Target Grade Level / Age Range:

1 st grade


30-40 minutes


The students will compare the physical similarities and differences of farm animal adults and their offspring. They will also identify the correct names of common farm animals and match the picture of an adult animal with the baby.


  • Animal Babies by Harry McNaught
  • Matching Game.docx
    • Several copies, printed in color and cut out previous to class.
  • Access to the internet
  • Computer and projector

Suggested Companion Resources:


  • Adult – fully grown person or animal
  • Offspring – child or baby animal

Background – Agricultural Connections:

  • The teacher should be able to identify the correct names of the farm animals and their young as well as being able to identify similarities and differences between the farm animals and their young.

Interest Approach or Motivator:

Ask students if they have ever been to a farm or petting zoo where farm animals were at.  Discuss the animals they saw and/or experienced.  Write down their answers on the board.  Then tell students: “We will be reading a story and I want you to take note of any animals you’ve seen before and those you would find on a farm.”


  1. Introduce students to the two vocabulary words. Write them on the board.
  2. Ask students if they have heard those words before. Then write the definition by each. Tell students to listen for those words while you read.
  3. Read the story, Animal Babies, and make observations about the animal adults and babies throughout the story.
    1. If this book is not available, IALF’s Lending Library includes Farm Animals by Bobbie Kalman that can be substituted.
  4. Discuss the animals students learned about from the story and compare their answers to the animals previously written on the board.
  5. Review the vocabulary words (adult and offspring) and ask students if they heard those words in the story and recall the meaning of each.
  6. Explain to students that next they are going to watch a little video/song reviewing the names of the adult animals and their babies.  Play the video link:
  7. When the video is complete.  Go to the board. Draw a large “T-chart” and write “Adult Animal” on the left side and “Offspring” on the right side.
    1. Have students recall the adult animal names and the correct name of their offspring as the teacher writes them on the board. Complete the chart together as students take turns sharing their learning about farm animals.
    2. Chart should include: horse and foal, cow and calf, pig and piglet, hen and chick, duck and duckling, sheep and lamb, and goat and kid. The song does include cat/kitten and dog/puppy as well, but these are not included in animals being studied in this lesson.
  8. Read-aloud the completed chart together.
  9. Talk with students about how the animals are the same and different. Do horses live the same way that chickens do? What about goats and pigs? Why or why not?
    1. Talk with students about whose job it is to make sure the animals are living and growing healthy. Is it always the mom animal, or do people help? Introduce farmers and veterinarians as careers.
      1. Discuss ways animal parents care for their young. They provide food, clean offspring, keep them nearby, protect them from cold and predators, etc.
        1. Farmers do these same tasks, but in a different way.
  10. Explain to the students they will now get to play a matching game with a partner. In this game they will spread out the full-color set of cards on the table. They will take turns matching up the adult animal with the offspring, until all matches are made.
    1. There are word cards for each animal, so they can add the print concept piece to the matching game, as well. Once they identify a correct pair of adult and offspring, tell them to pair the correct words with the pictures.
    2. At the end of the activity, each picture card should be matched with the corresponding picture, and the word identifying it.
  11. When all have played the game a few times, bring them back together and review the vocabulary of the animal names as well as “adult” and “offspring.” Have a discussion about similarities and differences and write ideas on the board.
    1. What are some ways baby animals are like their parents?
      1. They may be similar colored, have same body parts, make similar noises
    2. What are some ways baby animals are not like their parents?
      1. They are smaller, may be softer or have a different type of coat as their parents (ducks, chicks), they may eat different things, developmentally less mature
  12. Wrap up the lesson by having students recall an animal pair (adult with offspring) as they transition to the next activity.

Essential files:

Did you know? (Ag facts):

  • A group of sheep, chickens or ducks are called “flocks.”
  • A group of horses or cows are called “herds.”
  • A group of goats is called a “tribe.”
  • A group of older pigs is called a “sounder.” Younger pigs gather in a drift or drove.
  • Iowa is the No. 1 pork producing state in the U.S.
  • Iowa is the second leading state in red meat production.
  • Iowa is the third leading state in milk goat inventory.
  • Iowa is seventh in all cattle and calves inventory.
  • Iowa is eighth in both total market sheep and lambs inventory and turkeys raised.

Extension Activities:

In the Launchpad Museum, kids would be able to go on a scavenger hunt for these animals. They would be able to play the matching game with the farm animal pictures in the “lettuce patch.” They could even begin to talk about what the animals produce and play in the grocery area as well.



Jennifer Koch

Organization Affiliation:

Sioux City Community Schools

National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes:

  • Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy Outcomes:
    • b. Identify animals involved in agricultural production and their uses
    • f. Identify the types of plants and animals found on farms and make comparisons among them

Iowa Core Standards:

  • Science:
    • 1-LS1-2: Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.
    • 1-LS3-1: Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like but not exactly like their parents
  • Language Arts:
    • RL.1.1/RI.1.1: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
    • RI.1.3: Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
    • SL.1.2: ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through media.

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