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Utah Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix


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Lesson Plans (7)

Evaluating Bioengineering Perspectives

While many view bioengineered crops (GMOs) as a promising innovation, there is controversy about their use. This lesson provides students with a brief overview of the technology, equipping them with the ability to evaluate the social, environmental, and economic arguments for and against genetically modified crops. 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

Food Evolution

Students will view the documentary Food Evolution to evaluate the polarized debate surrounding GMOs (genetically modified organisms). In this film director, Scott Hamilton Kennedy travels from Hawaiian papaya groves to Ugandan banana farms, to cornfields in Iowa to document how agricultural technology can be used in such varied crop settings. 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

From Techniques to Traits

This lesson explores common biotechnology methods and their applications in agricultural sciences. Students will examine DNA analysis techniques, become familiar with the process of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and evaluate methods of DNA analysis as they learn how the biological techniques can be used in the process of developing specific traits within a crop. Grades 9-12

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Organic Foods

Students will determine the presence of DNA in their food by extracting it from a strawberry. Then, students will compare and contrast GMOs and organic foods in order to evaluate the nutrition, safety, economic, geographic, and environmental impacts of these agricultural production practices. Grades 9-12

Plasmid Problem Solving

This lesson compares and contrasts prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and examines the form and function of the plasmid found in prokaryotic cells. Students will then use these principles to simulate how a desirable gene can be isolated and inserted into a plasmid as one step in the process of creating a genetically modified organism (GMO). Grades 9-12

Silky Genes

Students will simulate the process of gene splicing, understand the application of transgenic organisms in agriculture, and see how goats can be used for the production of goods other than meat and milk through the use of biotechnology. Grades 9-12

The Science of a GMO

Students will compare and contrast methods of selective plant breeding, describe the scientific process of creating a genetically modified plant, compare genetically modified soybean seeds to conventional soybean seeds, describe the impact weeds have on plant growth, and understand how a genetically modified seed can help farmers manage weeds. Grades 9-12

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