During the month of October Senior Infants have been learning all about ‘The Farm’ in Aistear. We started by learning about the different types of farms there are, before identifying the different animals that live on a farm, the types of homes they occupy and matching different produce to the correct animals. We sequenced ‘The Story of Milk’, finding out where our milk starts out and it’s journey before it reaches us in the shops. We also explored the different machinery used on farms, especially at Harvest time, which we were celebrating in school. After discussing farming in the past we even churned our own butter from cream in class and enjoyed it on crackers!
Below are some pictures of Senior Infants working away in the various Aistear Stations. During the month, the children got the opportunity to take on various roles at ‘The Mart’, ‘The Vet’s Clinic’ and ‘The Farm Shop’. They also made farm buildings and the farmer’s house out of large construction blocks and various farm machinery from Mobilo. At the Art Table, we made a scarecrow from fabric and fibre, sequenced and recreated the ‘Life-cycle of the Hen’, made an autumnal picture by painting and printing real leaves onto paper and formed a clay hedgehog. Finally we learned about seasonal changes and the effect these have on our local wildlife. We sequenced the hibernation cycle of a hedgehog and made bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter and bird seeds in order to help the birds find food.
We are now moving onto our next topic ‘My Locality’ for the month of November.
As part of our Aistear topic ‘The Farm’ last month, Senior Infants learned about farming in the past when machinery was not available. The children watched a video about how butter is made in big factories now and then they looked at pictures of people churning butter in the past. We were also given a lovely antique glass butter churner which the children were able to examine. The children were very excited when they were told they would be making their own butter in class and set about the task with the utmost enthusiasm! We poured double cream into small container and secured them tightly. Each table had their own container and each child had to shake the cream for 2 minutes each (we used a big timer on the board to help with this). Once we had shaken the cream for roughly 15 minutes we opened the lids to find that the butter had separated from the buttermilk, which we drained off. The children then enjoyed their hard work by having a lovely snack of butter on crackers!
An old butter churner:
The beginning of the process (shaking the cream):
The results when we opened the pots (the butter and buttermilk separated):
And finally, enjoying the end product: