Farm-linked activities for KS2 English

KS2 English activities that can be carried out before, during or after a farm visit.


Curriculum area: Reading/Literature

Activities:

  • Use information from the text to draw a map or picture of the farm.
  • Gather descriptions from the text with good clues about setting, time of day, time of year, weather, environmental noises, smells, etc.
  • Collect quotes to support information gathered about the farm.
  • Compile a fact file on the farm and farmers.
  • List the animals, crops, machinery, buildings mentioned.
  • Use information from the text to make a list of jobs around farms.
  • Write the farmer's diary.
  • Write the diary of an animal on the farm.
  • Make a list of ingredients for a farmer -  what do you need to be like to be a farmer?
  • Prepare an interview with prompt cards for a character from the farm in the book.
  • Write thought bubbles for the characters at different points in the book.

Resources needed:

  • Books containing stories and poems set around farms

Curriculum area: Reading/Understanding texts

Activities:

  • Write a list of questions children would like to know about the farm in the story.
  • Make a list of what the author needed to know to write the book.
  • Discuss the image the author creates about farms from the book.
  • Use a theme from the book to write a point of view, discussion or argument about farming issues today.
  • Text-mark (highlight a copy of the text) any words which could form part of a dictionary for farming words.
  • Make a farming alphabet book of things found or places mentioned in the book.
  • Re-write a section of the story as a play script, using evidence from the text to create the appropriate farm setting.
  • Compare different versions of traditional stories, e.g. Jack and the beanstalk.

Resources needed:

  • Books containing stories and poems set around farms

Curriculum area: Reading/Non-fiction

Activities:

  • Study cover and title before opening the book and discuss and activate the knowledge that the
    children already have about farms and any questions they have. Turn any statements children make at this point into questions which answers can be searched for. This is a good way to deal with misconceptions from children's prior knowledge about farming.
  • Compare a non-fiction farm book with a fiction farm book. List similarities and differences.
  • Compare an out-of-date, non-fiction book with a current book. Discuss similarities and
    differences. Map the changes that have taken place.

Resources needed:

  • Non-fiction and reference books which contain information about farms and farming

Curriculum area: Reading/Reading for information

Activities:

  • Collect newspaper articles about farming.
  • Summarise points of view from the articles -  collect evidence quotes.
  • Write own newspaper article  based on issues and events from farm visit.
  • Compare information from the NFU website with information from a non-fiction book about farming. Let the children set some simple questions and see which source can answer them.
  • Use information from seed packets to answer questions.
  • Use contents and indexes of encyclopaedia and reference books to create a fact-file on a chosen aspect of farming.
  • Use Yellow Pages to find farms in the local area.
  • Collect information from a variety of non-fiction sources about farming to create a wall planner with a farmer's year.
  • Use instructions from some equipment which might be found in a farm office. Cut up and allow
    children to place in correct order.
  • Write instructions for a daily event on the farm that the children saw on their visit. eg how to milk a cow.
  • Put bread-making recipe instructions in correct order.

Using a copy of a farming magazine:

  • Identify the different aspects of the magazine.
  • Text-mark an article from a farming magazine. Use different colours to distinguish fact and
    opinion.
  • Look at the persuasive language of the adverts in the farming magazine. Text-mark key words
    and use them to write their own adverts.
  • Review the letters page of a farming magazine. Write a letter responding to an article.

Resources needed:

  • Newspaper articles
  • Access to internet
  • Old seed packets
  • Encyclopaedia, reference books
  • Yellow Pages
  • Instructions for photo-copier/fax/etc
  • Recipe from cookery book
  • Farming magazines (available in most large stationers)

Curriculum area: Writing/Composition

Activities:

  • Compose a commentary for television news on a current farming issue. Set out notes on prompt cards.
  • Use IT to produce a leaflet about the farm they have visited.
  • Write and perform a news report with taped with sound effects about the visit to the farm.
  • Write farm animal poems with alliteration including an adjective, verb and adverb (if possible!) e.g. A peculiar pig preened itself pointedly.
  • Write thank-you letters to the farmer.
  • Write an account of the farm trip (from the point of view of themselves or the teacher/farmer/
    bus driver).
  • Write a non-fiction book tracking the journey of milk from cow to bottle, or the journey of food to milk through the cow, or the jurney of wool from sheep to jumper.
  • Make a poster or leaflet about a farming  issue.
  • Write a recipe for bread making.
  • Use the farm they visit as the setting for a story. Choose an area of the farm. List what they can see, hear, smell, feel. Add adjectives to each word. Use as a bank of ideas for a story.
  • Present a basket of artefacts based on a farm -  a farmer's overalls, some fleece, some wire, straw, animal feed. Include an unusual item like a gold key, a harmonica or an old photograph of a person to add interest. Use it as the basis of a story.

Resources needed:

  • Folded books, either zig-zag or origami
  • Baskets and artefacts