Agricultural Literacy Week
Agricultural Literacy Week ~ March 16-20, 2020
How Does Agricultural Literacy Week (ALW) Work?
In celebration of New York agriculture, volunteers throughout the state will read a book with an agricultural theme to elementary students, with a focus on second grade classrooms. Farmers, FFA and 4-H members, adults engaged in a career in agriculture, and engaged in our food system volunteer to enthusiastically engage your students in a paired hands-on activity related to the book to extend learning. The book will be donated to the school or classroom library with a bookplate recognizing the donor and our celebration of New York Agricultural Literacy Week. 2,300 books were donated last year while 75,000 elementary students participated in an experiential learning activity.
2020 Agricultural Literacy Week begins Monday, March 16 and runs through Friday, March 20
Start to finish the program takes approximately 40 minutes per classroom
- Agricultural Literacy Week volunteers work with their county's coordinator to set up visits to local schools
- Volunteers read the selected book aloud to the students.
- Following the reading, volunteers conduct an activity with students and share their experiences in agriculture.
- The book is donated to the school or classroom library for students to enjoy and reference throughout the school year.
All activity materials are prepared by NYAITC and schools get to keep a copy of the book for their school or classroom library.
About This Year's Book
Right This Very Minute
Written by Lisl H. Detlefsen
Art by Renée Kurilla
We are often hungry "right this very minute" throughout the day for breakfast, or lunch, or a snack. But do you we ever think about what farmers are doing "right this very minute" to ensure we have safe, nutritious and delicious foods when we want them? Right This Very Minute: A table-to-farm book about food and farming connects the foods we find ourselves wanting during the course of a day to the work farmers are doing every day to grow, raise and produce our food. This book will take students on an explorative journey to trace the food on their plate back to its source- the farmer.
Contributing nearly $2.4 billion to the state gross domestic product and covering approximately 7.3 million acres, agriculture is vital to New York State. We are excited to feature a book that displays the unique markets and diversity that encompasses many aspects of New York's agriculture while also focusing on food production and how consumers contribute to agriculture.
Right This Very Minute: A table-to-farm book about food and farming highlights the story of agriculture with vivid illustrations and a community-centric storyline. Students will understand the importance of agriculture as an economic driver in communities across New York, and develop an awareness for where their food comes from and its journey.
Companion Lessons and Resources
If you would like to prepare your students for Agricultural Literacy Week or extend the learning afterwards in your elementary classroom, you can use the listed lessons and resources below.
- Educator Resource Guide
This resource is the go-to resource for volunteers and teachers to teach the 2020 featured activity paired with the book, Right This Very Minute. Educators will also find vocabulary, K-2 domain connections, and learning extension to continue learning about how food is grown and processed.
- Apple Orchard Example Cards
Use these cards to illustrate the term source and introduce students to the Start to Finish activity that they will be doing.
- Start to Finish Matching Game Activity Cards
All volunteers will have a set of the From Start to Finish Matching Game Activity Cards to use with every classroom they visit for Agricultural Literacy Week. Teachers and others interested in using the lesson shared in the Educator Resource Guide can print the cards for their own use during or after Agricultural Literacy Week.
- Start to Finish Matching Game Activity Cards Extension
This set of cards can be used for larger classrooms in addition to the cards above.
- Graphic Novel Outline
Use this lesson extension for older students to choose a farmer of one of their favorite foods, dubbing them their "Agricultural Super Hero". They should write about the incredible changes of the food from the source to the final product in the form of a graphic novel using this template.
- My Farm Web (Grades K-2)
Students use the visual representation of a web to explore the role of agriculture in their daily lives and understand how most of the necessities of life can be traced back to the farm.
- Source Search (Grades K-2)
In this lesson students will learn that agriculture provides nearly all of the products we rely on in any given day by participating in a relay where they match an everyday item with its "source."
- Right This Very Minute (Grades 3-5)
Students will read Right This Very Minute—a table-to-farm book about food production and farming—and diagram the path of production for a processed product. Students will study a map to discover where different commodities are grown and write a thank-you letter to farmers in their local community.
- Enjoying the Harvest (Grades 3-5)
Students will identify the parts of a wheat plant and wheat kernel and investigate the process of milling wheat kernels into flour.
- How Does Your Garden Grow? (Grades 3-5)
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.
- High-Tech Farming (Grades 3-5)
Students will discover technologies that are used on farms to increase efficiency and yields and decrease costs and environmental impact.
- Where Does Food Come From?
This book is all about making food connections. Each spread introduces a different food. The first spread explains that cocoa beans are seeds that grow on cocoa trees, chocolate is produced by grinding and cooking cocoa beans, and hot chocolate is made from chocolate. Children who have never thought about the origins of maple syrup or salt will have their eyes opened in a way that makes them think about how other products come to their lives.
- From Apples to Applesauce
This book describes apple production, following the process from farm to the table. Fun facts about apples and their production, processing, packaging, and distribution are provided throughout.
- Planters and Cultivators: with Casey and Friends
Planters and Cultivators introduces children to the world of modern farming and the specialized equipment that is used on the farm for cultivating, planting and spraying crops. This book is filled with colorful action photographs, fun illustrations and a cast of cartoon equipment characters. As a companion to lessons about soil composition and soil nutrients, students will learn why and when these tools are used to manage and improve crop health and growth.
- From Start to Finish Series
Books from this series teach how objects are made, how nature's cycles work, and how food is produced—from start to finish. Suitable for both struggling and on-level readers, these titles teach science concepts as well as sequential thinking. These books are an excellent supplement to lessons teaching elementary students about the importance of agriculture and how food and fiber gets from the farm to their home.
- How Does it Grow? Video Series
This video series follows food from farm to fork. Learn more about potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, cranberries, garlic, cauliflower, spinach, oranges and more. These videos are a great way to introduce secondary students to food science, cooking, and to increase understanding of the source of our food.
- Farm to Table & Beyond
This curriculum unit is designed to teach science through study of the food system. It investigates two questions—what is the system that gets food from farm to table, and how does this system affect the environment? Students will learn about our complex and highly technological global food system and how the parts of this system interact and influence each other. Lesson plans include a number of hands-on investigations, helpful background information, practical teaching tips, and tools for assessment.
Explore the vocabulary in Right This Very Minute using the Quizlet flash cards linked below. Students can learn the terms, test themselves, play a matching game, and more.
Go to Quizlet »
Agricultural Literacy Week Archive
Now in its 15th Year, Agricultural Literacy Week has helped to bring agriculturally themed books and resources into thousands of classrooms and libraries throughout New York State.
Click book image below to explore past years books and resources.
Sponsorships & Donations
Would you like to fund the purchase of one or more books?
The books are $12 each and will be donated to the school library after being read.
Contact your county coordinator for more details on where to send your donation. Donors will be recognized on a special bookplate. You may choose to have your donated book sent to a specific school, or to read it yourself to your local school.
For County Coordinators
This area of NYAITC's website is for those who assist with carrying out Agriculture in the Classroom programming. County coordinators should follow the link below to login and access planning documents and information regarding Agricultural Literacy Week.
Access documents and information regarding ALW »