October is National Farm-To-School Month. Check back every Monday of the month for a post about how to incorporate agricultural themes into the classroom.
Did your parents read to you as a child? I’m thankful that one of my most vivid childhood memories is of my mom reading to me. Although we didn’t read many (if any) books explicitly about agriculture, I found myself exposed to timeless truths about agriculture through children’s literature.
One of my favorite books as a child was “A New Coat for Anna” by Harriet Ziefert. This post-World War II story follows a young girl named Anna who needs a new coat. Through bartering and ingenuity, Anna and her mother use their possessions to work with a farmer, a spinner, a weaver and a tailor to make a coat. The story introduces readers to the role the farmer plays in clothing us and sound animal welfare information while describing simple economic principles.
Another book I enjoyed while growing up was “Ox-Cart Man” by Donald Hall. A Caldecott Award Winner, this story skillfully captures nineteenth-century rural life and lauds the men and women whose livelihoods were tied to farming. The beautiful illustrations and prose remind readers how agriculture shaped our country culturally and economically in the early years of settlement.
Are there any “non-ag” books you read as a child (or that you read to your children) that teach important lessons about agriculture? Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.