KS1 and KS2 RE activities that can be carried out before, during or after a farm visit.
Curriculum area: Celebrating food and the harvest
- Celebration food - discuss birthday food; design their dream birthday cake; discuss how at special celebrations we have special food - Christmas, Passover, Eid.
- Harvest - show pictures of farms just before harvest. Paint pictures of countryside with all the crops. Discuss how the long summer holidays used to be for children to help with the harvest.
- Discuss how Christians celebrate harvest.
- Let children draw food and make their own display.
- Write a letter or prayer showing gratitude for food.
- Make corn dollies out of art straws.
- Discuss the Jewish festival of Sukkot or Feast of the Tabernacles, an eight-day harvest celebration in September or October. Explain how Jewish people remember how God provided food when they had little.
- Make models of tabernacles out of twigs as Jewish people build in their gardens to remember when Jews lived in tents and huts in the desert after escaping Egypt.
- Other celebrations of harvest:- Holi, the Hindu spring festival of colour marks the time when the first wheat and barley crops are harvested. For the Ghanaian Yam Festival people dance, sing and sacrifice cockerels. Discuss how yams are a staple food like potatoes. Let children taste yams.
- Photos of farm land in summertime, calendars are often a good source
- Art straws
- Selection of twigs
- Yam, available from ethnic food shops and some supermarkets
Curriculum area: Understanding where food comes from and expressing gratitude for our food
- Brainstorm different foods; discuss where they are from; find places on a map; discuss the farmer's role in the production of these foods.
- Track all the things which happen to milk to get it from the cow to them.
- Gather a selection of different breads e.g. naan, loaves, pitta, bagels etc.,discuss how they came from different parts of the world; introduce differing religious beliefs about food eg Jewish, Muslim etc.
- Map or globe of the world.
- Different breads. For display purposes they can be varnished to preserve them.
Curriculum area: Food and hunger
- Make a chart listing their different feelings about having a 'full plate' and an 'empty plate'.
- Brainstorm why some people are hungry in the world. Emphasise it is not just poor countries.
Use starters to help the discussion, such as weather, fighting, earthquakes, poor wages, education etc.
- Fairness in the distribution of food. Divide children into two groups and give out sweets unfairly. Discuss their feelings and fairness, brainstorm what they think they could do to help. (You may want to follow up these discussions with a fund-raising activity for a charity working against hunger such as Oxfam e.g. a no-sweet week, when they donate sweet money to the charity.)
- Discuss significant figures who have helped fight poverty and hunger - Buddha, Mother Teresa; Guru Nanak.
- Write a thank you letter to people who provide them with food, e.g. farmers, school cooks, families.
- Selection of sweets.
- Pictures of Buddha, Mother Teresa, Guru Nanak.