Farm Animal Sensory Activities

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Sensory activities are great for encouraging students to engage fully in the learning process. This lesson provides activities designed to allow your students to explore farm animals.

Sensory Investigation

The more we engage our students' senses, the easier it is for them to learn. The activities in this lesson will help students use multiple senses to explore and learn about farm animals. Some are great activities to do together as a class, while others work better as quiet activities for pairs or students to do on their own.

These activities assume that students are already somewhat familiar with the types of animals found on a farm.

Everyone Join In

It can feel like chaos, but children love to have the whole class up and participating in an activity. The movement around them is actually an indirect addition to the sensory aspect of an activity. Following are some whole class activities on farm animals.

What Am I?

In this activity, students use their touch and hearing senses to identify farm animals.

Materials

Swatches of material with many different textures (such as velvet, fluffy/furry, leather, silk and/or satin)

Preparation

Read the students a touch-and-feel book about farm animals before this activity. Allow students to feel each panel to get an idea of what the animals might feel like.

Instructions

Hand out one swatch of fabric to each student. Give students a few minutes to explore the feeling of their swatch and decide what type of farm animal it feels like. Then students should walk around the room making the sound of the animal they think their swatch resembles. Their classmates should guess the animal each student is pretending to be, feel the student's swatch and decide if they agree that the animal chosen feels like the swatch.

You could increase the tactile sensory input of this game by having the students move as their animal moves (on all fours or waddling like a duck) and by attaching the swatch to the students' backs so that other students must 'pet' them to feel the material.

Focus on the Hand

Students will focus on the feeling of writing the name of an animal in this activity.

Materials

Writing paper, pencils

Preparation

Assign each student a farm animal. Make a list of the students' names and their animals. Make copies of this list with blanks for students to write the animal names.

Instructions

Hand out the worksheets to your students. Each student will try to guess every other student's animal using only tactile information. We'll use John and Sam to demonstrate the game. John's animal is a horse. Sam closes his eyes while John uses Sam's hand to write the word 'horse' on the paper next to John's name. Before opening his eyes, Sam must guess what John wrote. If he gets it correct, John puts a check next to the word 'horse'; if not, John puts an X there. The boys then switch roles. After John has guessed Sam's animal, they both go off and find another partner to work with until they have guessed for every student in the class.

For an easier task, you could have students pretend to 'write' on the floor with just the hand.

Whose Bed Is Best?

Materials

Hay, a dog bed, cubbies or a ladder (to represent a chicken roost) and a large box with a sheet over it (ask parents to bring in some of the items)

Preparation

This activity will be a bit messy, but should be fun and is highly tactile. Make animal beds around your room using the materials you have gathered. The box and sheet will represent a hole where you might find mice.

Instructions

Allow students to move around the room and decide which kind of animal sleeps in which bed. Then ask them to decide which bed they like best. Allow all ideas (as long as they are farm related) for who uses each bed to get discussion going on many different animals found on farms.

If you tell students to pretend to be the type of animal whose bed they liked best, you could create your own classroom farm with 'animals' braying and neighing, barking and squeaking all over the room.

Small Group

These activities are designed for small groups or individuals to enjoy.

Smells on the Farm

This activity focuses on your students' senses of smell.

Materials

Scratch-and-sniff books about the farm (like Farmer's Market by Cuddly Duck Productions)

Preparation

None

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