This week Mrs. Hawke’s and Ms. Schultz’s first grade classes built on last week’s lesson about the Ox Cart Man and began learning about the tools farmers used in the past and the tools they use today. They learned that all farming and gardening involves the same tasks, whether in the past or in the present:
- loosening the soil
- planting seeds
- watering the plants
- getting rid of weeds and pests
- harvesting the plants
- transporting the grain or produce
- storing the grain or produce
- carrying the grain or produce to market
The children noticed that the Ox Cart man used a hoe for loosening the soil, and a basket to hold the seeds that he scattered.
In the book Farms of Long Ago, the children saw that people used a metal plow pulled by a horse and guided by a person. In the book Farm Machines, they saw that today people use a plow with discs which is pulled by a diesel-powered tractor. They learned to use our garden tools for loosening the soil — three-pronged spading forks.
Seeds today are sown by another “planter” machine pulled by a tractor.
We sow our seeds by making a hole with our fingers.
Plants are watered today by sprinklers, hoses, and rain.
Farms in the past were watered mainly by rain.
Weeds were once only removed by hand, just as we pull them in our garden. Today, a machine cuts the weeds on either side of the plants.
Grains once were harvested with a scythe and pulled off the stalk by hand threshing.
Today they are harvested and threshed by a combine.
Produce was once transported by ox cart.
Today it is moved by trucks, conveyor belts, and trains.
Produce was once stored in sacks and barrels. Today it is stored in giant silos and grain elevators.
Into the Garden:
Once the classes had learned how farms are both the same and different today as in the past, it was time to go to the garden to begin preparing our own garden bed. Students used spading forks to loosen the soil, and fingers to pull out weeds and smooth the soil down.