Saturday, January 18, 2014

PA Farm Show

A week ago we were lucky to be able to venture off to the PA Farm Show. We left early in the morning and rode about two hours on a school bus. The children were very excited and could not wait to enter the large building when we arrived. This week some of the children chose to write about the animals they saw and were given the opportunity to touch. Living in poverty, in the city, farm animals are just characters in books. Here they came alive!
The children were amazed at all the different cows, but most of all by their huge size. At first many of the children thought the cows were moose.

Well it seemed like everything was huge - even the farm equipment!
Maple syrup is gathered in PA. This stand taught the children a bit about the process and helped them create a craft to remember their day.
There were speakers. This guy was talking about turtles. Shaver's Creek also had snakes to view.
Snakes have something on their stomach that makes them slither on the ground. Some snakes have poison teeth.

We had fun searching for the queen bee and we each took home a sample of PA honey - yum!
Who would ever have imagined there are so many different kinds of ducks, geese, turkeys, and chickens. They sure were noisy.
So soft!
Rabbits they have red eyes and they have fur and he was sad and he was lonely. I like rabbits and brown rabbits and he was nice he didn't bite. I like rabbits were nice all the time.

For some petting the cow was the highlight of their day. This kind girl was very patient while each child visited with her cow.
I see the cow because we get to touch the cow.

For others - the horse was more interesting. This kind farmer brought her horse out of the stall and spent some time with the children.
I saw a horse. They smelled us. We saw horses and we saw a lot of animals.
I saw a horse and he was kind of soft and was kind of lovely and he was kind of white and his nose was black.

On our long bus ride back to school we enjoyed a snack of PA chocolate ice cream. The children enjoyed playing with the animal pencil toppers they were given at the show.
Well you'd have thought that after an early start to the day, and all the excitement at the show some of the children would have laid down and relaxed on the bus like this dear sheep. That was not the case. They talked the entire trip home about all they saw.
This was an amazing trip made possible by Just Born Candies. We look forward to visiting again next year.

The first grade team - three classes - has decided to develop a farm week for our students at the end of the year. Our brainstorming sessions are coming up with so many wonderful ideas, hopefully we can fit them all in. I know the week will begin with a large farm breakfast for all!
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  1. What a great experience for them! It made me remember an experience I had as a kid. I grew up out in the country in PA and visited an aunt for a week in New York City. We went to a place where they were displaying animals and I couldn't understand how excited the kids were--they were just cows and horses. But they had never actually seen them before living in the city. Your kiddos did so well recording their experiences as well!


  2. I did notice some people looking at us funny - maybe the farmers were surprised by how excited the children were. Each new group of animals brought shouts of excitement, new observations, and questions. We have been working on our writing - thank you for noticing. These were independent, first copies - I love how they express themselves.

  3. Experiences like this are so valuable for kids to make real self-to-text connections! I'm impressed with how they recorded their observations as well. My family lives near Shaver's Creek and I volunteered there in college. They have some great resources!

    1. Thank you! I will have to look more closely at Shaver's Creek. Central PA is a very pretty part of our state.

  4. Looks like such a fun field trip...but how did you handle a 2 hr bus ride? ;)
    Elyse :)
    Proud to be Primary

    1. I was surprised at well they did on the bus. They really enjoyed just talking to one another, and it was great to hear their conversations.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Great post! And... I'm less than an hour from the Farm Show!

    Keep Calm and Love First Grade

  6. What a great adventure! They'll always remember it:)

  7. Oh my goodness that looks like an amazing trip! I just found your blog today through your comment on someone else's blog! I LOVE that massive rabbit!

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

    1. Oh - my students loved that rabbit too! They are still talking about it. Thanks for visiting.

  8. My kiddos would absolutely love this! Though we are in the country, they don't often see the farm animals and equipment these days :( Glad you had such an amazing opportunity!
    Dirt Road Teacher

    1. Thank you! I was lucky enough to visit North Carolina several times - what a beautiful state!

  9. Maria, I want to thank you sincerely for your comment on my post today... because it led me back here to your blog! What a great thing you are doing for your students and for yourself in undertaking this adventure! I really enjoyed reading all of your posts from this school year, and am now following to find out more!
    I edited my post to include a link to your blog so that lots of others might see the great adventure you've begun.

    Thank you also for the peek into your students' writing - I LOVE seeing that development, and the effort that new writers put into their work once they realize that they indeed have something worthy and important to say! Your students are well on the road to independence in writing!

    With best wishes for many more days of wonderful learning this year,

    p.s. Like you, I was also blessed to teach Reading Recovery for several years ... and wasn't that an amazing journey, too! :)

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging and thoughtful comments. This project has been much harder than I expected. It requires constant thought and adjusting. Your encouragement brightened my day and gave me that extra energy to continue on.
      Thank you too - for noticing their writing. I was pleasantly surprised at the details they included.
      Reading Recovery was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It taught me so much ~ as do each new group of students.
      Your comments last night were just what I needed. I carried your words with me all day today.

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