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Posts Tagged With: brainstorm

History of Agriculture Theme Unit

One of the best things about homeschooling is choosing to study what you like!  We recently completed a theme unit on the history of agriculture.  If this sounds like fun to you, here ya go!

HISTORY OF AGRICULTURE THEME UNIT

Reading

The American Family Farm by Joan Anderson

Farming Then and Now by Katie Roden

Pictures from the Farm by JC Allen and Son, Inc. (Brett loved this one!)

Case Photographic History by April Halberstadt

The Big Book of Tractors by John Deere

Tractor Mac Arrives at the Farm by Billy Steers (and other Tractor Mac books)

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingles Wilder, Chapters 10 &11

History of Agriculture Theme Unit

Writing

Keep a vocabulary list of all the new words you learn

Brainstorm facts you’ve learned about farming; choose one to write in your journal

Explore the poem “One for the Mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, one to grow”

Pretend you are living on a family farm __ years ago.  Write a letter to someone telling them about your day.

Math

Create a timeline of farm history (We started about 1800.).  Add to it through the unit.  These ready-made timelines were great resources!

“Plant” (glue) ears of corn in numerical order.  For older students, plant numbers by 2s, 5s, etc. or backwards.

Use this website from nps.gov to learn how many miles a man walked to plant one acre, how much a plow cost and billions of other math facts from the 19th Century!

Use the “one for the mouse” poem to do a little hands-on subtraction

History of Agriculture Theme Unit

Science

Try this experiment to learn why rubber tires were a great improvement over horses hooves and steel wheels.

Experiment with tying straw sheaves.  If you don’t have straw large weeds from the side of  the road will work as well.  Will your sheaves protect the straw from the rain?

Make a farm diorama with a shoe box, clay, plastic toy cowboys and horses (can you figure out a way to dress your cowboys to look like farmers?), and any other things you can imagine!

Social Studies

Try sowing seeds yourself.  Grass seed is a great choice.

Use a hand grinder to grind wheat.

Watch the archival footage on these John Deere DVDs. CombinesTractors

Field Trip!  The best part of homeschooling– right?!  Visit Missouri Town, an Amish community, or similar location

History of Agriculture Theme Unit

Art

Make a collage of seeds

Design a piece of machinery the could help farmers.  Use food boxes, paper towel tubes, brads, yarn, whatever!

Roll toy tractors in (washable) paint and create prints

Scripture

The Parable of the Sower, Luke 8:5-8

Other Internet Resources

Country Life vs. City Life from Home School Year Blog

Farm Theme Pinterest board

Fun on the Farm by Fabulous in First Blog

Counting 1-5 Grain Bins from Hands On: As We Grow Blog

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Categories: Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What is Drought?

Maybe you’ve heard about it on the news, or maybe you can look out your window and see it, but what is a drought?  And why is it so important this year?

Drought brings to mind hot, dry summers, but the actual meaning of the word is just that there is not enough water supply to meet the demand.  There are actually three types of drought and one of them is called agricultural drought.  It means there is not enough water for plants to grow.  Usually agricultural drought is caused by a lack of rain, but it is possible for farmers to be experiencing drought while others in the cities and towns are not.

The reason is that plants need water more at some times that others.  If the corn is ready to pollinate or if the kernels are filling out the plant needs more water than usual.  If the ground is dry just for these important steps it can mess up the entire plant.  A well-timed rain can be just as important as lots of rain.

Agricultural drought affects everyone.  This year the drought is over many places in the US.  That means food of all kinds is struggling to grow.  But drought is affecting even more than food this year.  Some towns are having problems with getting enough water for people to use for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.  These towns must stop people from washing their cars, watering their gardens, or filling pools.  Wild animals are also struggling for food, since the grasses, bushes, and berries they usually eat are burnt.  Trees are already loosing their leaves.

Brainstorm a list of all the ways you use water.  Which can be affected by drought?  Leave me a comment and tell us if you already see signs of the drought where you are.

Categories: Science | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Brainstorm

How many kinds of weather can you think of?

There are lots of types of storms, but today let’s BRAINSTORM!  brainstorm weather

Grab a blank sheet of paper and start writing.  Some people like to brainstorm by writing a list; other prefer to make a web.  Whatever you do– just write it down!

The best thing about brainstorming is there are no wrong answers.  You are not taking a test.  You are not showing what you know.  You are coming up with ideas.  And later you might decide the idea wasn’t what you needed, but for now, everything goes!

Go on– do it now!

Did you think of weather we have each day?  What about weather we have over a long period of time?  What about climate, which is a really long period of time.  Don’t forget weather disasters or your favorite kinds of weather.

Now that you’ve brainstormed, let’s do something with your list.  Look through it and choose three types of weather that could affect a farmer.  Circle them.  Could you make a movie about farming with your weather choice?  Would it make a funny story or a dramatic play?  Is it just another day on the farm?  Jot some notes or talk to a friend and see what brainy ideas your storm came up with!

Categories: Science | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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