do any of you have gardens in your yard? Do you know someone who has a garden? (Allow children who have gardening experience to share their knowledge.)
Read the book listed above if you have access to it. Challenge the children to name a fruit or vegetable for each letter of the alphabet prior to reading the book.
Say: There are many delicious fruits and vegetables. Think for a moment about which fruits are your favorites. Think about yummy vegetables. Which vegetable do you like the best?
We are going to make a graph of our favorite fruits and vegetables. A graph is a drawing or BCP DRAFT SCI 88
Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 41
picture that shows information.
Distribute the magazines and ask students to cut out pictures of their favorite fruits and favorite vegetables. Children may draw a picture of a fruit or vegetable if they are unable to locate one from a magazine. Write the names of the fruits and vegetables in rows on the chart paper. Assist the children in gluing on their pictures in the appropriate rows. Help students tally each row. Discuss what the graph shows.
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 42
Identify ways that people use plants.
Discover how some food comes from farms as crops.
A large sheet of butcher paper (6' long is ideal)
Magazines to cut pictures from
Pictures of fruits and vegetables (obtain from books and magazines)
Ehlert, Lois. Growing Vegetable Soup. New York: Harcourt, 1987.
In this beautifully illustrated story, a father and his child plant a vegetable garden and use the vegetables to make soup.
Gross, Ruth Belov. What's On My Plate? New York: Macmillan, 1990.
Each page of this colorful book explores a food that is familiar to young children. Through simple text the food is identified and its origin briefly described.
Llewellyn, Claire. First Look At: Growing Food. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1991.
Photographs and simple text explain how crops are grown as food.
Say: We have been learning about plants. People use plants in many ways. Ask: Can you name some ways people use plants? (Allow response.)
Say: People use plants for clothing. Some clothes are made from plants. Cotton is a plant. Many shirts, pants and other items are made from cotton. (Point out any cotton clothing items in the classroom.)
Say: Think about trees. Are trees plants? How do people use trees? (Allow response.)
Say: Trees are used to make furniture. Trees also supply the wood to make houses. (Point to any items in the classroom made from wood.)
Say: People enjoy plants for their beauty, too. Many people grow flowers and house plants because they add beauty to a home.
Say: People use plants for food. Can you name some plants people use for food? (Allow response.)
Say: Did you know that you get food from seeds? Think about your favorite breakfast cereal. Let's name some of them. (You may wish to record responses on the chalkboard.) Point out that most cereals are made from grain--the seeds of wheat, oat, rice, and corn plants.
Say: Corn is the seed of the corn plant. When you eat corn on the cob, you are eating rows of seeds! Wheat is the seed of the wheat plant. Wheat seeds are very hard. The seeds are ground into flour to use for baking bread. (Recall the story The Little Red Hen.) Peas and green beans are also seeds. Peas are the seeds of the pea plant and green beans are the seed pods of the bean plant. When you eat a green bean, you are eating a pod and its seeds.
Say: Seeds aren't the only part of plants that we like to eat. We eat roots, stems and
leaves, too! Carrots and beets are the roots of the plant, asparagus and broccoli are stems, and
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 42
lettuce and spinach are leaves. (Show pictures of these vegetables or draw simple illustrations on
the board to point out the leaves, stems, and roots.) We also eat the fruit of many plants. Apples, pears, and oranges are fruits.
Ask: Where do we get the fruits and vegetables and grains that we eat? (Allow speculation.)
Say: We go to grocery stores and markets to buy fruits and vegetables, but that is not where they are grown. Somebody has to grow the fruits and vegetables that we eat. Many of the fruits and vegetables at the grocery store grew on plants at farms and orchards. An orchard is a large piece of land where fruit trees are grown. It takes a lot of work to grow all the plants we eat. Farmers work all year round to raise food. They plant the seeds and take care of the young crops and protect them from weeds and animals.
Say: What is your favorite food? Do you know where it comes from? (Allow discussion.) Assist the children in identifying the sources of foods. Read What's On My Plate if you have access to it. This book is a wonderful way for children to identify sources of common foods.
As a wrap-up to the lesson, name a plant and challenge children to name foods that come
from it. Chart responses on the board (see the chart below as an example).
Plant Ways It Can Be Used
potato french fries, potato chips, potato pancakes
wheat/flour bread, cookies, cake, breakfast cereal
grapes raisins, jelly, jam
apples applesauce, apple juice
peanuts peanut butter
corn popcorn, breakfast cereal
tomato ketchup, tomato juice, tomato sauce
Read Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert if you have access to it. Following the reading of the book, have students plan a vegetable garden for the classroom. Divide a six-foot piece of butcher paper into six equal sections and assign a group to each section. Have each group decide what kind of vegetable they would like to grow, then, using magazines, cut out and glue pictures of their vegetables onto their section of the garden. A recipe for vegetable soup is included in the book. If possible make a pot for the class to enjoy.
Suggested Follow-Up Activity
If possible, start an outside vegetable garden or grow a few vegetable plants from seeds in the classroom.
See the Art/Craft Lesson on fruit and vegetable printing.
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 43
Identify different types of farms.
Discover the work of a farmer.
A large piece of drawing paper (one per student)
Gibbons, Gail. Farming. New York: Holiday House, 1988.
An introduction, in simple text and illustrations, to farming and the work done on a farm throughout the seasons.
MacLachlan, Patricia. All the Places to Love. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.
A young boy describes the favorite places that he shares with his family on his grandfather's farm. Beautifully illustrated.
Waddell, Martin. Farmer Duck. Cambridge: Candlewick, 1991.
A picture book about a hardworking duck who runs the farm.
Say: We have learned that many of the foods we eat come from plants. Plants are grown as crops on farms. There are different kinds of farms. There are large farms where many different machines are needed to do the work. Other farms are small family farms. We know that some farms raise crops like corn, wheat and other grains. But there are also farms that raise animals. A poultry farm is a farm that raises chickens. Ask: What are chickens used for? (meat, eggs) There are dairy farms where they raise cattle for milk. Ask: What are some of the ways milk can be used? (to drink, cheese, ice cream, butter) Some farms grow lots of different vegetables like lettuce, carrots and broccoli. Other farms grow important crops, but not for eating. Ask: Do you remember what cotton is used for? (clothing) Say: Some farms are cotton farms.
Discuss the types of farms in the Baltimore area. Say: The climate of certain areas in the United States determines what is grown on a farm. In Florida and California it is warm most of the year. Farms in these states grow oranges, grapefruit, and lemons because these fruits need warm weather. Dairy farms, where cows are raised for milk, need large grassy areas to feed all the cows. Good soil in the middle of the United States is just right for growing wheat and corn. These areas are where large grain farms can be found.
Say: Farmers work hard to provide food for people to buy at the grocery store. Read Farming by Gail Gibbons if you have access to it. This book lists some of the jobs farmers perform throughout the year. If you do not have access to the book share the following information about some of the jobs of a farmer.
In the spring baby animals are born and must be cared for. Horses and cows are put out to
pasture and fields are prepared for planting crops. Barn stalls are cleaned and cows are milked in
the morning and in the evening every day. In the summer the crops grow tall. They must be
protected from weeds and pests. Baby animals are bigger now and ready to go to pasture. Some
vegetables are ready to be gathered. Hay is mowed and baled. Eggs are collected each day. In the
fall eggs are packed for delivery. Some fruits and vegetables are picked. Corn is harvested. Hay
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 43
and corn are stored on farms to feed animals. Some of the animals are ready to be sold to be slaughtered for meat. In the winter all the animals are kept inside out of the cold. Water and food must be carried to the animals. Farm machinery is repaired and cleaned. Plans are made for the spring planting season.
Provide the children with a large sheet of drawing paper. Instruct them to draw a picture of some of the work done on a farm.
Sing "The Farmer in the Dell" and "Old MacDonald" (Music Lessons 15 and 16).
Read one of the books listed above if available.
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 44
Discover how crops are harvested and transported for people to consume.
Participate in a craft activity (optional).
One of the books listed below about farm machinery
The following materials are for the optional follow-up activity
One Jell-O box and one individual size cereal box for each child
Tempera paint and brushes (any color)
A 2-inch piece of a plastic drinking straw (one piece per student)
A collection of lids (milk, orange juice, small jar, or large buttons)
Bushey, Jerry. Farming the Land: Modern Farmers and Their Machines. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1987.
Simple text discusses modern farming methods, from plowing and disking to the harvest, and the machines used to accomplish these tasks. Good photographs.
Gibbons, Gail. The Milk Makers. New York: Macmillan, 1985.
Simple text explains how cows produce milk and how it is processed before being delivered to stores.
Wykeham, Nicholas. Farm Machines. Milwaukee: Raintree, 1979.
Describes various pieces of farm machinery and discusses their uses. Photographs and simple text make this book appropriate for reading aloud.
Say: We know that farmers have an important job in raising plants and animals for people to use as food. One of the most important jobs is getting the food to stores for people to buy. How do you think farmers get the food to the stores? (Allow speculation.)
Say: Fruit and vegetable farmers pack their produce into crates and boxes so trucks can carry them to grocery stores across the United States. (Explain that the word produce means the fruits and vegetables raised on a farm.) Some trucks have refrigerators inside so the food stays fresh until it reaches the store. Some fruits or vegetables are cooked in factories, then canned or frozen to keep even longer.
Say: Farmers who grow wheat, corn, and soybeans store the grain in storage bins on their farm. They will use some of the grain to feed any animals they may have on their farm. The rest of the grain will be taken by wagon or truck to a large storing area called an elevator where it is stored until it is shipped to its final destination.
Ask: Do you remember what is produced on a dairy farm? (milk) Say: Dairy farmers
must make sure that the milk stays fresh. Most dairy farmers use milking machines to take milk
from the cows. The milk is pumped through a pipe into a big tank. The tank is very cold inside.
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 44
Ask: Why do you think the tank is cold inside? (Allow speculation.) Say: A cold tank keeps the milk cool so it will not spoil or get sour. (You may wish to ask if anyone has experienced soured milk.) Once a day, a truck arrives at the dairy farm. A long hose is used to pump the milk from the tank into the truck's cold tank. Then the truck driver takes the milk to a factory where the milk is prepared for drinking or turned into cheese, butter, ice cream or yogurt. Once these products have been made, they are also shipped on refrigerated trucks to grocery stores across America. (Read The Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons if you have access to it.)
Say: Special machines are used to help farmers complete their jobs. Ask: Can you name any farm machinery? (Allow response.) Say: Some farmers buy big machines to dig the soil, plant the seeds and harvest the crops. (Explain that the word harvest means to gather in a crop that is ready to be cut down or picked.)
Say: The tractor is the most-used piece of farm equipment because it is used to pull other pieces of farm machinery. Ask: Have you ever seen a tractor? (Allow response and discussion. Show a picture of a tractor from one of the books listed above.) Say: A farmer can use a tractor to pull a plow that turns over the soil and makes it loose for planting seeds. A special machine can be attached to the tractor that plants the seeds in the ground. Once the crops start to grow, so do some unwanted weeds. Farmers must get rid of weeds. Ask: Why do you think the farmer must get rid of the weeds? (Allow speculation.) Say: The farmer gets rid of the weeds so they don't crowd out the crops. One of the ways farmers control weeds is by cultivating. To cultivate means to dig up and loosen the soil around growing plants. A machine is attached to the tractor to do the cultivating. It digs up the weeds between the crop rows. After crops reach a certain height the cultivating machine can't be used because it may accidentally dig up the crops. The farmer may use a spray to control the weeds.
After the summer growing season, the crops are ready for harvesting in the fall. (Review: What does it mean to harvest? Harvest means to gather in the crop.) The crops are gathered by machines called combines. The word combine means to put together. These machines are called combines because they combine the job of cutting the plants and separating the grain, or seeds, from the plant. After the harvest, farmers spend a lot of time repairing and cleaning their machines for the next planting season. Ask: Why do you think the farmer spends time cleaning and repairing machines? (The farmer depends on the machines to help do the work. If the machines are not in good working order, the farmer would not be able to complete the job of growing crops.)
Read one of the books listed above about farm machinery. Both books have photographs
of the machines discussed in the lesson.
Suggested Follow-Up Activity
Assist the children in making farm tractors and wagons. (Craft idea from Better Homes
and Gardens: On the Farm editors Sandra Granseth and Heather Hephner, Des Moines:
Meredith Corporation, 1989.)
1. Each student will need a Jell-O box and an individual size cereal box. Assist the children in
cutting out the upper corner of the Jell-O box. Slide the corner you've cut out down into the
larger part of the box forming a hood for the tractor (see illustration)
2. For the wagon, cut off the front panel of the individual cereal box
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 44
3. Children will paint the boxes using tempera paint.
4. When the boxes are dry, children may decorate the tractor by adding a window and headlights
5. Tell the children to make an exhaust pipe for the tractor by gluing the straw piece on the hood.
6. Assist the children in gluing jar lids or large buttons in place for wheels on the tractor and the
7. Direct the children to attach the wagon to the tractor by taping a piece of yarn to the
undersides of both boxes.
8. Fill the wagon up with candy corn or shredded wheat squares!
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 45 - Wilbur and Orville Wright
Identify Wilbur and Orville Wright as inventors of the airplane.
Listen to a biography of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Participate in a class demonstration.
One of the books listed below
A piece of string long enough to reach across the classroom
A long balloon
A drinking straw
One piece of construction paper (8 x 12) any color
Masking tape and stapler
Biographies of the Wright Brothers
Freedman, Russell. The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane. New York: Holiday House, 1991.
Original photographs by Wilbur and Orville Wright are included in this text that follows the lives of the Wright brothers and describes how they developed the first airplane. The photographs alone are worth finding this book, however, the text is too complex to read in its entirety.
Marquardt, Max. Wilbur and Orville and the Flying Machine. Milwaukee: Raintree, 1989.
Simple text and illustrations make this biography of the Wright brothers suitable for reading aloud.
Taylor, Richard. The First Flight: The Story of the Wright Brothers. New York: Watts, 1990.
Too complicated to read in its entirety, however, excerpts and captions are suitable for reading aloud. Includes numerous photographs.
Woods, Andrew. Young Orville and Wilbur Wright: First to Fly. Mahwah: Troll, 1992.
This picture book focuses on the Wright brothers as children. It devotes a few pages to their first flight.
Read Aloud Stories About Aviation
Anderson, Joan. Harry's Helicopter. New York: Morrow, 1990.
Bursik, Rose. Amelia's Fantastic Flight. New York: Holt, 1992.
Castle, Caroline. Herbert Binnis and the Flying Tricycle. New York: Dial, 1987.
Provensen, Alice and Martin. The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot. New York: Viking, 1983.
Ryder, Joanne. The Night Flight. New York: Four Winds, 1985.
Wilson, Sarah. Three in a Balloon. New York: Scholastic, 1990.
Woodruff, Elvira. The Wing Shop. New York: Holiday House, 1991.
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 45
Teacher Note: This lesson may become rather lengthy. You may wish to teach it in two days.
Also, if you are concerned that a "rocket" demonstration combined with a lesson that refers to a
"glider" may confuse the students, you may wish to do the demonstration at the conclusion of the
Wright brothers biography.
Show the children the balloon, straw, string and piece of construction paper. Tell them you can use the items to create a flying machine. Challenge the children to describe ways the items could be used to create this flying machine.
Conduct the following teacher demonstration. Allow the children to help as much as possible in setting up the demonstration. (This activity is from Let's Play Science by Mary Stetten (Harper & Row, 1979.)
1. Thread the string through the straw and tie the string so that it stretches tightly across the room.
2. Fold the construction paper in half and decorate it to look like a rocket ship.
3. Hang the folded paper over the straw and tape it in place.
4. Staple the paper together just under the straw and again near the bottom (see illustration).
5. Attach a deflated balloon to the inside of the paper with masking tape so that the opening of the balloon sticks out from the back end of the rocket.
6. Blow up the balloon and hold it closed with your fingers.
7. Ask the children to predict what will happen when you release the balloon.
8. Release the balloon to fly the rocket along the string.
Discuss and test the following questions: What makes the balloon rocket go? What will
happen if you blow up the balloon and release it without attaching it to the rocket? What would
happen if you used a smaller balloon? A larger balloon? Does the amount of air in the balloon
have anything to do with how far the rocket will travel?
Following the demonstration explain that you have been testing out ideas. Say: An
inventor is a person who creates a new idea or improves on an old idea. Say: Today we are going
to learn about two famous inventors. These inventors were brothers who worked together to
invent the first airplane. Their names are Wilbur and Orville Wright.
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 45
Read one of the books about the Wright brothers. If you do not have access to one of the titles listed above, What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch and John Holdren, has a good two-page biography with a photograph that is appropriate for reading aloud.
If you do not have access to a biography about the Wright brothers share the following
information with your class.
Wilbur and Orville Wright were just boys in the year 1878. There were no TV's or airplanes at that time. Orville and Wilbur liked to play with toys just like children of today do. The boys especially liked to play with kites. They went with their friends to a hill to fly their kites. Each wanted a kite that would fly higher than everyone else's. Wilbur came up with an idea to make a new kite. Instead of the usual kite shape, Wilbur created a kite that looked like a box. Everyone laughed when they saw Wilbur's kite. They told him it would never fly. But Orville let the kite go in the breeze and it sailed higher than all the others. The children were delighted and asked Orville and Wilbur to make more kites like the box-shaped one. Soon they made kites for all their friends. Wilbur and Orville became interested in flying. They wanted to fly in the air like a kite or a bird. No one thought that would ever happen.
Wilbur and Orville liked to make new things. They found ways to make old things better. When they grew up, they opened a bike shop. They made their own bikes that worked better than most bikes. People came from all over to get bikes made by Wilbur and Orville Wright. As the years passed, they became more and more interested in flying. At night, the Wright brothers used their brains and tools to study the possibilities of building a machine that would fly with a person sitting in it. They studied how birds dip and glide in the sky when they fly. This gave them some ideas for a flying machine.
A man in Germany was also interested in flying. He built a glider. A glider is a plane with no engine; it's carried by the wind, like a kite. Even when the Wright brothers heard the sad news that the German scientist had been killed when his glider crashed, they kept on trying to find a way to fly.
The Wright brothers built their own glider. It had two big wings, one on top and one on bottom, and a place for a person to lie down in the middle. They needed a place to test their new glider. They needed a place that had a lot of wind. They found such a place: the windy sand dunes near the Atlantic Ocean at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. There, the wind came in off the sea. It would be a good place to test the flying machine. That first glider flew low to the ground, but then it crashed. The flight lasted only five seconds.
Wilbur and Orville went back home. They did not give up on their ideas. The brothers kept working and kept coming up with new ideas. Soon they had built another plane, but not a glider: this plane had an engine.
On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers took the new machine back to Kitty Hawk. They tossed a coin to see which one of them would fly their new plane first. Orville won. Wilbur helped him climb into their new flying machine. They called it Flyer I. The engine started and the plane rolled along the sand dune. Then it lifted into the air! Orville flew Flyer I a total of 120 feet, staying in the air 12 seconds.
That doesn't sound like a very long flight, but to the Wright brothers 12 seconds meant
success. They had dreamed that one day they would fly and on that day, December 17, 1903,
their dream came true. They flew Flyer I three more times that day, and on the fourth flight the
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Kindergarten - Science - Lesson 45
plane stayed in the air 59 seconds and flew 852 feet (approximately three football fields). The Wright brothers had proven that human beings could fly in a flying machine!
Wilbur and Orville did not stop working on their dream. They made new flying machines that could fly longer, faster and better. Many people saw what Wilbur and Orville did. Once Orville flew circles around the Statue of Liberty.
In five years of practice flying, they had only one accident, but it was a bad one. Orville was hurt and a friend flying with him died. It reminded the Wright brothers how dangerous flying could be, but it didn't stop them from continuing to build and fly airplanes.
Thanks to Wilbur and Orville Wright and the others who dreamed of flying high, we have
fast airplanes and spaceships. Today people are still working on machines that will fly longer,
faster and better.
After reading the biography, discuss with the children the work ethic and perseverance of the Wright brothers. You may wish to review the sayings Practice makes perfect and Where there's a will there's a way.
Introduce the second hand on the clock. Time 5 seconds, 12 seconds and 59 seconds,
reviewing the first few flights of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Suggested Follow-Up Activities
Read some of the books listed above about aviation.
Assist the children in creating paper airplanes. Fly the airplanes in the classroom.
Go outside and fly kites.
BCP DRAFT SCI 100
Kindergarten - Science - Farming
Read Aloud Titles
*Bushey, Jerry. Farming the Land: Modern Farmers and Their Machines. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1987.
*Ehlert, Lois. Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z. San Diego: Harcourt, 1989.
*________. Growing Vegetable Soup. New York: Harcourt, 1987.
*Gibbons, Gail. Farming. New York: Holiday House, 1988.
*Gross, Ruth Belov. What's On My Plate? New York: Macmillan, 1990.
*Llewellyn, Claire. First Look At: Growing Food. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1991.
*MacLachlan, Patricia. All the Places to Love. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.
*Marquardt, Max. Wilbur and Orville and the Flying Machine. Milwaukee: Raintree, 1989.
*Waddell, Martin. Farmer Duck. Cambridge: Candlewick, 1991.
*Woods, Andrew. Young Orville and Wilbur Wright: First to Fly. Mahwah: Troll, 1992.
*Wykeham, Nicholas. Farm Machines. Milwaukee: Raintree, 1979.
*Freedman, Russell. The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane. New York: Holiday House, 1991.
*Taylor, Richard. The First Flight: The Story of the Wright Brothers. New York: Watts, 1990.
*indicates annotation in a lesson.