Literature Based Learning: Big Red Barn


By the big red barn
In the great green field,
There was a pink pig
Who was learning to squeal.

There were horses and sheep and goats and geese–and a jaunty old scarecrow leaning on his hoe. And they all lived together by the big red barn.

This story depicts the everyday life of the animals on the big, red barn from dusk to dawn. The text is simple yet lyrical and has a pleasant lulling effect. The illustrations add to the tranquil simplicity of the story. My favourite page shows the animals returning to the barn after a day’s work and play. The drawing is realistic in that only the outlines of the animals can be seen as the sun had set.

I had chosen this book to tie in with our Perth family holiday which I had planned a 4 days farmstay at Sunflower Farm. I procured this book from our local library together with two other titles. Both books had been very well received by Xxm too especially “Find The Piglet”, requesting it to be re-read numerous times.


Farm Visit

Our little farmer making his morning rounds.

We visited the piglets.

Xxm feeding the goats. We talked about how the chinese character (羊) for goat resemble the appearance of the goats.


We finally saw the main character in the famous nursery rhyme “Baa Baa Black Sheep”. We realized that black sheep also gives us white wool.


Xxm feeding the friendly kangaroos. They were the only animals in the farm which could hold onto food with their paws like humans do.


Feeding the geese. We felt the soft feathers of the geese. Oh my god! It felt so luxurious. Now I understand why goose feathers are so sought after.

Stroking a guinea pig.

It’s amazing how the horse could fit his mouth into the small pail and how durable the pail was to withstand the horse’s strong jaw muscles.

In the background, is the greediest animal on the farm – the ostrich. It finished the entire pail of food in a few mouthfuls.

I remembered this creature’s name (Ilama) because it sounded like one of the shopping centres in Singapore (Iluma).

We visited the rabbits. It was great to see that the rabbits here lived in holes and not cages. Xxm stayed a long while here trying to get the rabbits out of their holes.

Xxm and Xmm collecting eggs from a chicken coop. Apparently as it’s nearing winter, the hens are moulting hence they are not laying eggs. These eggs were planted there for the boys.

Xxm was so delighted and surprised to know that chickens lay eggs.

Xxm wanted to experience climbing a tree like Daddy. Thankfully, there was one just right for him just outside our home.

The boy was terrified by the huge tractor ride at first, hence was clinging onto me tightly. But he enjoyed the ride nonetheless.

The lush green pastures just outside our home.

We witnessed the sun setting into the ocean. Xxm finally had a concept of sunrise and sunset and how sunset leads to night.

Pretend Play

We chanced upon a set of these barnyard toys at a fast food outlet – Tasty Chicken, in Margaret River – Perth. Xxm had loads of fun with it. A pity we didn’t brought our camera or iphone with us. Since then, he had been “nagging” me to get him a tractor.



Xxm glued the spots onto the cow and Mummy made it stand.


I always try to incorporate related YouTube videos for them to enjoy.

Language/ Math Skills

We did the farm tot pack from 1+1+1=1 and a few extras from the printables from Two Teaching Mommies.


I presented the tot pack in a lap journal. I took this idea from Michelle of Delightful Learning. She had such beautiful lap journals of the books she rowed.


Animal Match
Heads & Tails
How Many Animals?
Barnyard Colors (mini book)
Size Sequencing
ABCs on the Farm (mini book)
Farm Picture Puzzle

Two Teaching Mommies

Beginning Writing/Cutting Practice
Number Order Puzzle (1-10)


Xxm enjoyed the tractor size sequencing activity very much. He could arrange them in order when prompted by me but had some difficulty sequencing the tractors in between when I left him to do the activity by himself.


Coloring was not a favourite activity of Xxm but he gamely finished the little booklet of barnyard colours.


He traced the animals home.


I added magnetic strips to the number order puzzle so that they won’t move around too much while he’s playing with it.

Nursery Rhymes


We had some sticker fun with this book and sang nursery rhymes such as Old MacDonald Had A Farm, Little Bo Peep etc. There were some hits and misses in getting the stickers in the correct spot.

For the BIG kids, here is a nice song that I found sung to the story of the Big Red Barn. Has a great country feel to it!



  1. What a wonderful age! I loved this time with my children. You have some great resources on your site. And I love the photos of your kids with the animals.

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