National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
Search Lesson Plans & Companion Resources
In this lesson students will recognize that fertile soil is a limited resource to produce food for a growing population, describe the role fertilizer plays to increase food productivity, distinguish between organic and commercial fertilizers, and recognize how excess nutrients are harmful to the environment.
Students will recognize that fertile soil is a limited resource, describe the role fertilizer plays in increasing food productivity, distinguish between organic and commercial fertilizers, describe how excess nutrients are harmful to the environment, and identify different sources of nutrient pollution.
Students synthesize what they know about soils, plants, and the environment to plan a garden, present their plans and explain why they made the decisions that they did.
In this lesson students will learn the definition of an essential element, compare and contrast the essential nutrient requirements of plants and humans, explain why plants cannot use elemental nitrogen found in the atmosphere, and identify the sources for each essential nutrient needed by plants.
Students will learn about the essential elements found in soil, compare and contrast the essential element requirements of plants and humans, explain why plants cannot use elemental nitrogen found in the atmosphere, and identify the sources for each essential element needed by plants.
Students will recognize nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as soil nutrients, learn that plants use soil nutrients as they grow, and that fertilizer replaces depleted nutrients. Students also analyze information on seed packets to learn more about the needs that different plants have for growth.
Students discuss the definition of “fertilizer” and relate it to plant nutrition and the need to restore nutrient balance in agricultural soils. They discuss how people and crops can suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Students assume the roles of plant doctors and diagnose nutrient deficiencies in corn plants.
Students will recognize that plants, like people, require essential nutrients to be present in the right amounts in order to be healthy, use reference materials to diagnose plant nutrient deficiencies, define fertilizer as a type of “food” for plants, and appreciate that fertilizers are used to replenish nutrients in agricultural soils.
Students learn how plants and soils interact by observing root growth, considering the function of a plant’s roots, modeling the movement of water into the roots, and investigating movement of water and nutrients throughout the plant using pieces of celery stalks and food coloring.
Students will recognize that plants remove nutrients from the soil, explain the roles of diffusion and active transport in moving nutrients from the soil to the plant, and relate the root and vascular systems of the plant to the human circulatory system.
Students will explain the roles of diffusion and active transport in moving nutrients from the soil to the plant, describe the formation of soil and soil horizons; and describe the events in the Great Dust Bowl, how they relate to soil horizons, and how those events affected agricultural practices.
Students will categorize plants into groups, describe what plants need for healthy growth, start their own garden by planting seeds inside a cup.
Students will learn that different soils have different characteristics and examine different types of soil that have been mixed with water and allowed to settle. Next, they investigate soil components and how air space allows soils to hold and transmit water.
Students examine the components of different soils and recognize how sand, silt, and clay particles effect air space and water absorption.
Students examine different types of soil that have been mixed with water and allowed to settle. Next, they work with a soil model to investigate its components (sand, silt, and clay) and learn how the properties of these components affect the passage or retention of water through the soil and the amount of air in the soil.
National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix (2013) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.