Saturday, November 15, 2014

Seventh grade farming

Tracy's class spelled out 'Truth or Dairy' when it was warm

Since I was already in Kansas City, I went to school with my sister, and did a farming lesson for 220 seventh graders.

The lesson focused on getting good sources, getting points to back up your thesis, and checking out three articles with different views on farming.

We started with this Jimmy Kimmel video, in which people are asked, "Do you avoid GMOs?"  People emphatically answer yes.  Then the video people ask, "Why?"  or "What does GMO stand for?"  Even though the people selected for the video had very strong opinions, they didn't know what GMO stood for or what it meant.  So that led into the articles and how to write their own persuasive essay.

With the articles, we also talked about farming.  I loved the kids' questions, as always!  There were the regular ones, and also these I'd never gotten before:  

- What do you do when a cow dies? (In this sad event, we call a trucking company and they are composted.)

- How much does a cow cost?  Because I want to buy one.  (It varies.  A calf costs about $300, and a cow costs about $2000.)

- Why don't you keep the boy cows?  (Because only girls give milk.)  Why don't the boys give milk?  (Only girls give milk in mammals.)  Boys can't give milk?  (No.)

- Who is stronger, you or your sister?  (Tracy.  But I can run faster.) (I had to say that to save some face.) 

Teaching in the media center

This must be the expression I have when teaching.
Tracy in her classroom.  She can't help but talk about farming - she's from one too!

Back when I got home we had our first snow that stuck to the ground!  The boys were SO excited! This was us at 8:00 a.m.

It's already gone, but it was fun while it lasted.

Kris, who was busy doing all the work ... said he had the exact opposite reaction when he saw the snow!  He was out late last night.  He helped pull a calf - the biggest heifer calf he'd ever seen.  He couldn't even lift her himself.  He thought she probably weighed 150.  (We thought we were going to sell all the rest of the calves that were born because it's so late in the year, but I'm trying to convince him to keep her.  She's so big!)

She's yellowish.  Sometimes this happens when a calf manures while inside the mother.  It's sort of like a coloring on her hair.

So since everything was frozen this morning, of course everything took longer.  Back to frozen-winter farming, with all of its complications!

But that's a class lesson for another day.  When we're still working on which gender gives the milk, we have a few more points to cover before we get to that.

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