National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
Charting Agricultural Careers
6 - 8
Two or three 45-minute sessions
Students will explore the current and future needs required to produce food, clothing, shelter, and fuel; and the variety of agricultural STEM careers requiring critical thinkers and problem solvers to meet our needs.
- Computers with Internet access
- Direct links to download high resolution infographics
- Top Agricultural Careers in Ag Business
- Top Agricultural Careers in Environmental Services
- Top Agricultural Careers in Food Science
- Top Agricultural Careers in Ag Mechanics
- Top Agricultural Careers in Plant Science
- Top Agricultural Careers in Natural Resources
- Top Agricultural Careers in Animal Science
- Optional: Computers with Microsoft Office Programs or substitute Google Office Software
agriculture: the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- As a class, review the http://www.agcareers.com/ home page.
- Allow various students to navigate through the site by scrolling through the “Featured Jobs” and then browsing the jobs using the world map. Look at other places around the globe, before looking at the United States.
- Investigate opportunities in areas of the United States known as large agricultural areas (e.g., the Midwest and California) before looking at your home state.
- Discuss any patterns or information that surprises students.
- Navigate to the Infographics page of the http://www.agcareers.com/ website (under Job Seekers > Resources). This page includes the “Top Agricultural Careers in ….” for seven career areas.
- Review with students one of the infographics and discuss the types of charts or graphs used on the infographic. (Note: To download a high resolution image of the infographic to view on the screen, click on the “print icon” on each infographic page. This will save the image to a location on your computer, desktop or downloads; the image will not print until you open the downloaded jpg image. Students will be able to see all the detail/text of the infographic if the file is downloaded.) If students are not sure of the type of chart or graph (e.g., bar graph, pie charts, line graph, pictograph, flow chart), use this website to aid in their understanding, http://www.typesofgraphs.com/. These types of graphs are used in every discipline and career. If students are struggling with these basic graphs, take time to explain how each one is used.
- Put students into seven groups and assign each group a “Top Agricultural Careers in …” infographic from http://www.agcareers.com/infographics/. Ask each group to review their infographic and determine (think about) the type of graph or chart used, if any other type of chart or graph could be used, and what the chart or graph is telling them about the careers in the specific area.
- Ask each group to meet (pair) with another group and discuss their infographics with each other, discussing the types of charts/graphs and what the infographic is saying. The groups may need to review this website—http://www.typesofgraphs.com/.
- Ask each group to share their infographic with the entire class stating what they learned about the careers in their infographic that they did not know before.
- Place students into groups of two or three. Ask each group to navigate to the Career Profiles page of the http://www.agcareers.com/ website (under Job Seekers > Resources). This page includes the career profiles of more than 100 agricultural careers.
- Ask each group to select two careers from this page, and one job posting from the “Featured Jobs” on the home page. Ask students to explore the careers by comparing and contrasting the jobs, noting similarities and differences (i.e., education, experience or training required, salary, and the job outlook).
- Allow each group to share and elaborate on their exploration.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
- To assess student understanding of charts and graphs related to agriculture, search Google images with this term “agricultural graphs.” Randomly select a few of the charts or graphs and ask each student or group to explain what each chart is saying (this can be done orally or as a written assessment).
- After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- Agriculture is the endeavor that supports everyone’s basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter).
- To meet our current and future needs, agricultural STEM innovators (scientists and engineers), implementers (technicians), and agricultural business leaders are needed to fill a variety of agricultural careers.
- These innovators, implementers, and leaders will need to think critically and solve problems related to our everyday survival.
Develop your own or have students develop infographics about specific agricultural careers of particular interest. The following resources are a sampling of those available for developing your own infographics:
- Microsoft: Word, PowerPoint, Excel - Chart or Smart Art Tools
- Infographic Online Tools: http://bit.ly/1qToziK (To learn more about infographics visit http://www.schrockguide.net/infographics-as-an-assessment.html)
- Other mobile device/tablet apps are available
Suggested Companion Resources
- 2012 Census of Agriculture Infographics (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- Food and Farm Facts Booklet (Booklets & Readers)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
- Identify science careers related to both producers and consumers of agricultural products (T4.6-8.g)
Education Content Standards
Career Ready Practices
CRP.10.1Identify career opportunities within a career cluster that match personal interests, talents, goals and preferences.
Common Core Connections
Mathematics: Practice Standards
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP2Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Students make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize—to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents—and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved. Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP4Model with mathematics. Students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. Students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions.