Baa Baa Black Sheep Teacher's Page

WebQuest Agricultural Series
by Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University

The purpose of this WebQuest is to teach students that there are different kinds of sheep, to help them know where wool comes from and to possibly even provide opportunities for discussion of cultural diversity. Even in a flock of sheep, there are some who are different from the rest. However, sheep do not pay any attention to the color of each other's wool. Inside, they are just sheep.

The "Black Sheep in the family" term causes many people to assume that black sheep are undesirable. While it is true that most sheep raised in the U.S. have white wool, some farmers, do raise black or colored sheep. In some markets, colored wool is prized over the more common white wool.

Note: Some teachers may decide to have their students draw sheep and then glue wool on them. Please DO NOT use cotton balls. Using cotton balls for wool just makes the inference that cotton comes from sheep. Of course, we know that cotton comes from the cotton plant. In many areas, a local sheep farmer may be glad to give teachers a small amount of wool for a class project.

The answers to the sheep math problems are: (Depending on grade level and skills, you may choose to only complete the first two problems for 1-2 grades)
  • 1. 7+9+8+8+10+10 = 52 pounds of wool
  • 2. 3+3+3+3+3+3 = 18 minutes
  • 3. A modern wool bag holds 200 pounds of wool. Note, there are different wool bagging systems used. Some large ranches use mechanical balers that compress 500 or 600 pounds of wool into one large bale. However, the wool bag pictured on the web page holds about 200 pounds and was used for this example.
  • 4. 200+200+200 = 600 pounds of wool
  • 5. 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 30 pounds of hay
  • 6. 8 + 7 = 15 pounds of wool
  • 7. Junior the ram weighed 8 pounds at birth, 125 pounds at 5 months of age and 250 pounds at 6 years of age. Students will have to as their parent / guardian for their own data. Students who cannot get this information should just guess.
  • In this activity, students will write a Cinquain poem. A Cinquain is a syllabic verse form with gradually increasing number of syllables in each line until the last line, which returns to two syllables.
Typical Cinquain format for younger students is:
First Line: A one word title (one or two syllables)
Second Line: 4 syllables - one or two words, describes title
Third Line: 6 syllables - Three words, expresses action
Fourth Line: 8 syllables - Four words, expresses a feeling
Fifth Line: Another word for the title (one or two syllables)

Collaboration Rubric by Pickett and Dodge, 2002.
Missouri's Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs) 

1 Develop and apply skills and strategies to the reading process.
H Post-Reading
Develop and demonstrate, with assistance, post reading skills after reading or read-alouds to respond to text question to clarify, retell, illustrate, re-enact stories (ST: CA 2,3, 1.6 & 3.5) (FR: I 1e,3g,4e &f, II 1c,d,F&h, 2d K-4)
I Making connections
Identify and explain connections between text ideas -- similarities and differences in information and relationships in various (fiction and non-fiction) works, with assistance (ST: CA2,3,7, (FR: I 1d,3a,4c,d & h, 5a-d6c, II 1j, K-4)
2 Develop and apply skills and strategies to comprehend, analyze and evaluate fiction, poetry and drama from a variety of cultures and times.
B Identify author's use of rhythm, rhyme and alliteration in poetry and prose, with assistance (ST: CA2 1.5, 1.6) (FR: I 1i,5e, K-4)
3 Develop and apply skills and strategies to comprehend, analyze and evaluate nonfiction from a variety of cultures and times
D Read and follow simple directions to perform a task (ST: CA 3 1.5,1.6) (FR: I 3e, K-4)

1 Apply a writing process in composing text
A Writing Process
Follow a writing process to independently use a simple graphic organizer in prewriting (CA: 1,4, 1.8,2.1,2.2) (FR: II 1a,2e,3c,4c-e,gh,&j, III 4c, IV 3a, K-4)

Number and Operations
2 Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another
A represent a given situation involving addition or subtraction (ST: MA 1 1.6,2.10) (FR: V.a, K-3)

National Education Standards 

Language Arts (Evaluating Data)
  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g. print and non print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suite their purpose and audience.

Language Arts (Applying Language Skills)
  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information.

Language Arts (Applying Language Knowledge)
  • Students apply knowledge of language structure language conventions (e.g. spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non print text.

Science: Strand 3, Sec. 1A
Math: Operations and algebraic thinking Sec. 2



  • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
  • Students use technology to locate, evaluate and collect information from a variety of sources.
  • Students use technology tools to process data and report results.
  • Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
  • Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
  • Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.
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This page was developed by Lyndon Irwin, reviewed by Lyndon and the late Barbara Irwin and is maintained by Missouri Farm Bureau. Please address questions to Diane Olson at Missouri Farm Bureau.