Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom

FARM Science Lab Lessons

Lesson Objectives

Each FARM Science Lab lesson is taught with the purpose of educating students about agriculture while using science-based methods. There are three main objectives in each lesson taught in the lab:

  • Use of the scientific method in each of the investigations taught in the FARM Science Lab
  • Exploration of science and agriculture related careers
  • Discovery of agriculture's importance to students' daily lives

Lower Elementary Lessons (Gr. K-2)

Click on each lesson title for a full outline of student learning objectives and educational standards.

Resourceful Bean

  • Grade Recommendation: 3-5
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Students will explore renewable and non-renewable resources through an investigation of soy-based materials. First, students will learn the steps a soybean takes from farm to final product. Then, students will carry out a test to observe differences between a soy crayon and a petroleum-based crayon. Finally, students will assist in making their own soy-based lip balm. Throughout the lesson, agricultural career connections are made and Michigan agriculture facts are shared.
  • Extension Material
FARM Science Lab Lessons

A is for Apple

  • Grade Recommendation: K-2
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Students will use their five senses to compare three different varieties of apples. Then, students will vote for their favorite apple, graphing their class preferences. Students will identify apple parts and the functions of those parts. Students will also discover the role a farmer plays in raising apples. Students will eat apple slices as a part of this lesson.
  • NGSS: K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-LS1-1, 1-LS3-1, 1-LS1-2, 2-LS2-1, 2-LS4-1, 2-PS1-1

Build – A – Farm

  • Grade Recommendation: K-2
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Through a photo matching activity, students will make connections between items raised on a farm and products used in their daily lives. Students will build their own mini-farm, exploring the ways a farmer provides for the needs of plants and animals, including food, water, and shelter.
  • NGSS: K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3, K-PS3-2, 1-LS3-1, 2-LS4-1, 2-PS1-1, 2-PS1-2

Crawly Critters (NEW)

  • Grade Recommendation: K-2
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Students will learn how to identify if a living thing is an insect or not. They will learn about how insects can be harmful or helpful on a farm. Students will learn how insects communicate and participate in a communication activity. Finally, students will create their own insect.
  • NGSS: 1-LS1-1, LS1.A, LS1.D

Forest and Me (NEW)

  • Grade Recommendation: K-2
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Students will explore forestry as a part of agriculture. They will learn about the importance of forestry in Michigan. They will learn about the needs of trees, the benefits to their environment, and what products come from trees.
  • NGSS: K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3

Window Garden

  • Grade Recommendation: K-2
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Students will identify and label the parts of a plant including roots, stem, leaves, and flowers as well as the steps in a plant's life cycle from seed through growth to germination. Then, students will plant their own "window garden" to take home and make observations as the seed begins the plant cycle. Throughout the lesson, students will work to identify the role a farmer plays in raising plants on a larger scale to provide food, fiber and fuel.
  • NGSS: K-LS1-1, 1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1, 1-PS4-3, 2-LS2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1

Upper Elementary Lessons (Gr. 3-5)

FARM Science Lab Lessons

Click on each lesson title for a full outline of student learning objectives and educational standards.

Extraction of Life

  • Grade Recommendation: 4-5
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Students will unravel plant genetics by identifying structures within a plant cell, discovering the location of DNA inside each cell. Using wheat, students will follow a procedure to extract plant DNA. Throughout the guided discussion, students will explore careers related to plant science and facts about Michigan agriculture.
  • NGSS: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3, 4-LS1-1, 5-PS1-1, 3-5ETS1-3

Field Plastic

  • Grade Recommendation: 3-5
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Students will describe how plant-based products are used in daily life. Then, students will make observations, predictions and write a hypothesis while investigating the differences between a biodegradable packing peanut and a petroleum-based packing peanut. In groups, students will make a corn-based plastic to take home.
  • NGSS: 3-LS1-1, 4-ESS3-1, 5-ESS3-1, 5-PS1-1, 5-PS1-2, 3-5ETS1-1

Parts Per What??

  • Grade Recommendation: 3-5
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Students will demonstrate water flow throughout a watershed, identifying landforms and possible sources of water contamination. Then, students will explore ways farmers work to protect the environment, including watersheds, by planting buffers trips, using precision technologies to apply fertilizers or manage water use on their farms. Finally, students will dilute a "contaminant" in a water sample to demonstrate water clarifying practices. Lesson includes division of fractions starting with 1/10 and progressing to 1/1,000,000.
  • NGSS: 3-ESS3-1, 3-LS4-4, 3-5ETS1-1, 3-5ETS1-2, 5-ESS2-1, 5-ESS2-2, 5-ESS3-1

Resourceful Bean

  • Grade Recommendation: 3-5
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Students will explore renewable and non-renewable resources through an investigation of soy-based materials. First, students will learn the steps a soybean takes from farm to final product. Then, students will carry out a test to observe differences between a soy crayon and a petroleum-based crayon. Finally, students will assist in making their own soy-based lip balm. Throughout the lesson, agricultural career connections are made, and Michigan agriculture facts are shared.
  • NGSS: 3-LS1-1, 3-5ETS1-3, 4-LS1-1, 4-ESS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-ESS3-1, 5-PS1-2, 5-PS1-3, 5-PS1-4

Simply MOOvelous! (Coming Soon!)

  • Grade Recommendation: 3-5
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Students will be working together to learn about five common dairy breeds in Michigan. They will learn about breed origins, physical traits and other unique characteristics. Students will learn about the dairy process from cow to container and a variety of products that contain dairy. In conclusion, students will be given an opportunity to create their own dairy cow based off the traits that are related to their favorite type of dairy product.
  • NGSS: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, LS1.C

Spying on Soil

  • Grade Recommendation: 3-5
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Students will identify the importance of healthy soil in providing for our food supply. Then, students will explore soil composition by identifying the components of soil including mineral particles, organic matter, air and water through a series of demonstrations and observations. Students will work with real soil samples and use diagrams and the fractions of fourths and eighths throughout the lesson.
  • NGSS: 3-LS4-4, 4-LS1-1, 5ESS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5 LS2-1