This week we kicked off our Farm Unit with COW DAY! Cow Day was totally impromptu. I had our cow craft in my plans, but as the morning went on I decided to scrap the rest of the day and make the whole afternoon about cows. By 3:30 the room was a mess and the kids were exhausted, but we had a blast and learned a lot. We read Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, then moved on to our activities. Another teacher on my team introduced me to a great schema chart that can be used for any topic. We used it for cows and it worked for my class. They really "got it"! Not only did we learn a lot about cows but the kids learned what schema was and they were saying the word over and over again because they loved the way it sounded! When I asked them what they already knew about cows I was amazed at how many facts they came up with and how diverse they were. Some of my favorites included "They have meat in them" and "They have gutters". After our Cow Day we revisited our schema chart and talked about some misconceptions that we had about cows. For example, we discovered that brown cows don't make chocolate milk! I was proud of how much information they retained from the day and how much new learning we added to our chart. Did you know that cows have 4 stomachs? I didn't!
Another part of Cow Day was making butter! After it was done we had a Cow Day Picnic and enjoyed our homemade butter on crackers. Yum!
The last two things we did were the cow craft and our milking activity. We filled up a vinyl glove with water and a little white paint and we all practiced milking a cow. I only poked one small hole in the "udders" to show the kids that it is time consuming and hard work to milk a cow. As I continued to circulate the room with the "udders", the class worked hard on their cow crafts. Look how nice they look! Moooo!