By ABBY SLANKER
First-grade students at C.H. Campbell Elementary School combined fun and learning during a lesson from Kim Moff, agricultural educator for Mill Creek MetroParks Farm Jan. 28. Moff visited all four first-grade classrooms to read “The Little Red Hen” to the students.
In the story, Little Red Hen asks her three friends, the duck, the dog and the cat, to help her plant wheat seeds. When they all say no, she does it herself. When the wheat was grown, Little Red Hen asked her friends to help her cut it. When they said no again, she cuts the wheat herself.
When the wheat was cut, Little Red Hen asked her friends to help her take it to the mill and have it ground into flour. When her friends, once again, said no, she took the wheat to the mill herself. After she brought the sack of flour back to her house, she asked her friends to help her bake bread. Again, they said no, so she baked the bread herself.
When the bread was ready, she asked them who would help her eat the bread. This time, the duck, dog and cat all said they would help. And Little Red Hen, said no and ate the bread herself.
To help the children visualize the story, Moff brought with her a felt board to help illustrate the story. She also brought items from the farm to show the children, like wheat seeds and a toy combine.
She also offered the children a hands-on opportunity in acting out the parts of the duck and the dog. When she read about the duck, the children waddled in their seats and when she read about the dog, the children put their ‘paws’ up and ‘panted.’
As a special treat for the students, Moff told them she brought all the ingredients for them to make dough, but since there was no oven to bake it in, they would make play dough.
The only stipulation was the students had to work as a team, unlike the characters in the story. Each team member was assigned a job.
“You are going to work in groups. Everyone will have a job. If everyone helps make the play dough, everyone will get play dough,” Moff said.
Under the instruction of Moff, one student added the bag of flour to the bowl. The next student added the water to the flour. The next student added the salt to the mixture and the next student added the oil. The last ingredient was a package of Kool-Aid to provide color and scent. Each student then had a chance to stir the mixture.
When the mixing and stirring was done, Moff handed each child their own ball of colored play dough.
“The only instruction I have for you now is, make something creative with your play dough,” Moff told the students.
The children got to work getting creative and made things out of the play dough, such as a burrito, a snake, a cake, a rock, a mustache and one boy put his handprint in the dough.