Identifying common farm animals and the sounds they make
Animals and Their Sounds
horse, colt (neigh)
donkey (hee haw)
bantam rooster (cock-a-doodle-doo)
hen (cluck cluck)
cow, calf (moo)
cat, kitten (meow)
tiger tomcat (yeow)
dog, puppy (bow wow)
clutch of eggs
I Went Walking by Sue Williams, illustrated by Julie Vivas
During the course of a walk, a young boy identifies animals of different colors.
Going to Sleep on the Farm by Wendy Cheyette Lewison, illustrated by Juan Wijngaard
A father describes for his son how each animal on the farm goes to sleep.
Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins
Although unaware that a fox is after her as she takes a walk around the farmyard, Rosie the hen still manages to lead him into one accident after another.
Who Took the Farmer’s Hat? by Joan L. Nodset, illustrated by Fritz Siebel
The wind blows away the farmer's hat and he finds it being used in a most surprising way.
“Buzz” Said the Bee by Wendy Cheyette Lewison, illustrated by Hans Wilhelm
As one animal sits on another in an accumulating progression, the reader learns the sounds each animal makes.
Mung-Mung! A Fold-out Book of Animal Sounds by Linda Sue Park
Each colorful page begins with the question, "What kind of animal says..." and features a variety of sounds in playful handwritten typefaces. Several languages from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East are included, as well as the sound in English to tip off youngsters.
Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds by Linda Sue Park
Great companion story if your class enjoyed reading Mung-Mung! by the same author. Instead of animal sounds, this text goes through people sounds from around the world.
The Cow That Went Oink by Bernard Most
A cow that oinks and a pig that moos are ridiculed by the other barnyard animals until each teaches the other a new sound.
Everywhere the Cow Says “Moo!” by Ellen Slusky Weinstein, illustrated by Kenneth Anderson
Easy-to-read text reveals the different words for animal sounds in four languages—English, Spanish, French, and Japanese—and the one that remains the same.
We heard the story:
The Big Red Barn
By Margaret Wise Brown
The story shows animals on the farm from the time the sun comes up in the morning until the sun goes down and the animals go to sleep.
Ask me about which farm animal is my favorite and what sound it makes.
Let’s play a guessing game. You make a farm animal sound (like ‘moo’, ‘quack’ or ‘meow’) and I’ll guess the animal. Then I’ll pretend to be a farm animal and you can guess.
Nosotros oímos el cuento:
El Gran Granero Rojo
Por Margaret Wise Brown
El cuento muestra los animales en una granja desde la madrugada hasta el anochecer cuando los animales van a dormir.
Pregúntame que animal es mi favorito y que sonido él hace.
Vamos a jugar el juego de adivinanzas. Tú haces un sonido de un animal de la granja (como muu, cuac o miau) y yo adivinaré el animal. Entonces yo pretenderé ser un animal de la granja y tú podrás adivinar cuál animal es.
For the Teacher
About the Book
About the Story
Big Red Barn joins Margaret Wise Brown’s beloved Goodnight Moon as a bedtime classic. The story follows a day in the life of the animals who call the Big Red Barn their home. As night approaches, Felicia Bond’s illustrations grow muted and dark, and the gentle text lulls listeners and readers into rest as the animals fall asleep. In the classroom, the story is invaluable for teaching names of farm animals and the sounds they make, and it’s a must-read before a field trip to the farm or a petting zoo. The story captures the attention of young infants but still holds the interest of kids up to kindergarten age.
About the Author
One of few children’s book writers who studied early childhood development, Margaret Wise Brown’s deep understanding of children’s concerns and emotions shines through in her classic children’s books, such as Big Red Barn and Goodnight Moon. Although her many popular books have been published for generations, Big Red Barn was not illustrated and published until the 1980s.
Author’s Official Website: www.margaretwisebrown.com
About the Illustrator
Even at the early age of five, Felicia Bond knew she wanted to be an artist. She has illustrated numerous children's books and written many of her own, including the Give a Mouse a Cookie series. She currently lives in New Mexico with her family of cats and a horse named Twister.
Interactive Give a Mouse a Cookie Series Website: www.mousecookiebooks.com
For the Teacher
Reading the Book
Introduce the story by bringing out a prop bag or mystery box with plastic or flannel farm animals inside. Take out each of the animals and talk with the children about their names and the sounds they make. Then show the cover of the book and say, “Today, we will read a story about these animals.”
If you are emphasizing letter recognition in your class, hold up a letter B and a letter R and tell the children: “These letters are a clue to two important words in the title of the book I am going to read today.” Have children say the letter you are showing them. Then hold up a copy of Big Red Barn (Big Book if available) and ask if they see the special letters (R and B) in the title of the book. Read the title of the book, the author’s and the illustrator’s names and begin!
As You Read
As the book begin, point out the sun just peeping out of the horizon. As children: “What time of the day do you think it is?” Point out the butterfly fluttering over field of corn. Much like looking for the mouse in Good Night Moon, have children look for the butterfly on almost every page of the story.
The next page finds the sun, a bit higher on the horizon. Point out the shadow of the little pig. Ask children: “Why do you think the big horse and the little horse are looking out of the barn door?” ( heard the pig squeal… looking at the sun) Find the butterfly.
On the page with the weather vane, ask the children if they have ever seen a horse with wings. Depending on the children’s interest, you may wish to talk about unicorns, Pegasus the mythical flying horse etc. Ask children: “What letter do you see in the picture?” (N, E, W, S). Explain that the arrow the horse is mounted on points in the direction the wind is blowing. Ask: “Why do you think people want to know which way the wind is blowing?” (airplanes flying…sailboats…change in weather etc) (At a later time, you can go outside with the children and experiment with ways to find out what direction the wind is coming from.) Find the butterfly.
On the page with the big pile of hay and the little pile of hay, point out the pitch fork and the shovel and pail. Ask children: “What do you think the children play with?” (show photo of pitch fork and ask children if it is safe to play with)
On the next page, it says, “But in this story the children are away. Only the animals are here today.” Ask: “Where do you think the children are?”
Point out the position of the sun at the beginning of the story, and follow the animals through their day to sunset and moonrise.
The following page shows lots of new animals. The story says they were making funny noises. Encourage children to make sounds like the different animals. Point out the scare crow and show realistic photo from the curriculum. Ask children: “What is the scare crow holding?” (hoe) Find the butterfly.
Before you turn the page, ask children, “Where do you think the field mouse was born?” After you turn the page, help children find the mouse family. Ask children: “Why do you think the mouse family is among the corn plants?” (to be safe) “What would be dangerous for the mouse family?” (the cat might try to eat them…dog might chase them etc)
On the next page, ask children to imitate the sounds of the rooster and the pigeon. Talk about the difference between the hen and the rooster. Show realistic photos from the curriculum.
On the next page, point to and count the number of eggs in the nest. Show the picture of the bantam rooster, and compare its size to the rooster on the previous page.
The next page presents another opportunity for counting. Count the number of grown up cats, the number of kittens, and the number of puppies. You might also want to categorize animals by colors. “Which kittens are the same colors as the mother black cat? Is there a kitten that looks like tiger tom cat? What about the color of the puppies?” The illustrations point out clearly who the mother animals are. Ask the children: “Where do baby kittens and puppies get milk?”
The following page is probably the most interesting of all. The text says, “They all play all day in the grass and in the hay.” Let children tell you about some of the activities going on in this lovely picture. (pigs wallowing in the mud…animals eating hay…young animals playing etc) Find two butterflies.
This book is similar to Good Night Moonin the way the illustrations become darker as night falls and as the story progresses. Ask children: “Why all of the animals turned and walked towards the barn?” Point out the sun setting behind the corn field and scare crow. It may be hard to see but the illustrator is showing a stream of bats flying out the window in the barn loft. Show children the realistic photo of the bat from this curriculum.
Use your voice in a softer slower pace as the animals fall asleep to indicate nightfall.
At the end of the story, only the mice are awake. What other animals stay up during the night? (owls, bats, prowling cats) An interesting note is the moon reflected in the tub of water. Children may think it’s a ball until you turn to the last page and see the lovely full moon shining down from the night sky.
This book would work as a good transition before nap or rest time to calm the class down.
Reinforce What’s Learned / Open-Ended Questions
Ask the children to respond to all or some of the open-ended questions below. As they share, write down the children’s responses on a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard (a mind map works well). Use one of the questions as your small group activity, prompting the children to draw a picture and write or dictate their responses.
What animals are in your barn? (picture prompt paper available at FLRC)
The animals look very peaceful and friendly in the story. Do you think all the animals would get along with each other?
Where do the animals go during the day? What do they do?
What are the piles of yellow straw for?
What kind of foods could this farm make?
Most people sleep lying down in beds. While looking at the animals at the end of the story, ask how the different animals are sleeping? (some are standing, others are lying on their side or back). How are the babies sleeping?
How does your family wake up in the morning? (alarm clock, parent waking you up). How do the animals wake up in the morning? How does the rooster wake up?
Note: Send home the bilingual recipe card when you read the book and/or make the recipe.
Ingredients: a clear jar with a secure lid, whipping cream (enough to fill the jar halfway)
Directions: Wash the jar with hot water. Make sure to clean thoroughly. Pour in the cream, then close the jar securely. Start shaking, and keep shaking. Pass around the jar from child to child, and let everyone have a turn shaking. While shaking and passing, sing to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
Shake, shake, shake the cream. Shake and pass the cream.
It’s butter we make when cream we shake. Shake and pass the cream.
After a short while, you will notice that the cream has separated into buttermilk and grains of butter. One is liquid, the other solid. Continue shaking until the grains become a solid mass of butter. Open the jar and separate the buttermilk from the butter. You may drink the buttermilk and eat the butter you made!
Check related book list for other stories to have on your bookshelf. (Give the list to your librarian to reserve copies of these books in advance and check with the FLRC).
Have the book available in the library area so that children can practice sequencing the animals to match the story.
Flannel board figures and stick puppets for retelling the story (can be checked out from FLRC or use template in this curriculum to create your own). Create a flannel board barn whose doors open so that children can practice concept of in and out (FLRC)
Math and Manipulative
Sequence animals by:
Order in the story
Sort animals by:
Habitat (which animals live on a farm, in the woods, in a pond)
Physical qualities such as how many legs they have, if they have feathers, hair, or fur, if they fly)
Create a mind map of one or more of the animals in the story
What do they eat? Where do they sleep?
Use real pictures to place in the middle of the graph.
Create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting animals that can be found on the farm, at the zoo, and which can be found in both places. (FLRC)
Make stick puppets using the template (FLRC)
Have the children act like the different animals in the book. Have their classmates guess what animal they are.
Attach Velcro-backed flannel board figures of animals to headbands. Have each child put one on without looking and then ask questions to figure out which animal he or she is.
Sponge paint using sponges or potatoes cut in the shape of the various animals from the story.
Children can create a class mural on a large sheet of white roll paper to make a farm scene.
This can also be done with animal stamps and stamp pads (for individual paintings) and animal shaped stencils.
Cut large simple shapes of the farm animals and have the children paint them with the same shades of the colors found in the book. For example, the cow would be painted reddish brown, so a mix of red and brown paint.
Make barnyard fences out of blocks.
Include plastic or vinyl farm animals in the block area so that children can create a barnyard scene or re-enact the story.
Music and Movement
Using the animal headbands (FLRC), have a barnyard animal parade.
Play Farmer in the Dell
Use song Animal Action by Greg and Steve to encourage children to move like various animals.
Include animal figures in the sensory table. (use sand, water, sticks, hay, etc. to represent various habitats for the animals)
Include animal sponge shapes in the water sensory table.
Small Group Activity
Farm animal bingo (FLRC)
Can use the animal sounds to identify the animals instead of just calling the names.
Farm animal memory game (cards available at FLRC)
Draw and Write: What animals are in your barn? (picture prompt paper available at FLRC)
Field Trip or Special Guest
Take a tour of a local farm.
Visit the petting zoo at the Henry Vilas Zoo.
Sing Old McDonald.
Remember to bring a copy of the book with you on the bus for echo reading.
Adaptations of Activities
Social / Emotional Needs
The CSEFEL Family Routine Guide has a wonderful bilingual Bedtime Routines section.
Infant / Toddler
Big Red Barncomes in board book format and is an excellent toddler book. Use stuffed animals and farm puzzles to reinforce the book.
Moving like animals and making animal sounds are fun and appropriate activities for this age group.
Use book-related word search (FLRC).
Use picture prompt question—provide Magic Paper from the FLRC, as well as markers, then ask students to share their responses through drawing and writing.
Use graphic organizers and do computer and library research to find out more about the animals in the book.
Use information from the book Everywhere the Cow Says “Moo!”to match animal sounds to the language they come from.
Use a map or globe and talk about how farm animals differ from region to region.
Activities for Volunteers
Read the book using the tips in the “As you read” and “Reinforce what’s learned” portion of the teachers’ curriculum.
Have the child/children retell the story using flannel board pieces or stick puppets (available from the FLRC).
Draw and Write: What animals are in your barn? (picture prompt paper available at FLRC)
For the Parent-Child Activity
Group Read Aloud
Pass out pictures of the farm animals to each table, so that each table has one animal (FLRC).
As you read the book, have the families at the table hold up the appropriate picture and make that animal’s sound.
Do a group sing-along of Old McDonald using the same pictures of the animals.
Take Home or Table based activity ideas
Make stick puppets or flannel board figures for re-telling the story.
Make a shadow box barn.
Each family receives a shoe box that they can decorate together to look like a barn and the animal figures to place in it (from flannel board figure template).
For Parenting Education
This is a good time to talk about bedtime routines. All of the animals in the book go to sleep in different places and ways. Have parents share ideas on bedtime routines for their children.
Bring a copy of Big Red Barn, the related Parent Book Letter and recipe card.
You may wish to bring materials for stick puppets or zip lock bag books related to Big Red Barn (FLRC).
Note: One of the best ways for parents to learn is through sharing their strategies with each other, because the most relevant and useful ideas often come from the parents themselves. Be sure to listen and record ideas from the group itself, giving the majority of the time to their thoughts; they will usually bring up the points you want to mention naturally, and you can just fill in any gaps at the end.
Parent discussion on bedtime routines (see Parenting Message).
Display and discuss other books that are good for calming children down before bedtime, such as Good Night Moon.
For Adult Education
Subject: farm animals, times of day
Key Parts of Language: past simple, past continuous
Summary: A day in the life of a farm and the animals who live on it.
This/these: Bring in toy representations/pictures of each animal. Say, “These are the animals. What are these?” Motion for the learner to repeat. Then go on to specific animals, saying “This is a cow” and having the learner repeat.
Speaking practice: Have pairs of students each select a kind of animal and pretend they are starting a farm with that animal. Have them learn more vocab for that animal—for instance, if they have a dairy farm, have the pair learn heifer, calf, and bull. Ask each pair to decide what they will produce with their animals (milk, wool, eggs) and how they will sell it.
The animals look very peaceful and friendly in the story as they head up the hill to the barn. Do you think all the animals would get along with each other?
How does your family wake up in the morning? (alarm clock, parent waking you up)
Ventures Basic: Unit 6, Time, Lesson D. Time of day; this fits perfectly because Big Red Barn starts at dawn and goes through midnight.
Talk about what a farm looks like in different cultures and different times. What buildings are common among cultures? How are they alike and different?
What purpose do weathervanes serve? Talk about the weather with regards to farming and what is able to be grown in different parts of the world.
Lakeshore (1992). Food and nutrition resource chest. California: K&M Company.
http://www.margaretwisebrown.com/ http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com\ Making butter:http://tenkidsandadog.blogspot.com/2010/04/homemade-butter-and-cornbread-prairie.html Geneseo Migrant Center Family Literacy Curriculum: http://www.migrant.net/migrant/publications/literacy/ Teachers and Staff of Dane County Parent Council, Inc.