This month, we are focusing on learning about farms and agriculture. I like to do farming in the summer, because it’s a great way to integrate our own gardening into the unit. We are also able to do things like visit the Farmer’s Market and go berry picking, which are much more fun in the summer than in the rainy autumn! Along with all of that good stuff, we have a couple of absolute favorite farm books that we are reading as we go. It’s not just because of their fun farm themes. These books also carry deeper messages that are fun and important for kids to learn about.
Here are a few of my favorites, and why I love them:
This is an awesome book for kids of any age to read. My toddler loves it, my kindergarten students loved it, and my 5th grade stepson loves it. I still love it, and I’m an adult! This book is about a group of cows who discover an old typewriter in their barn, and use it to begin to make demands in exchange for their milk. In essence, they go on strike until their demands are met!
I love this book for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a book about cows, which fits perfectly with a farm theme. It is also a great demonstration of peaceful protest in action, as well as being a cute book. When the cows make their demands for electric blankets to keep them warm, they don’t attack the farmer, or call him names. Instead, they simply refuse to deliver his milk. I think that this can be a powerful lesson to children about compromise and peacefully reaching agreements, even in times of stress.
Also, it’s incredibly fun to read. Each page has the recurring phrase, “Click, clack, MOO!” which kids love to join in on as you go through the book. It’s great to read with voices and inflection, and get everyone completely engaged in the story.
This book is the first in a series of five, and they are all equally great! I highly recommend all of Doreen Cronin’s books.
This one is a classic, and for good reason. It, of course, takes place on a farm, with farm animals as the main characters (which makes it a fitting story for this unit), but it also has great lessons about partnership and responsibility. When the other animals refuse to help grow the wheat and make the bread, but expect to take part in eating the finished product, they are in for a rude awakening! This is an important subject for children to stave off that entitlement that we hear so much about these days.
I also really love that this book goes through some of the different stages of how a grain of wheat becomes a loaf of bread. Not many books will go into where our food really comes from in such detail, particularly in an easily digestible (ha! see what I did there?) format for little ones. The more familiar our children are with agriculture, the better, I say!
This one’s not quite as popular, but I really love it for young children. It’s the story of Chuck, a farmer, and all of his farm animals who want to pile into his old truck and head into town. I really love a couple of things about this story. Firstly, it addresses the impossibility of a farmer, his cow, horse, dog, sheep, donkey, goat, and many more all riding in a pickup truck without there being any consequences. It’s a good lesson in cause and effect!
The big thing that I like about this story, though, is the rhythm and rhyme in which it’s told. On every page, there is a new word that rhymes with “truck,” (only appropriate words, I promise). There’s also a memory component to it, as well, because as each new animal is added on, all of the others are sill named as well. My kids have all loved naming them along with me as we read.
There they are!
Those are my top three favorite farm books, and for good reason. However, there are many more that we are reading throughout this unit! To get a complete list, along with a Monthly Lesson Plan, Step-By-Step instructions for our School Skill Activities, and a list of awesome Farm Freebies, check out my On the Farm Monthly Unit at my Shopify store!