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Utah Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix


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Lesson Plans (28)

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 Tale of Two Burgers: Beef and Plant-based Protein

Students will 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

Beef: Making the Grade

Students will evaluate the USDA grading system for whole cuts of beef and discuss consumer preferences and nutritional differences between grain-finished and grass-finished beef. Students will also distinguish various labels on beef products and discuss reasons for the government’s involvement in agricultural production, processing and distribution of food. Grades 9-12

Before the Plate

Students will view the 2018 documentary Before the Plate and follow Canadian chef John Horne as he journeys to the source of ten primary food ingredients used in his restaurant. Using critical thinking skills, students will explore the farm-to-table journey of food. 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

Chain of Food (Grades 9-12)

Students will explore the path food takes along the Farm-to-Table Continuum. They will begin on the farm and investigate food safety issues during processing, transportation, at restaurants and supermarkets, and finally, in their own homes. Teams will identify how food can become contaminated along the continuum and develop and present strategies for preventing contamination at each step. Grades 9-12

Cooking Right: The Science of Cooking a Hamburger (Grades 9-12)

Through a series of 4 Labs, students will explore the 4 Cs of Food Safety: clean, cook, chill, and combat cross-contamination (separate.) Hamburger is used for the labs, as it is a food that students are familiar with and may be cooking at home. Lab 4 is a review and summary of what the students have learned about the 4 Cs and encourages them to apply these principles to their everyday life. Grades 9-12

Don't Forget the Eggs!

Students will discover the five culinary functions of eggs by completing a cooking lab comparing recipes with and without eggs. Students will see how eggs leaven, bind, thicken, coat, and emulsify our foods. Grades 9-12

Fast-Food Footwork

Students will explore how retail foodservice establishments ensure that food is safely stored, prepared, and served. Through inquiry they will also learn about local health regulations and how the 4 Cs of Food Safety apply to all aspects of foodservice. Grades 9-12

Food Science: Bread Dough Challenge

Students explore the phenomenon of what makes bread dough rise. Using baker's yeast, students will observe alcoholic fermentation and its connection to cellular respiration as they are challenged to act as food scientists and develop the best recipe for quick-rising bread dough. Grades 9-12

Fruits and Vegetables: The Right Pick for Vitamins and Minerals

Students will describe the farm-to-table process of common fruits and vegetables, recognize the nutrients fruits and vegetables provide, and evaluate methods of food storage and preparation for preserving nutrients. Grades 9-12

Healthy Eating Away From Home (Grades 9-12)

This lesson highlights awareness of consuming nutrients and calories away from home, and where to find the calorie and nutrition information for foods available in fast food restaurants. It also highlights how to determine individual calorie needs, as well as the number of calories in a typical fast food meal, and it focuses on dietary goals for saturated fat and sodium. Grades 9-12

Herbs and Spices of the World

In this lesson students will recognize the difference between a spice and herb, learn how herbs and spices are grown on farms around the world, and participate in a culinary challenge to season popcorn for various cultural cuisines. Grades 9-12

Looking Under the Label

Students will evaluate food package labels, determine their meaning, and use the Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning model to determine the value of the label in relation to food production practices, nutrition, health, and food safety. Students will engage in critical thinking to recognize the impact of food package labels in relation to marketing, consumer perceptions of food, and farming practices. Grades 9-12

Mastering Mindful Eating (Grades 9-12)

Students will explore hunger, satiety, and mindful eating to discover how our eating habits are impacted by our awareness to physiological signals of hunger or fullness. Students will also practice mindful eating practices and explore portion sizes as they sort foods, create meals using portion-size food models, and track their food using mindful eating practices. Grades 9-12

MyPlate, MyWin

Students will explore the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines, compare and contrast historical food guides, and discover how to apply principles of MyPlate into their diet to create a "MyWin."  Grades 9-12

Mystery Juice (Grades 9-12)

Using an inquiry approach, students will develop an investigation to determine the difference between two juices. Food safety will be discussed in relation to the results of the investigations. Students will have the opportunity to discover how pasteurization reduces the number of microorganisms in a food such as juice. Grades 9-12

Nutrients to Get Less Of (Grades 9-12)

This lesson introduces sodium and sugar as dietary nutrients we should consume less of. Students will identify the foods and beverages they should limit and recognize how to use the Nutrition Facts label to measure sodium and sugar intake. Grades 9-12

Nutrients to Get More Of (Grades 9-12)

Students will plan a healthy meal – breakfast – using the Percent Daily Value (%DV), and will use the Nutrition Facts label to evaluate and compare foods as they plan their meals. Grades 9-12

Nutrition Across the Lifespan

Students will trace the energy and nutrition requirements of the human lifecycle from beginning to end and identify the physical and cognitive growth happening in each phase of life. Grades 9-12

Preservation Power of Honey

Students will expand their knowledge of microbial growth and scientific food preservation methods to learn how honey can serve as an antibacterial agent. Students will learn how honey may be used as a preservative of milk in areas without access to electricity or refrigeration and how this preservation method relies on elements found specifically in honey that cannot be replicated with other sources of sugar. Grades 9-12

Say Cheese for Protein

Explore protein, discover the role of amino acids, identify dietary sources of complete and incomplete proteins, and make fresh mozzarella cheese—a food science experience where students will observe the protein in milk (whey and casein) separate from water in the creation of cheese. Grades 9-12

Stacking Up Milk and Milk Substitutes

Students will compare and contrast milk and plant-based milk substitutes by learning their source from farm-to-table and discovering how they "stack-up" in nutritional value. Students will also explore food package labeling laws and consumer trends in milk consumption to think critically about the impact of labels in marketing and consumer perceptions of food. Grades 9-12

The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner (Grades 9-12)

In this lesson students will identify common Thanksgiving foods and their farm source, determine if those foods can be produced locally, and locate the common origins of their Thanksgiving day dinner. Grades 9-12

The Water Footprint of Food

Explore concepts of sustainability by evaluating the water footprint (WF) of food. Students are introduced to irrigation practices throughout the world, consumptive and non-consumptive water use, and investigate the water requirements for various food crops. Grades 9-12

Ultra High Pressure Treatment (Grades 9-12)

Students will explore various ways that have been used to preserve food over the ages. They will also learn about techniques used to process food today and hypothesize about other methods scientists might use to process food safely in the future. Finally, students will conduct a simulation of high pressure treatment and discover how it destroys bacteria without crushing the food. Grades 9-12

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