There are many reasons to enjoy taking students out of the traditional classroom and learning about farm life. But for veteran teacher Vida Sadler-Haase, said the best part come in the days and weeks after their chilly, but sun-filled fall afternoon at the Charles L. Bowers School Farm in Bloomfield Township.
Part of the curriculum for her first grade class at Bingham Farms Elementary School includes a unit called 'small moments,' where students give a personal narrative about a new experience or recount something they've learned.
A day on the farm is fruitful territory for experiences and ideas that can help generate stories for weeks to come.
"It's amazing how you can get young writers to love writing by letting them choose what they like to write about," Sadler-Haase said. "It starts a little fire under them."
Her head half-buried and plowing through a trough of corn feed, the full-size adult goat seems oblivious to the more than dozen strangely quiet, yet obviously curious first graders gathered in the barn looking on. Even as they take turns, one-by-one, pinching and milking her engorged udders.
"A couple times a day, as farmers, we have to milk her so that her udders don't get too uncomfortable," the tour guide told the students from Bingham Farms Elementary School in Birmingham.