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~ K-2 Overview


~ 3-5 Overview



Farm Visits

First Grade Unit

Leading Question: What are the basic needs of farm animals and what behaviors are involved as they fulfill them? Secondarily, are human basic needs similar to the needs of farm animals? Do goods and services provided by farm animals help meet human basic needs?

The first grade unit focuses on identifying basic needs of farm animals including air, water, food, shelter and space. Farm animals have a specific additional need for survival: farm animals need a purpose or job. Students also explore animal behavior in meeting these basic needs.

Farm animals provide the concrete examples needed by this age group to understand the habits and characteristics of a variety of species. These needs are then compared to human needs. The role of farm animals in providing humans with needed food and clothing emerges as a secondary objective met by the unit.

Working at centers, hearing stories, making books, drawing, working with animal models to create stories about animals' needs, visiting a farm and chatting with a farmer, viewing the slideshow and supplemental slides all accumulate to inform the students' final comprehension of the basic needs of all animals, and a recognition of how their own needs are similar to those of the animals.

Students take this understanding of similarities among living things a step further as they recognize human and farm animal interdependence, and the many ways their own needs are met by the products and services farm animals provide. A game of interdependence brings this message home while also serving as a wrap-up and evaluation tool.


Key Concepts

• identify animals on the farm and describe their characteristics
• recognize and understand basic needs of animals for air, water, food, shelter, and
• explore similarities and differences between human basic needs and those of animals.
• conduct investigations and make observations to build an understanding of the characteristics and basic needs of living organisms.
• observe and discuss animal behaviors
• understand that a basic need of farm animals is to have a job, a purpose, or work to do.
• realize that human-made products and machines have replaced animals in providing
necessary goods and services (such as doing farm work), and that there are costs and benefits involved.

Critical Skills:

• Describe observed events
• Develop questions on scientific topics
• Compare observations of individual and group results

Prior to beginning this unit, research the possibility of taking a field trip to a local farm where students can observe farm animals. Print the image set: BasicNeeds.pdf for a quick visual introduction to the basic needs of farm animals.

Students may not know what farm animals eat. Two important foods for the students to know about are hay and grain. Hay is grass (such as fescue, timothy, bermuda grass, orchard grass, brome, etc. ) and/or legumes (such as alfalfa, clover, or lespedeza) that have been dried and cured. Hay is often blends of grasses or grasses and legumes, as these combinations are nutritious and the plants often grow well together. Different types of hay are grown in different climates. Grains fed to animals include corn, oats, wheat, and barley. These grains can be whole or processed (for example, ground up and formed into pellets). Soybeans and other legumes are also important animal feeds and may be blended with grains. See AnimalDiets.pdf




Navigating the Unit

1st - 5 E Summary
1st - Engage
1st - Explore
1st - Explain
1st - Expand
1st - Evaluate
1st - Supplement

Noah's Ark Today is property of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
Copyright 2006.

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312