The Farmer in the Dell



* Group students in pairs (by passing out tongue depressor and having them locate their partner) and read story and have students share their thoughts on questions asked (click here) before, during and after reading the story, plus narrative questions (click for pdf)

* Things to share after reading book, singing and chanting song.

a) Tell me a word that rhymes with farm? (repeat this exercise with different words from the song – dog, child, wife, cat, etc.)

b) Listen to the words I say and tell me if they rhyme. dell: house / bell;  wife: baby / life; nurse: toy / purse; etc.(select a word from the song and a rhyming word and non-rhyming word)

c) I am going to say a word from the song and you tell me what letter it begins with: Farmer; Wife; Nurse; Child; etc.

d) Listen to word I say and lets count the syllables (farmer, wife, nurse, child, etc.)

e) I am going to say part of a sentence and you finish the sentence.

The farmer takes the _________.

The wife takes the __________.

The nurse takes the ________.  etc.

f) I am going to say part of a sentence and you finish the sentence.

Example: (teacher) The farmer takes (students) the wife

(teacher) The wife takes (students) the nurse (etc.)

g) Once they are able to accomplish the task by phrases you can now do it by word. (T = Teacher  and S = Students)

Example: (T) The   (S) farmer  (T) takes  (S) the  (T) wife           (continue with song)

* As a class create silly alliterative sentences.  

Ex.   The farmer takes the fluffy feathers. 

The wife takes the white windows,

The nurse take the nine Ninjas.

The child takes Chinese chicken.

The dog takes dirty dishes.

The cat takes candy cupcakes.

The rat takes red roses 

* Complete Venn diagram and compare a lamb to another living animal with similar characteristics in the middle (click for pdf)

* Complete a story map: title, setting, characters, problem, and solution.

* Ask students what is white and create a map on there answers.

* Use this song to practice echo reading, choral reading, buddy reading, and work on phonological awareness activities (click for example)

* Have students sing the melody by using the syllable Baa.  

 Example:  The fa fa fa fafa The fa fa fa fafa fafafafafa  etc.

(You can change initial letter to N, M, C, T or any other letter.  You can select the first letter of each of their name)

* Create different ending to the story or talk about who can take the cheese?

* As a class, create silly alliteration sentences. Read them, chant them, whisper, normal voice, and loud voice.

Example:  The farmer finds a friend The farmer find s a friend.  Hi-ho the derry–o the farmer finds a friend.

The farmer finds a fox… The farmer finds a frog, etc.

* Use this song to practice echo reading, choral reading, buddy reading, and work on phonological awareness. (see video example)


* Count and sequence the number of characters.  Practice subtraction by taking characters away and recounting. (click for pdf)

* Show and compare characters by asking questions of size and weight.   Which is heavier? Lighter? Taller? Shorter?

* Who’s missing?  Place the characters from the printout in a row according to the lyrics.  Quickly review the order 3 times.  Have kids close their eyes and remove one character.  When they open their eyes, have them guess who’s missing.  Extension question:  Who’s missing in our class today?

* Print two copies of the characters to play concentration or matching games.  Extend by having them match to the character that follows in the song.  Example:  match the farmer to the wife; the wife to the child, etc


* Have a cheese tasting.  Encourage parents to send different kinds of cheese for snack.  Have kids compare the similarities and differences.

* Talk about what different animals eat.  Have containers filled with corn, oats, hay, dog and cat food.  Compare.  As an extension activity, have kids practice filling containers themselves at a sensory station.

* What do the animals give us?  Use grocery store flyers and have kids cut out and match foods to the animal they come from.  Example:  cow=milk, cheese, steak, burgers; pig=bacon, pork chops, ham

* Science poem:  

The Farmer:

The sun is coming up (make sun with arms)

Farmer’s out the door. (walk in place)

He will feed the sheep (pretend to use pitch fork)

He will milk the cows. (pretend to milk cow)

He will ride the horse. (pretend to ride horse)

He will plow the field. (pretend to ride tractor)

Its time to go inside. (walk in place)

Supper’s on the table. (pretend to eat)

It’s time to go to bed (pretend to go to sleep)

Social / Emotional

* Everyone’s connected and equally important. Discuss the roles of each character in farm life.  Connect the farmer to the grocery; the grocery to the cook; the cook to the meal.

* Act out the song using puppets, masks, or by assigning roles. Choose a farmer. When the song calls for him to take a wife, he chooses a classmate to hold hands and join him, walking in a slow circle and singing to the music. The wife chooses a classmate to be the nurse and the nurse chooses someone to be the child. Those in the line continue holding hands and walking in a circle as each child chooses the next character in the rhyme. At the end, when the cheese is chosen, all the other characters sit down and the cheese stands alone.  (integrate various movements – slide, skip, march, walk, hop) as they go and get their partner)

* Discuss the cheese.  Is it a healthy snack?  Encourage kids to sing the song with new lyrics inserting healthy snacks in the blank.  If they name something high in sugar, guide them to think of something healthier.  Give the first example by inserting apples.

I eat a _____ for snack.  I eat _____ for snack.  Hi-ho the dairy-o,  I eat _____ for snack.

(sung to melody: The Famer in the Dell)

Physical / Outdoor

* Square dance.  Have the kids sing the song moving in a circle by locking elbows. After each chorus, switch directions.

* Print copies (2-3 sets for entire class) of characters and glue them to construction paper and laminate them. Place them in a circle facing down (so they can’t see the character from the story) and have children dance in a circle to the song “Famer in the Dell” and when the music stops the students land on a picture and need to name the character and tell the class who that character takes in the song.

* Assign each child a character and have a race to see which one on the farm is the fastest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *