From September 17 to 23, the Humane Society of the United States and its local chapters are promoting public awareness of farm animals -- those productive, hardworking creatures that contribute so much to our survival and comfort. What better time to enjoy some lively, informative, and fun Web sites all about farm animals?
The Humane Society of the United States launched its eighth annual National Farm Animals Awareness Week celebration on September 17, 2000. National Farm Animals Awareness Week promotes awareness of and dispels misconceptions about farm animals. The following sites are among the best on the Web for teaching children to understand and respect farm animals.
- Farm Animals
The Kids Farm Web site, operated by the folks from the Red Bluff Ranch on the western slope of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, is a great site for preschool and elementary school students. Its primary purpose is to provide a safe educational activity for young children to learn about outdoor environments that they might otherwise not be able to experience. This page is dedicated to the ranch's farm animals, consisting of horses, cattle, dogs, sheep, goats, ducks, turkeys, geese, chickens, and llamas. Click on the icons to find a myriad of pictures, sound files, and facts about the different animals. In particular, the use of the specific animals' actual names and information makes this page especially inviting. What aren't included are those subjects which are probably better off left to the discretion of parents and teachers, for example: branding, the deaths of special animals, horse training, and other farm and market practices.
- Top Livestock
Students can take this brief quiz to test their knowledge of the raising of farm animals in the United States. After selecting one of six animal pictures, students go to a question; the answer to each question elaborates on the production of farm animals. After completing the quiz, students can hear various livestock sounds or follow the link to more agricultural games and activities. This page is part of the Web site of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.
- Farm Animals Around the World
This page, which is particularly engaging for preschool and young elementary school-aged children, has more than a dozen animal pictures to print out for coloring. Each picture tells a little bit about the animal. This page is part of the Web site of Enchanted Learning, a producer of children's educational materials designed to capture the imagination while maximizing creativity, learning, and enjoyment. Search the rest of the site for great crafts relating to a variety of animals as well as geography, science, and other topics.
- All About Farm Animals
Students can click on one of the half-dozen animal pictures to find interesting facts about each creature. For example, for cows, students can find out about the animals and where milk comes from, play an online game, try out some dairy recipes, and test themselves with different quizzes. Lots of pictures and other visuals make this site interesting. The site also offers links to farm-themed lesson plans.
- Farm Animal Awareness
Did your students know that cows love rock music? Or that chickens prefer classical music, particularly Vivaldi? In addition to those and other little-known facts, this Web page, from the Humane Society of the United States, contains fun facts about farm animals, profiles of farm animals from all over the world, as well as downloadable games, word puzzles, and more.
- On the Farm or at the Zoo?
In this collection of science activities, children study the relationship between people and different kinds of animals and categorize animals into two groups, farm animals or zoo animals. These lessons are particularly suitable for elementary school children.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR TEACHING ABOUT FARM ANIMALS
- The Barnyard Buddies
Have your students start by clicking on Web Corral to reach the world of the Barnyard Buddies. There, your students can play a variety of online games, read stories, keep up-to-date with the Barnyard Herald, or print out coloring pages featuring such farm animal characters as Gary the goat, Roberta the rabbit, and Bruce the bull. The stories and other activities use the Barnyard Buddies characters as a way to promote the concept of cooperation with others regardless of differences. This Web site by The Stardom Company, Ltd., does include some commercial content; the site markets books, videos, and other products based on the Barnyard Buddies, but the commercial aspect is not intrusive. The Stardom Company, Ltd., was incorporated in 1987 to produce and publish fiction books, games, and videos.
Lauren P. Gattilia
Copyright © 2000 Education World
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