Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
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This lesson uses pizza as a basis for learning about agriculture, geography, and mathematics.
- Pizza Starts on the Farm activity sheet
- Ingredients—Where Do They Come From handout
- In Real Time activity sheet
- Optional: Pizza Time Bulletin Board
- My Favorite Pizza activity sheets
- Pizza sauce
- Cheese, pepperoni, and pizza toppings of your choice
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
- Pizza in Real Time
- Pizza Starts on the Farm
- My Favorite Pizza
- Ingredients-Where Do They Come From? handout
farm: piece of land used for growing crops or raising animals
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- Ask students to identify their favorite pizza toppings. List them on the board.
- Ask your students if they know where the pizza toppings came from.
- Inform your students that they will do the following:
- identify where pizza ingredients were produced;
- calculate how long it takes to produce pizza ingredients beginning with production on the farm;
- practice skills in division and graphing using the pizza; and
- locate the states where pizza ingredients were produced.
Activity 1: Fabulous Fractions and Pizza Probability
- Have students complete the Pizza Starts on the Farm activity sheet.
Activity 2: Pizza in Real Time
- Share the information from the attached Ingredients—Where Do They Come From? handout with students, and have them consider the time it actually takes to produce a pizza. Then have them complete the In Real Time activity sheet.
- Optional: Use the Pizza Time Bulletin Board to have your students use the skill of "telling time" with the time it takes to grow, process, and produce the ingredients of a pizza. The bulletin board can easily be used to teach concepts of time, community involvement, raw to finished products, careers, and much more.
Activity 3: Pizza Math
- Have students interview their classmates about what their favorite pizza toppings and/or pizza restaurants are and graph the results. You may use the My Favorite Pizza activity sheets included with this lesson, or you may simply use them as a guideline for other interview questions and charts that your students may enjoy.
- This is also an opportunity to introduce or review with your students how to read and create different types of graphs for different kinds of data.
Activity 4: Cracker Pizzas
- To conclude the lesson, provide ingredients for students to build their own cracker pizza. As each ingredient is distributed, review with students where the ingredient originated or how it was produced or processed.
- Display a map of the United States and have students locate the state that is the top producer of that pizza ingredient. As each state is identified, point out it's characteristics such as climate and open space. Explain to students that pizza ingredients, with the exception of pineapple, can be produced in any state. However, some states, due to their climate or other available resources can produce certain food products more efficiently. For example, California is the highest producing state for milk, peppers, and tomatoes. California's warm and temperate climate makes farming very easy and efficient. Tomatoes and peppers can grow in any state, but the natural growing season may be too short, requiring the added expense of using a greenhouse. Cattle require open land and pastures to graze. Texas is a large state that can provide the open space for cattle to grow.
- Pizza Crust (cracker): The primary ingredient of a pizza crust is wheat. Kansas is the highest wheat producing state in the United States.
- Pizza Sauce: The primary ingredient of pizza sauce is tomatoes. California produces the most tomatoes for commercial sale.
- Pepperoni: Pepperoni is seasoned beef and pork meat. Texas produces the most beef cattle of any state. Iowa is the highest producing state for market pigs.
- Peppers: California is the leading producer of peppers.
- Cheese: California is the leading producer of milk. Cheese is one of many dairy products produced from milk.
- Mushrooms: Pennsylvania is the leading producer of mushrooms.
- Pineapple: Hawaii is the leading producer of pineapple in the United States. Pineapples require a tropical climate to grow.
- When all toppings have been distributed, allow students to eat their cracker pizzas.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- All food products (including pizza) begin on the farm, are processed, and then sold to consumers.
- The ingredients to make a pizza take months and even years to grow on the farm before the pizza can be assembled.
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!
Have the class interview their friends and families or ask another class in a different town (or even another state) to conduct the same survey and compare the results. Another option would be to survey local pizza restaurants and compare their responses.
Use the Pizza Reader for reading time.
Suggested Companion Resources
- A True Book: Tomatoes (Book)
- A True Book: Wheat (Book)
- Eating Fractions (Book)
- Extra Cheese, Please! (Book)
- The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) (Book)
- Pizza Time Bulletin Board (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- Pizzas Past and Present video (Multimedia)
- Wheat (Multimedia)
State Standards for Utah
Grade 4: Health/Nutrition Standard 6The students will understand how a healthy diet and exercise can increase the likelihood of physical and mental wellness.
Objective 2Determine the relation between food intake and activity. Meeting one or more of the following indicators: a) Define calories. b) Estimate the number of calories needed for growth and body function. c) Predict the change in caloric requirements due to participation in activities. d) Plan a balanced food intake for one day.
Grade 5: Health/Nutrition Standard 6The students will understand how a healthy diet and exercise can increase the likelihood of physical and mental wellness.
Objective 2Evaluate personal activity level and food intake with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and plan ways to improve health. Meeting one or more of the following indicators: a) Compare daily food intake and caloric output with Dietary Guidelines for Americans. b) Determine how changes in personal activity level and/or food intake may benefit personal health.
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Food, Health, and Lifestyle
- Diagram the path of production for a processed product, from farm to table (T3.3-5.b)
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.
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.
Mathematics: Practice Standards
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.
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP6Attend to precision. Students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context.
K-4 Geography Standard 11: The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface.
Objective 2Some locations are better suited than others to provide certain goods and services.