Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety, clack, moo. But the problems really begin when the cows start leaving Farmer Brown notes. First, it was electric blankets-where will it end? And when the animals don’t get what they want, they go on strike, of course! Doreen Cronin’s unusual text and Betsy Lewin’s quirky illustrations make this a hilarious story.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Before reading the story, look at the front cover. What might the cows be typing a letter about? Could you write what it might say?
- Write a story about an animal (or a group of animals) that can do something that you wouldn’t expect, e.g. A frog that can tap dance or a rabbit that sings opera songs.
- Farmer Brown thought that it was impossible that his cows could type. Write a new story about something an ‘impossible’ event that actually takes place.
- Click, clack and moo are examples of onomatopoeia. Find more words that are said and how they sound.
- A group of cows is called a herd. Find out the collective nouns for other types of animals.
- Look at the use of punctuation in the story.
- Use the story as a starting point for work on letter writing.
- Look at the cows’ letters. How could they improve their writing? Could they use more exciting vocabulary? Could they use additional punctuation?
- Investigate persuasive writing… Can you write a more persuasive letter from the cows to Farmer Brown?
- The cows get impatient later in the story. What does this mean? Can you think of any synonyms?
- Look through the text for any new words that you are to familiar with, e.g. neutral, ultimatum. Use a dictionary to find out what these words mean.
- Hold a debate in your classroom where each of the animals shares their point of view.
- Write the next part of the story, now that the ducks have the typewriter.
- Could you read the story with lots of expression? Use this video for inspiration:
- Find out how much electric blankets might cost. Can you work out the cost of buying more than one blanket for the cows and the chickens?
- Investigate how Farmer Brown could block the ‘Click, clack, moo’ sound that he hears all day. What materials are good at muffling sound?
- The cows get very cold at might. Investigate other ways that they could keep themselves warm.
- Think about why animals are kept on farms. What do they produce that people buy from the shops?
- Type your own letter to Farmer Brown, from the cows’ point of view, explaining how they are feeling.
- Draw a picture of the duck bond, adding exciting features that the ducks might like.
- Look at pictures of the animals found in the story. Can you draw your own pictures based on them?
- Listen to the sounds that a typewriter makes. Could you use these within your own composition or song?
- Draw a map of the farm.
- Look on a map and find farms in your local area.
- Look through the story for words that describe different emotions, e.g. impatient, furious. What does each type of emotion feel like? What might make us feel that way?
- The animals reach a compromise. What does this mean? Have you ever had to compromise with someone?