Lesson Plan

Why Goats’ Milk?  A Comparative Study of Health Benefits

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Science
Lesson Duration:
90 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
3.RI.2, 4.RI.2, 5.RI.2, 3.W.2, 4.W.2, 5.W.2, 3.SL.1, 4.SL.1, 5.SL.1
State Standards:
North Carolina Essential Standards for Science
3.L.1 Understand how structures and systems of organisms (to include the human body) perform functions necessary for life.
5.L.1 Understand body systems and organs, functions, and their care.
Additional Standards:
Next Generation Science Standards
Thinking Skills:
Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Analyzing: Break down a concept or idea into parts and show the relationships among the parts. Evaluating: Make informed judgements about the value of ideas or materials. Use standards and criteria to support opinions and views.


This lesson is intended to be used following a visit to the Sandburg, but can be used as a stand-alone lesson in the classroom.

Learning Targets
• I can identify the nutrition facts in goat's milk and explain how they benefit the human body through writing an informational text.
• I can engage effectively in collaborative discussions.


This lesson is intended to be used following a visit to the Sandburg, but can be used as a stand-alone lesson in the classroom.

Carl Sandburg provided a popular voice for the American people of the twentieth century and still speaks to us through his words, songs and the beauty and serenity of Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.

There is a virtual exhibit on the home and farm at https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/carl/index.html


Print readings and template materials for students, located in downloadable lesson pdf.



Download KWL Chart


Activating Strategy
Gist - students are given the provided grid with blanks (teacher can create additional grids for future lessons by adapting the number of blanks depending on the age/level of student and the difficulty of the lesson). Students are then encouraged to record words in each blank of the grid that correspond with the lesson's focus, goat's milk. The words recorded will depict the "Gist" of the students' prior knowledge.

Option: using a KWL chart (Know, Want to Know, Learned), have students discuss what they know about milk, or milking on a farm.

Teaching Strategy
Teacher will divide students into groups of four with each group having a high ability reader. Groups will collaborate on how the text is going to be read i.e. choral, echo or independent. Note: The high ability reader is to be used to assist with those students that might struggle with the text. Teacher will distribute a copy of The Sandburg Farm to each student. Groups will read text as determined by their particular group and identify the key details within the text.

1.   Whole group, teacher directed, groups will share the key details that they identified within the text. The teacher will record student responses on the board.

2.   Next display one of the pictures of the original quart containers used to sell goat's milk. Ask the students what things they notice about this milk container.  Now display the second picture of a quart container used to sell goat milk.

3.   Lead a discussion about the wording and pictures on the original containers; comparing and contrasting the two containers. (option: using Venn Diagram worksheet or poster for students to record their discussion.)

4.   Ask the students what they would expect to find on the back of the container? (nutritional value) Teacher may elect to bring in a modern container of milk or a cereal box so that students can see the nutritional value on the modern container.

5.   Ask the students to imagine they are a shopper and they see both of the pictured containers at the store. Which one would they choose to buy and why?

6.   Have a discussion about advertisement and how proper packaging can increase the sales of a product. 

7.   Next read and distribute the following scenario to the students:

"It has been over 20 years since the Connemara Farms Goat Dairy has updated their milk containers! It will be your job to come up with a new package. The farm would like to keep the original size and shape of the milk container; however, everything else needs to change! There is a lot of competition in North Carolina with other dairy goat farms selling milk too. Therefore Connemara Farm needs you to create the best package for today's consumers!"

8.   Ask the students what they think consumers would want to know about goat's milk. Make sure to review the things they learned from the material read earlier. As a group brainstorm what things the students feel are important to put on their new label. Guide the discussion so that it includes properties of goat's milk, what words, images and colors they would use on their labels etc. Write their answers on the writing board so that the students can refer to it later.

9.     Explain to the students that their new and improved container must include the following:

  • The name of the farm (Connemara)
  • The location of the farm
  • At least one image
  • At least one of the benefits of goat milk
  • A nutritional chart of the backside of the container.

10. Hand out copies of the milk container template to each student. [This can be enlarged to actual quart dimensions at 129% increase.] Have students cut out their container. Allow 20- 30 minutes for the students to design and color their new and improved Connemara Farm Dairy Goat milk container. After they have completed their creation they should glue the seams together so the container can stand upright.

11. Have the students present their new and improved container to the class.

Summarizing Strategy

Headline Summaries, students will write a newspaper headline that gives the main points of the lesson.



nutritional information




(health) benefit

Additional Resources



Related Lessons or Education Materials

Check out the other lessons in this plan:

Pre-Visit Lesson: Connemara Farm
Pre-VIsit Lesson: Poets and Poetry
Pre-Visit Lesson: Sandburg Through Time - Growing Up

On-Site Lesson: Sandburg Through Time - From Prairie Town Boy to Famous Writer
On-Site Lesson: Sandburg's Writing "Spring Grass"

Post-Visit Lesson: Sandburg Through Time - Autobiographical Poem
Post-Visit Lesson: Sandburg and Lincoln

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Last updated: July 24, 2015