National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
6 - 8
Two or three 45-minute sessions
Students will explore careers in the fields of agriculture and natural resources through online research. They will check their understanding by playing Career Trek—a board game that requires students to identify careers in agriculture and natural resources.
- Career Assessment activity sheet, 1 per student
- Hexagon Graph activity sheet, 1 per student
- Copies of the Responses to the Career Assessment handout and Agricultural Career Options activity sheets A and B or the ability to project these pages
- What’s Been Your Agricultural Experience Today? PowerPoint
- Agriculture Careers According to the Holland Code activity sheet (optional)
- Agricultural Careers Prezi presentation
- Computers with internet access for students to view videos on careers in agriculture
- Career Trek game board, 1 for every 4 students
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
- Career Assessment Activity Sheet
- Hexagon Graph Activity Sheet
- Responses to the Career Assessment and Agricultural Career Options A & B
- What's Been Your Agricultural Experience Today? PowerPoint
- Agricultural Careers According to the Holland Code Activity Sheet
- FFA Career Explorer
- Utah State University, agricultural degrees and career listings
- Utah Career Technical Education website
- Agricultural and Natural Resource Career YouTube Video, or search
- Agricultural and Natural Resource Career Prezi
- Utah Agriculture in the Classroom YouTube Channel: Careers in Agriculture
career: the general course or progression of one's working life or personal achievements
Did you know? (Ag Facts)
- Only 10% of Americans are involved in a career in traditional farming or ranching.1
- Agriculture careers include those in business, building, agriscience, horticulture, forestry, food science, wildlife, and more.1
- Approximately 22 million people work in agriculture related fields. 1
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- Ask your students if they have an idea of which career(s) they might be interested in choosing when they are older. Allow several students to offer their ideas.
- Point out to your students that there are many different areas where they can choose careers. Briefly explain a few areas such as education, business, medicine, etc.
- Explain that another career area they could choose is agriculture or natural resources. Ask students, "What kind of careers do you think are found in the agriculture industry?" Students will likely identify careers specific to farming and ranching. Explain to students that being a farmer or rancher who raises animals or crops is actually only the beginning. In this lesson students will be exposed to many more careers in agriculture.
Activity 1—Interest Assessment
- Provide each student with a Career Assessment and Hexagon Graph worksheet. Ask students to answer the questions on the Career Assessment activity sheet.
- Project the Responses to the Career Assessment page and go through it. Ask students to follow along, indicating which characteristics they’ve chosen by making tally marks on the Hexagon Graph sheet.
- When you have finished, instruct students to add up the number of tallies after each characteristic.
- Each student should have one or two characteristics that have more tally marks than the others. Ask them to color these areas on the Hexagon Graph sheet.
- Hand out or project Agricultural Career Options sheets A and B. Students should focus on the activity sheet with the characteristics for which they had the most tallies. Sheet A includes areas of study and career possibilities that may interest persons who are more realistic, artistic, or investigative. Sheet B covers those who are more enterprising, social, or conventional.
- Ask each student to choose one or more career(s) from the career possibilities list that interests him or her.
- Each student should research the career he or she chose and list job responsibilities, education requirements, salary, and how it relates to production agriculture. Most of this information can be found in the What’s Been Your Agricultural Experience Today? PowerPoint.
- Optional: Have students explore careers in each of the interest areas using the Agricultural Careers According to the Holland Code activity sheet.
Activity 2—Video Review
- Ask students to view, or view together, the Agricultural Careers Prezi presentation.
- Knowing what they know about their interests, the education they are willing to consider, and their pay expectations, ask students to view one or more of the two-minute agricultural and natural resources careers videos found on the UtahAgClassroom YouTube Channel.
- After the students view one of the career videos, have them visit the National FFA Ag Explorer to determine the salary range of each career.
- Ask students to share with the class what they viewed, something new they learned about the career, and the potential salary. It is possible there will be multiple students viewings of some movies; if so, ask these students to report as a group.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
- Use the Career Trek Game to assess basic student knowledge about agricultural and natural resource careers. The game includes a list of 32 careers, but this lesson has exposed students to over 100 careers. Tell students it is permissible to mention agricultural and natural resource careers that have been discussed in class but are not on the game board (the group needs to agree that the occupation stated is an agricultural or natural resource career, like agreeing on a word in Scrabble). An occupation title can always be checked by using Google or the National FFA Ag Explorer. When all students can name at least 10 agricultural and natural resource careers, they have met the core objectives.
- To further assess students, ask students to place the careers noted in the PowerPoint, in the Prezi, or on the Career Trek game into the appropriate Career Pathway category noted on the Utah Career Technical Education website.
- After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- Careers in production agriculture include farmers and ranchers. Typically these careers are directly involved with the growing of crops or the raising of animals.
- In addition to production agriculture there are many careers in fields related to agriculture such as business, science, nutrition, and more.
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!
Suggested Companion Resources
- Careers in Agriculture (Book)
- Living Science Careers Equipment Bags (Kit)
- Planet Zorcon (Kit)
- Agricultural Careers Prezi (Multimedia)
- Connecting to Agriculture (Multimedia)
- Field to Film Career Snapshots (Multimedia)
- Nepris: Connecting Industry Professionals to Every Classroom! (Website)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Culture, Society, Economy & Geography
- Distinguish between careers in production (farmers and ranchers) with those that directly involve consumers (business and nutrition) (T5.6-8.b)
Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
- Identify science careers related to both producers and consumers of agricultural products (T4.6-8.g)
Education Content Standards
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Cluster Skills
CS.05.02Examine and choose career opportunities that are matched to personal skills, talents, and career goals in an AFNR pathway of interest.
Career Ready Practices
CRP.10.1Identify career opportunities within a career cluster that match personal interests, talents, goals and preferences.
NCSS 8: Science, Technology, and Society
Objective 2Society often turns to science and technology to solve problems.
Objective 5Science and technology have changed peoples' perceptions of the social and natural world, as well as their relationship to the land, economy and trade, their concept of security, and their major daily activities.
Common Core Connections
Reading: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1Read 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.2Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.