Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix


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Lesson Plans (492)

A "Sour" Subject

Students investigate the growth and production of citrus fruits and use observation and mathematical computation to compare and contrast grapefruits and lemons. Grades 3-5

A Chilling Investigation

Students will observe the difference in bacterial count between a hamburger that’s left out at room temperature and a hamburger that’s kept refrigerated. The lab reinforces the concept that food must be properly chilled in order for it to remain safe to eat. This lab will be conducted as a teacher demonstration. Grades 6-8

A Closer Look at Fats (Grades 6-8)

This lesson describes the role of fats in food and in the body, and how they serve as a source of energy. It provides information on different types of fats that are listed on the Nutrition Facts label – including total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat—and defines trans fat and cholesterol. The lesson also includes dietary guidance for fat consumption. Grades 6-8

A Closer Look at Fats (Grades 9-12)

This lesson describes the role of fats in food and in the body, and how they serve as a source of energy. It provides information on different types of fats that are listed on the Nutrition Facts label – including total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat—and defines trans fat and cholesterol. The lesson also includes dietary guidance for fat consumption. Grades 9-12

A Common Thread: The Significance of Wool in Medieval England

Students will understand how agriculture influenced and shaped culture, class, and society during the Middle Ages. Grades 6-8

A Day Without Agriculture (Grades 3-5)

Students explore the wide scope of agriculture, identify the variety of agricultural products and by-products they use in their daily lives, and discuss the difference between needs and wants. Grades 3-5

A Day Without Agriculture (Grades K-2)

Students explore the wide scope of agriculture, identify the variety of agricultural products they use in their daily lives, and discuss the difference between needs and wants. Grades K-2

A Day Without Dairy

Students create, read, and interpret graphs relating to the economic importance of the dairy industry and are challenged to understand the economic consequences of a day without dairy. Grades 3-5

A Garden Plot: The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Students identify foods grown in a garden, observe various types of seed, and grow their own "milk jug" garden. Students listen to the Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter and investigate produce that is grown in gardens or on farms. Grades K-2

A Rafter of Turkeys

Students investigate the domestication and life cycle of the turkey, discover how turkeys are raised on farms, and identify turkey products. Grades 3-5

A Recipe for Genetics: Selective Breeding and Bioengineering (Grades 6-8)

Students identify technologies that have changed the way humans affect the inheritance of desired traits in organisms; compare and contrast selective breeding methods to bioengineering techniques; and analyze data to determine the best solution for cultivating desired traits in organisms. Grades 6-8

A Recipe for Genetics: Selective Breeding and Bioengineering (Grades 9-12)

Students identify technologies that have changed the way humans affect the inheritance of desired traits in organisms; compare and contrast selective breeding methods to bioengineering techniques; and analyze data to determine the best solution for cultivating desired traits in organisms. Grades 9-12

A Search for the Source (Grades 3-5)

Students determine 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." Grades 3-5

A Search for the Source (Grades 6-8)

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." Grades 6-8

A Search for the Source (Grades 9-12)

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." Grades 9-12

A Search for the Source (Grades K-2)

Students determine 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." Grades K-2

A Tail of Two Sheep

Students compare and contrast hair sheep and wool sheep, discover the reasons why farmers raise sheep, and explore ways farmers meet the needs of the sheep they raise. Grades K-2

A Tale of Two Burgers: Beef and Plant-based Protein

Students compare the components of beef and plant-based burgers by determining the production and processing methods of each product; evaluate the ingredients and nutritional differences between beef and plant-based products; and discuss different points of view in the agricultural industry concerning plant-based proteins and traditional beef. This lesson covers a socioscientific issue and aims to provide students with tools to evaluate science within the context of social and economic points of view. Grades 9-12

A Taste of Leafy Greens

Students explore a variety of greens to identify their structure and function in plant growth and prepare, cook, differentiate, and enjoy the health benefits leafy greens have to offer. Grades K-2

A Walnut Orchard Through the Seasons

Students discover the changes that take place in a walnut orchard through the seasons by reading and discussing a story about a walnut farm. Grades K-2

A is for Apples

Students use their five senses to investigate apples, identify and model the parts of an apple, make applesauce, and discover how apples are grown. Grades K-2

Abraham Lincoln Clears a Path: His Agricultural Legacy

Students diagram the life of President Abraham Lincoln, including his childhood, presidency, and role during the Civil War, and describe his agricultural legacy and impact on agriculture today. Grades 3-5

Aeroponic Engineering and Vertical Farming (Grades 6-8)

Students will use the Engineering Design Process to develop and construct an aeroponic garden to grow a food crop. Students will develop and apply an understanding of plant anatomy and physiology related to plant growth and ultimately discuss the possibilities and limitations of using vertical farming to produce our food. Grades 6-8

Aeroponic Engineering and Vertical Farming (Grades 9-12)

Students will use the Engineering Design Process to develop and construct an aeroponic garden to grow a food crop. Students will develop and apply an understanding of plant anatomy and physiology related to plant growth and ultimately discuss the possibilities and limitations of using vertical farming to produce our food. Grades 9-12

AgVenture: Sourcing Ag Careers

Students consider the scope of agriculture and how it is the source of most of our day-to-day necessities in preparation to explore the five agricultural career pathways. Grades 6-8

Companion Resources (1051)

Activity
A Seedy Fruit Challenge
This activity teaches students to identify different types of fruits and categorize them into two main groups based on whether they are dry or fleshy. Students will follow a worksheet and complete a lab assignment where they dissect various fruits. 
Ag Challenge Task Cards
Ag Challenge Task Cards can be used during soft/STEM start times, as a brain break, or as a fast finisher activity. Students simply read the cards and draw, build, or discuss the solution to an agricultural industry problem. This resource was developed by 2022 Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award winner, Meaghan Porritt. 
Ag-Bites
Ag-Bites are bite-sized ways to bring agriculture into your classroom. These one-page sheets explain how to perform hands-on learning activities with students in various grade levels (K-12).
Agricultural Fact and Activity Sheets
These fact sheets provide information on the history, production, top producing regions and economic values of various agricultural products and natural resources.  The activity sheets provide specific lesson ideas and fun facts for each topic. Commodities include agricultural water, alfalfa, almonds, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beef, cantaloupes, carrots, citrus fruits, cling peaches, corn, cotton, cut flowers, dairy, dried plums, dry beans, forest resources, mushroom, pears, pistachios, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, processing tomato, rice, strawberries, table grapes, walnuts.
Agricultural Pests
The crops we eat are constantly at risk of harm from pests. But what are these pests? In this activity, students will develop a definition of an agricultural pest that is meaningful to them and identify categories of pests such as insects, rodents, mollusks, weeds, and diseases.
An Agricultural Interview
This activity prepares students to interview someone in an agricultural career. Students will gain a greater awareness of the role agriculture plays in the American economy, practice oral and written communication skills, and learn about numerous agricultural careers.
Are there ingredients from GE Plants in my Food?
In this activity, students will examine a variety of foods and their ingredients to determine which foods contain ingredients that may have come from genetically engineered plants.
Bean Seed Fun
Students observe and dissect bean seeds and label the parts of a seed.
Beebuzz
This is a game in which students take turns rolling a die and drawing parts of a bee. Any number can play, and the only materials needed are a piece of paper, a pencil, a six-sided die, and the included printable activity sheet.
Beef Blasters
This activity introduces students to a unique and interesting sequence of events related to the nature of scientific discovery. They will explore how scientific discoveries evolve and often lead to unexpected outcomes. While researchers were trying to develop a method of tenderizing beef, they discovered that the process they were researching also decreased the harmful bacteria in meat by 40-60%. This activity teaches students about this process and how it was developed.
Better Butter
This activity details instruction for making butter in a small baby-food sized jar. 
Bread in a Bag
This activity details the instructions for making bread in a Ziploc bag. An excellent way to demonstrate bread-making and the properties of yeast within a classroom setting.
Bring Home the Blue, Not the Flu Online Modules
Using the context of a county fair livestock show, students explore how zoonotic diseases are spread. This program is designed to educate youth about the spread of disease and best practices for human and animal interaction. The online module can be accessed directly for virtual or remote learning. For in-person learning, see the full lesson plans linked below for upper elementary and secondary classrooms.
Bringing Biotechnology to Life
“Bringing Biotechnology to Life” is an activity resource for science educators and others interested in learning more about biotechnology and its role in food production. There are seven lessons and activities covering topics such as DNA, selective breeding, agricultural biotechnology, and more.
Building with Apples
This STEM-based activity incorporates math (exploring dimensional spaces and problem solving) and art, as the students are encouraged to apply their creativity to come up with a unique design in form using apples and toothpicks.
Burn a Peanut- Count Calories
A peanut will burn producing an impressive amount of flame for a long time. The flame can be used to boil away water and count the calories contained in the peanut. A great way to show students how calories are calculated for energy in our bodies.
Career Trek Game
Career Trek is an interactive game for up to four players. The object of the game is for students to be able to name 10 careers in agriculture and natural resources. The kit includes 10 game boards for a classroom of 40 middle school students. Order this game online from agclassroomstore.com.
Chocolate Taste-Testing
In this activity students will taste different types of chocolate to determine if price is an indicator of better taste. Chocolate is a New World food that is now beloved by cultures around the globe. Use this activity to engage students with lessons related to the Columbian Exchange, global trade, food ingredients, and food origins and processing.
Construct a Compost Bottle
Composting is the process of creating nutrient-rich soil from decomposing organic matter like grass, leaves, and food scraps. Construct a compost bottle using a clear container, bottle, or jar and observe the organic matter break down into soil rich in nutrients that can be used in a garden. Instructions available in English and Spanish.
Eat & Move O-Matic
Free app teaching students how foods fuel their body to create energy for their favorite activities.
Edible Plant Game
This game incorporates the knowledge students have gained about plant parts with the fact that plants provide people with the nutrients and energy needed for a healthy lifestyle. This activity will be most beneficial if conducted with students after they have been taught the individual plant parts. 
Endless Options
A 30-minute activity teaching students about food allergies, reading food labels to identify allergens, and food substitutions.  It can be added to any lesson on food labels, nutrition, etc. 
Enhancing Our World Research Activity
The Enhancing Our World research activity provides instructions and a rubric for students to create and promote a potential new agriculture product using genetic technology and science. The activity would be best placed after students understand basic terms and concepts of genetics, heredity, and biotechnology.
FUNdamentals of Farming Game
Farming is a risky business. Droughts and severe storms, equipment problems and outbreaks of animal disease can all occur unexpectedly and impact a farm negatively. This printable classroom board game teaches secondary students about animal disease management. Students take roles as a farmer, accountant, purchaser, or veterinarian to manage a pig farm. They will learn and use methods to prevent disease such as vaccinations and quarantine as they buy and sell animals at the auction.
Farm Pop-Ups

Students use this template to create a pop-up game to reinforce agricultural concepts concerning various plants and animals. Templates are available for apples, cows, dairy, pigs, sheep, and turkeys. Teachers can use the blank template to create their own pop-ups to reinforce concepts and understanding for any area of study.