Thank a Farmer (plus a FREEBIE!)

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Here in Ohio, we still have snow on the ground, but spring is just around the corner! March will be here before we know it, and with it, Agriculture Week! As a life-long 4-H volunteer and agriculture supporter, recognizing the hard work of our nation's farmers has always been very important to me. Though our farming families make up little under 2% of our population, these hard working Americans provide about 24 million jobs and, of course, food for our entire population. We are able to enjoy an abundant, affordable food supply, all thanks to the continuous efforts of our farmer friends.

As a 4-Her, I mostly showed rabbits, but I was able to learn about and work with many other species!
Growing up, I loved helping at my grandparents' beef cattle farm. I raised rabbits, chickens, and ducks on my own "mini farm" in the suburbs as a 4-Her. These experiences gave me so many valuable life lessons that I carry with me today. A sense of responsibility, a hard work ethic, and the desire to learn all started for me in 4-H. 

Unfortunately, most of my students don't have these farming experiences. In fact, each year when I ask where our corn, beef, and other food products come from, the most popular answer I hear is "Walmart." I love being able to partner with organizations like Farm Bureau and 4-H to show my students how their food gets from farm to table.  

Our Journeys reading series is the perfect start to this unit! Lesson 18 features an awesome non-fiction text, called Where Does Food Come From? This year, we are spending two weeks on this lesson to really dive into agriculture! By the end of our unit, my students will know exactly where their food comes from and which products are produced right here in Ohio. We will learn about crops and livestock by reading informational texts. We'll also join in the Thank A Farmer campaign by writing letters to our local farmers in appreciation for their hard work. 

Our unit will end with my favorite activity of the year...the Barnyard Olympics. The kiddos will put their knowledge to good use by becoming classroom farmers! We will play games to mimic what life is really like on the farm. After proving their knowledge with a quick agriculture assessment, they'll simulate milking a cow, gathering eggs, and herding swine. The Barnyard Olympics is a hit with my kids every year!

The "Dairy Queens and Kings" competition during The Barnyard Olympics
Each student will go home with a certificate and a sticker that says, "I competed in the Barnyard Olympics today!" to stimulate conversation at home. 

The "Swine Time" competition at The Barnyard Olympics
For more fun on the farm activities, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I'll be posting photos for the next two weeks about our barnyard activities! You can find my complete 132 page Thank a Farmer thematic unit (including directions and materials for your own Barnyard Olympics) here on TpT. My Farm Themed Leveled Readers and Comprehension Guides (included in the full set) are also available separately.

Sample the unit before you buy by downloading my sampler set HERE! Enjoy and happy farming!

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