Mrs. McGowan's Class
First Grade
H. W. Mountz Elementary
Spring Lake, New Jersey


For three years now, we have been exchanging class pets with another first grade class.  These "pets" are really stuffed animal puppets, Belle the Cow and Petunia the Pig.  You can read all about our Pet Exchange by a click of your mouse!

This year, we extended our project to learn more about real cows and pigs.  We started by making a list of the things we knew about these farm animals.  We visited websites and read several books together.  The National Pork Board sent a free book and ideas for classroom activities.  The students selected to write about either cows or pigs.  Individually, they wrote a first draft of two or three facts.  Next they worked as a group with Mrs. McGowan to make revisions and share their writing.  Final drafts with editing changes were written, illustrations created, and all are displayed  in the school corridor.

On the day we finished this project, we also had a "going home" cheese tasting celebration for Belle the Cow.  She was returning to her first grade friends in Wisconsin.  Our pet pig, Petunia, will be back with us soon. The class enjoyed different cheeses, pepperoni, quesadillas, crackers, and grapes.

In May, our class will visit Longstreet Farm  to see an old-fashioned working farm that has our favorites, cows and pigs!  Here are some of the things we learned about these animals.  You can see all our illustrations on our class webpage, Our Animal Favorites 2002:  Cows & Pigs.

Cows have a long tongue to grab the grass for them to eat.  They also eat hay, corn, and oats.

Cows are very big.  They have special teeth to eat grass and hay.  Some cows are black and white.  Others are brown.  Black and white ones give a lot of milk.  People used to milk cows by hand, but now they have machines to do it.  Nobody can drink milk that comes right from the cow.  If you do, you will get very sick.  So the milk goes to a place to make it good.  It is pasteurized by heating it.  There are many kinds of milk.  Chocolate milk does not come from brown cows.  Brown cows are called Jersey cows and Holstein cows are black and white.  Cows are very special.  Mooo!


Pigs roll in the mud to keep cool.  Farmers raise pigs for meat like ham, pork, and bacon.


Pigs are smart.  Pigs live in a pigsty.  They eat corn and soybeans.  Pigs have snouts to dig in the dirt.


All About Cows for Kids

 Cow:  Enchanted Learning

 Pork4Kids - Take A Farm Tour (National Pork Board)

 Farmer Fred's Frantic Farm

 Pig:  Enchanted Learning


 Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

The Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons

The Pig by Angela Royston

Pigs by Maggie da Silva

Dairy Cows by Kathy Henderson

Cows in the Parlor by Cynthia McFarland

Make Me A Peanut Butter sandwich and a Glass of Milk by Ken Robbins

New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

Language and Literacy
3.2 listen actively in a variety of situations to information from a variety of sources.
3.3 write in clear, concise, organized language that varies in content and form for different audiences and purposes.
3.4 read various materials and texts with comprehension and critical analysis.
3.5 view, understand, and use non textual visual information.

5.6  gain an understanding of the structure, characteristics and basic needs of organisms.
5.7  investigate the diversity of life.

National Educational Technology Standards for Students. (NETS)
Use technology communications tools:
Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.