Target Grade Level / Age Range:

1 st grade


30 minutes

Virtual Learning:

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Students will identify characteristics of farm animals including differentiating between mammals and oviparous (egg laying) animals.


  • A Day at Greenhill Farm big book.
  • Laminated ‘mother’ and ‘baby’ photos of various farm animals; one photo per student. Tie yarn to each photo to put over necks of children.
  • Stalk of field corn with ear attached and soybean plant, if available.

Suggested Companion Resources:


  • Mammal: Any of a class of warm-blooded higher vertebrates that nourish their young with milk secreted by mammary glands, have the skin usually more or less covered with hair, and include humans.
  • Oviparous: Animals producing eggs that develop and hatch outside the maternal body.

Background – Agricultural Connections:

Animals are raised on farms so we all have food to eat. Animals that provide food and/or clothing or do work on the farm are called livestock. They are different than the dogs and cats that we call pets. All animals need a person to take care of them; to give them food and water every day and provide safe, comfortable shelter for them. The person who cares for livestock is called a farmer.


  1. Leader reads aloud A Day at Greenhill Farm to students .
  2. Pass out one big photo of an animal to each student and have them hang it around their neck.
  3. Have students walk around to find their match; mothers with babies.
    1. Leader may want to invite students to make the animal sound to aid in locating their match, for added fun!
  4. Once all students are matched up, have them sit on the carpet with their partner.
  5. To review what has been learned, have pairs of students come up to the leader to be asked a question about their animal. Reinforce what was taught about mammal and oviparous. Also include questions on body coverings, hooves, horns, etc.
    1. As each pair comes to the front of the class, ask other classmates the similarities and differences between the parent and the offspring.
  6. Have animal photos returned to leader upon answering questions.
  7. Once all photos are returned, review physical characteristics of animals by asking students to stand if their animal had two eyes, then sit back down. Stand if your animal had two legs (some will have had four.) Stand if your animal had a mouth (some will have had a beak or bill, which is introduced in the book.) Stand if your animal had ears.
  8. Ask students to think about how the parents and animal babies are similar and different.
    1. What are some ways the parents and babies are the same?
      1. Have the same body parts, same colors, same noises, etc.
    2. What are some ways that they are different?
      1. Babies are smaller, babies may be softer or have a different outer coat, babies are less developed and need more help, etc.

Did you know? (Ag facts):

  • Farm animals like pigs, cows, sheep and chickens raised in Iowa eat field corn and soybeans. Those are the crops we grow here.
  • Some farm animals also eat hay.
  • Straw is used for ‘bedding’ for some farm animals to keep them warm and dry.
  • Most farm animals live in buildings because they are more comfortable there and stay healthier.


Original activity from North Central Iowa Ag in the Classroom


Brenda Mormann

Organization Affiliation:

North Central Iowa Agriculture in the Classroom

National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes:

  • Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber, and Energy:
    • T2.K-2.b: Identify animals involved in agricultural production and their uses (i.e., work, meat, dairy, eggs)
    • T2.K-2.f: Identify the types of plants and animals found on farms and compare with plants and animals found in wild landscapes

Iowa Core Standards:

  • English Language Arts:
    • SL.1.2: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
  • Iowa Core Science Standards:
    • 1-LS3-1: Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.

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