Based around a bright and colourful interactive activity mat, ‘The Farming Kit’ has been designed to support schools’ curriculum requirements. So far, 500 of the kits have been distributed to primary school teachers across the country.
Bringing the farm to the classroom
Teachers of younger children say their students are enthusiastic about the kit’s ‘farming’ topic and its content, which encourages learning through science, literacy, storytelling, numeracy, waiata, poetry, role play and artwork.
The kits introduce the animals, ideas, and language of the New Zealand dairy farm, using bright imagery, stories and interactive activities. This supports teachers to enrich their students’ farming vocabularies and help them understand where milk comes from. It also helps students learn more about what happens on a farm each day, including the important role farmers play in caring for their cows and the environment.
By linking to other information about dairying, including ‘Rosie’s World’, the kit is highly relevant to New Zealand kids, teachers and their parents.
Kit content and tasks
Te Reo is integrated throughout the learning resource and on the vibrant interactive ‘farming’ mat which forms the backbone of the learning package. Also included are a range of resources that support storytelling.
In one of the kit’s tasks, children follow the lead of painter Ted Bracey, who lived most of his life in the Waikato, surrounded by dairy farms. Ted particularly liked painting farmland, mixing mostly green layers. Children are introduced to Ted’s work and encouraged to learn to mix paints into the green shades that they might see on a farm, while learning about the colour wheel.
You can download the free version of the Farming Kit here.
Farm visit follow-ups
Schools that have received The Farming Kit have also been invited to apply for a school farm visit in their local area. With the support of amazing farmer hosts, these visits provide additional enrichment of classroom learning. In 2019, more than 4500 children visited a farm through the School Farm Visit programme.
- The Farming Kit was released to 500 primary school teachers in late February 2020.
- Students are enthusiastically using the kits and connecting with what happens on a dairy farm.
- A water quality-focused classroom resource is due to be released in March 2020 to another 500 teachers (Years 4 to 8).
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy April 2020