top of page

Curriculum Guidelines

DF logo (1).png

5.3.1 Investigate and compare the basic physical characteristics of plants, humans, and other animals (e.g., observing and discussing leaves, stems, roots, body parts; observing and drawing different insects; sorting leaves by shape; comparing animals with fur to those with feathers). SWBAT (Students will be able to): Observe and be taught by our tour guides basic physical characteristics of many farm animals as they meet and greet them throughout the tour. Expect to see, but not limited to: sheep, goats, cows, ponies, horses, hen, & bunnies. (i.e. the children will observe that sheep have fur. In our sheep shearing demonstration children will be able to feel the sheep’s fur and see how it is shaved off). 5.3.2 Observe similarities and differences in the needs of living things, and differences between living and nonliving things (e.g., observing and discussing similarities between animal babies and their parents; discussing the differences between a living thing, such as a hermit crab, and a nonliving thing, such as a shell). SWBAT: Understand the similarities and differences in the needs of animals. The tour guide will explain the concepts and question the students on what they already know about the needs of animals, humans, and plants. The differences of living and nonliving things will be highlighted throughout the tour including active participation between the guide and students. (i.e. the tour guide may ask a question such as “What does an animal need to survive? A flower? You?”. This will allow the tour guide to emphasize the distinct similarities and differences of the needs of living things). 5.3.3 Observe and describe how natural habitats provide for the basic needs of plants and animals with respect to shelter, food, water, air, and light (e.g., digging outside in the soil to investigate the kinds of animal life that live in and around the ground or replicating a natural habitat in a classroom terrarium). SWBAT: Understand by seeing how the natural habitats of animals and plants provide all basic needs for life. For example, during our cow segments – explaining that a cow in nature drinks from natural water sources found on the earth, eats the grass in the fields, and then finds a shady spot under a tree to lay down and sleep. Or, when planting a flower in the springtime, showing students that the flower will get everything it needs from nature when its planted in the ground- water, sunlight, and space to grow). 5.3.4 Observe and record change over time and cycles of change that affect living things (e.g., monitoring the life cycle of a plant, using children’s baby photographs to discuss human change and growth, using unit blocks to record the height of classroom plants). SWBAT: Participants will observe and plant their own flower (during the spring tours) while discussing the life cycle of flowers. 5.4.2 Explore the effects of sunlight on living and nonliving things (e.g., growing plants with and without sunlight, investigating shadows that occur when the sun’s light is blocked by objects). SWBAT: Evaluate and learn the effects sunlight has on the animals on the farm, and the growth of their planted flowers in the spring. 5.4.4 Demonstrate emergent awareness of the need for conservation, recycling, and respect for the environment (e.g., turning off water faucets, collecting empty yogurt cups for reuse as paint containers, separating materials in recycling bins, re-using clean paper goods for classroom collage and sculpture projects). SWBAT: A greater respect for the environment while on our farm and the animals that live there. They will see how important cleaning up all trash after themselves, and keeping human food and trash away from the animals is to their health and the health of our community.


K-LS1-1 Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive. SWBAT: Observe patterns of need for both plants and animals. For example, students will see and be instructed by the tour guide that animals need the same things as a human to survive; water, shelter and food. They will see that the types of food and shelter are different, and the way that animals obtain their food varies by species. They will also learn what plants need for survival. K-ESS2-2 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs. SWBAT: Observe our animals in their natural habitat and see how they affect the environment to meet their needs. In the spring, the students will get to see how the flower they plant will eventually outgrow its container and will need to be planted in a garden. The flowers roots will start to take over another part of the flowerbed in order to continue to thrive. K-ESS3-1 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live. SWBAT: Recognize that the different habitats that each animal lives in correspond with their needs. (i.e. cows live in fields with lots of fresh grass and a few trees because they eat grass to survive and enjoy laying under trees in the shade to digest their food). This will be reinforced by the tour guide throughout the trip.

First Grade

1-LS3-1 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents. SWBAT: Observe the young animals and plants with their parents at our farm and note the differences/similarities, which will be reinforced by the tour guide throughout the trip. 1-LS1-1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. SWBAT: complete this exercise in the classroom from observing and being instructed about the needs and characteristics of animals on our farm. Specific attention on animal and plant external parts, how these parts protect them and help them to survive and grow. 1-LS1-2 Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive. SWBAT: Highlight patterns in both their parents and themselves that are for the purpose of helping them grow, survive and ultimately live on their own. (i.e. throughout the tour students will observe and be taught by the tour guide that offspring may give their parents signals that include hunger, being hurt or upset by crying, cheeping, or other sounds, and the parents respond to this by feeding, comforting, and protecting their young).

Second Grade

2-LS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow. SWBAT: Relate their farm experience of planting flowers in the spring, or picking pumpkins in the fall, with knowledge learned from the tour guide, that no matter the species all plants need water and sunlight to live and grow. 2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats. SWBAT: Observe and note the differences around the animals and plants in each different habitat on the farm. (i.e. the tour guide will point out and question the students on the differences between their habitats and compare that to other non-farm animal habitats to show that each animal lives in a habitat unique to their needs).

Third Grade

3-LS1-1 Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death. SWBAT: Observe and gain knowledge from the instruction of the tour guide on the pattern of the life cycle for all living things. (i.e. The tour guide will point out the young animals and explain that they will continue in the same life cycle as their parents. Also, during the spring, the students will be taught the life cycle of flowers when they plant their own flower. During the colder times students will be taught the life cycle of pumpkins when they pick their own pumpkin to take home). 3-LS2-1 Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive. SWBAT: Learn from the tour guide that some of the animals on the farm, such as horses, sheep and goats, always stay in a pack because it helps them get their food, defend themselves from predators, and even gives some comfort. 3-LS3-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms. SWBAT: Observe animals and plants together with their offspring and note differences and similarities, which will be reinforced by the tour guide throughout the trip. (i.e. the students can observe for themselves the similarities and differences that are seen between parent animals and their offspring, and the tour guide will explain and highlight these characteristics between animals). 3-LS3-2 Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment. SWBAT: learn that animal and plant characteristics can be altered as a result of their environment and give examples of how the immediate environment may contrast with one that is more common to the species. (i.e. the tour guide will open a question-driven discussion with the students on the effects of giving the animals too much or too little food, and how that could change their appearance). 3-LS4-2 Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing. SWBAT: Identify the favorable characteristics that some animals and plants may enjoy in their environment and contrast it with that of various other plants and animals that experience more harsh environments. (i.e. the tour guide might ask questions such as: “what trait of an animal would help it to survive by blending in?” then continuing the discussion around examples of camouflage). 3-LS4-3 Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. SWBAT: Discuss some of the factors that make up the typical habitat of certain plant or animal examples and the ways that habitat can change to help or hinder their survival. (i.e. the tour guide will demonstrate to the students that certain farm animals prefer and thrive in the shade vs the sun, or the grass vs the water compared to other animals. The discussion will continue with other various plant and animal examples and circumstances). 3-LS4-4 Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change. SWBAT: Understand that when there are changes in the environment all plants and animals are affected. The tour guide will return to this theme with the students throughout the tour.

For other State’s Curriculum needs please send your inquiries using the form on the Contact Us page or call us at (908) 824-2479.

bottom of page