National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

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Agriculture and Me

Grade Level(s)

K - 2

Estimated Time

1 hour

Purpose

Students will categorize sources of basic agricultural products alphabetically.

Materials

Activity One

  • Matching Product to Source activity sheet
  • Farming by Gail Gibbons

Activity Two

  • Alphabetizing Agriculture activity sheet

Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)

Essential Links

Vocabulary

agriculture: the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products

Did you know? (Ag Facts)

  • Products we use in our everyday lives come from plant and animal byproducts produced by America's farmers and ranchers.1
  • Heart valves from hogs are used to replace damaged or diseased human heart valves.1
  • Shampoo, cosmetics, lotions, finger nail polish, and toothpaste are made from agricultural commodities.1
  • The crayons, textbooks, chalk, desks, pencils, and paper in your classroom comes from agricultural products. 1
  • One bale of cotton can produce 1,217 men's t-shirts or 313,600 one-hundred dollar ($100) bills.1

Background Agricultural Connections

Agriculture is an important part of our lives, from what we wear to what we use in our classrooms and what we do after school. We may not always think of agricultural products as the physical source of the items or things we use everyday. However, most of these daily essentials can be tracked back to an agricultural source.

Production agriculture, or farming, is what most people think of when they hear the word agriculture. This is the actual production or growing of raw commodities. People typically categorized as farmers and ranchers are people who raise and harvest crops and livestock for consumption or purchase. It doesn't stop there. Production agriculture also includes a wide variety of specialties such as raising fish, timber, fur-bearing animals, herbs, and much more.

Many of the products we use every day come from agriculture. The sheets we sleep on and the pajamas we wear are made from cotton, just like cotton swabs for your ears. The feathers in pillows may come from chickens or ducks. The cereal and milk we eat for breakfast, the pencils, crayons, and paper we use at school, and the baseballs, bats and gloves we use after school all originate from raw agricultural products. We know that our food comes from agriculture, but we are also surrounded by and reliant upon many other inedible agricultural products that we use every day.

Interest Approach – Engagement

  1. Display six Agriculture Commodity Cards or pictures of six major farm animals or crops.
  2. Ask the students:
    • "What do all of these have in common?"
    • "What are some differences?"
    • "Are there any similarities among the animals and the plants?"
    • "Do any of these plants and animals produce food that you eat?"
    • "What products do these plants and animals provide for humans to use?"
    • "Where would you find these plants and animals?"

Procedures

Activity One

  1. Discuss the information contained in the Background Agricultural Connections, then pass out the Matching Product to Source activity sheet. Students should match the product with its agricultural source.
    • Answer Key:
      • Timber: paper, pencils, potpourri, houses
      • Dairy Cattle: cheese, ice cream, yogurt
      • Cotton: blue jeans, paper, shirts
      • Flowers: perfume, potpourri
      • Wheat: spaghetti, tortillas, cereal
  2. Read Farming by Gail Gibbons aloud to the class and highlight the sources of the agricultural products mentioned in the book. Point out the different plant and animal habitats found on the farm and compare their survival needs.      

Activity Two

  1. Discuss with the students other products that come from agriculture.
  2. Hand out the Alphabetizing Agriculture activity sheet. Discuss the bold-faced heading words to ensure the students' understanding.
  3. Discuss the vocabulary words to make sure students are familiar with each agricultural product.
  4. Review the skill of alphabetizing. Have students write the vocabulary words in alphabetical order on the lines under each heading. (This could be a homework exercise with parental input). Answer key:



  5. After students complete the alphabetizing exercise, they should complete the Word Find.
  6. Review terms found in the Word Find and ask the students to either identify what agriculture commodity the item comes from or to identify what items the commodity producesFor example, butter comes from dairy cattle and sheep produce wool that is woven into socks or sweaters.

Concept Elaboration and Evaluation

After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:

  • Agriculture provides the basic necessities of life; the food we eat and the items we use every day. 
  • Animals produce milk, meat, and eggs for our diet.
  • Plants produce fruits, vegetables, and grains for our diet.

Important
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!

 

Enriching Activities

  • Download the Farm To Cart game from American Farm Bureau. Divide the class into two groups to play the game.

  • Have the students make mosaic pictures about agriculture using seeds (wheat, corn, soybeans, etc.). These seeds can be obtained from a farmer, local grain elevator or some hobby and craft supply stores. Help the students identify each seed before starting the art project. Ask students to draw a simple agricultural scene on poster board. Spread glue in just one section of the picture and add seeds. Continue to spread glue in sections one at a time, and add seeds until the picture is complete. Let the picture dry thoroughly before moving it. Allow time for the students to share their mosaics with the class and explain how their picture represents agriculture.

  • Using a wall map of the United States, ask students to think about agricultural products grown or raised in certain parts of the country (examples: Florida and California-oranges, Gulf of Mexico-seafood). Ask the students to consider why the products are produced in these locations? Have groups draw the products or cut pictures out from magazines to attach to the classroom map.

  • Adopt an Agriculturalist. Many teachers find it educational to have someone involved in production agriculture "adopt" their class. The students correspond regularly with the farmer or rancher's family to practice writing skills and learn about the day-to-day operation of the farm or ranch. The family may send photographs or videos, grain or feed samples, and other items from the farm or ranch. In turn, the students can write to the family to ask questions or react to what they have learned. Before students are involved, the teacher and family should set goals for the program. Establish a regular correspondence schedule to keep students interested. Invite the farm family to visit the classroom or schedule a field trip to the farm.

Suggested Companion Resources

Agricultural Literacy Outcomes

Culture, Society, Economy & Geography

  • Identify plants and animals grown or raised locally that are used for food, clothing, shelter, and landscapes (T5.K-2.d)
  • Trace the sources of agricultural products (plant or animal) used daily (T5.K-2.f)

Food, Health, and Lifestyle

  • Recognize that agriculture provides our most basic necessities: food, fiber, energy and shelter (T3.K-2.b)

Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy

  • Identify animals involved in agricultural production and their uses (i.e., work, meat, dairy, eggs) (T2.K-2.b)
  • Identify examples of feed/food products eaten by animals and people (T2.K-2.c)

Education Content Standards

Within ECONOMICS

Economics Standard 2: Decision Making

  • Objective
    Objective
    Make effective decisions as consumers, producers, savers, investors, and citizens.

Economics Standard 6: Specialization

  • Objective
    Objective
    Explain how they can benefit themselves and others by developing special skills and strengths.

Common Core Connections

Reading: Anchor Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1
    Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7
    Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6
    Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Language: Anchor Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1
    Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Writing: Anchor Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4
    Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

 

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