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Utah Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix


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Lesson Plans (13)

Cheesemaking: A Science, an Art, and a Craft

Students make fresh mozzarella cheese and explore a career as an artisan cheesemaker as they discover the science, art, and craft involved in the development of specialty cheeses. Grades 6-8

Cheesemaking: From Liquid to Solid

Students make fresh mozzarella cheese and discover the science (changing a liquid to a solid), art, and craft involved in the development of specialty cheese. Grades 3-5

Enzymes and Bacteria are Whey Cool!

Students study the science of amino acids, proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria to explore the phenomena, "Why does each variety of cheese taste different when the ingredients are the same?" Grades 9-12

FoodMASTER Middle: Cheese

Students will learn about the Law of Conservation of Mass by exploring environmental factors that can impact protein coagulation in milk (cheese-making process). By making qualitative and quantitative observations they will test three possible methods of making curds and whey. Grades 6-8

FoodMASTER: Milk and Cheese

Students taste test four different milks while comparing color, texture, taste, and cost. In addition, students examine four milk food labels and complete a table comparing calories, fat, and calcium found in the milks. Students make cottage cheese by heating milk to the proper temperature and adding an acid (vinegar) to speed up the separation of curds and whey. Grades 3-5

It's a MOO-stery!

Students make observations about historic tools used on a dairy farm to store and process milk into cheese and butter. Grades K-2

It's a MOO-stery!

Students make observations about historic tools used on a dairy farm to store and process milk into cheese and butter. Grades 3-5

Milk: The Scoop on Chemical and Physical Changes

In this lesson students apply their knowledge of physical science to dairy products to determine if the changes that take place when turning milk into cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, whip cream and other dairy products, is a physical or chemical change. Grades 9-12

Pizza Time!

Students use pizza as a basis for exploring agriculture, geography, and mathematics. Grades 3-5

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

Science You Can Eat

Students explore the scientific processes used to make the crops we grow and the livestock we raise (commodities) into some of the foods we eat every day. Students will discover how science and technology work together to create foods like pickles, bread, yogurt and more! To engage further in the topic, students will make their own cheese using enzymes produced through the fermentation of genetically engineered yeast.  Grades 6-8

The QUEST for the Whole Enchilada

This lesson utilizes a process learning model to recognize how the Columbian Exchange and early Spanish explorers impacted the culture and cuisine of the Southwest United States. Students will participate in a food lab to make enchiladas and learn about the production of each ingredient. Grades 6-8

The Remarkable Ruminant

In this lesson, students will follow the farm to fork process of producing beef, learn how cattle and other ruminants convert grass into nutrient-rich foods such as milk and meat, discover ways cattle recycle food waste, and identify careers in the beef cattle industry. Grades 6-8

Companion Resources (24)

Activity
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).
Book
A Big Cheese for the White House: The True Tale of a Tremendous Cheddar
In 1801, the proud citizens of Cheshire, Massachusetts boasted that their cheese was the very best. But then they heard the shocking news: President Jefferson was serving Norton cheese at the White House! What to do? Elder John Leland had an idea. A very large idea. If everyone worked together, they could make a cheese so large that President Jefferson would be serving Cheshire cheese at the White House for years to come. How the villagers of Cheshire create a true cheese-making miracle and transport it to the nation's capitol makes a spirited, rollicking tale. Based on a true moment in American history, this funny picture book celebrates the ingenuity and community spirit of one small New England town as it attempts to make the country's biggest cheese for the nation's greatest man.
Casper Jaggi: Master Swiss Cheese Maker
Have you ever wondered why Swiss cheese has holes? You'll find out in this story about a Swiss cheese maker named Casper Jaggi. Casper Jaggi was only six years old when his father taught him how to make cheese in the Swiss Alps. In 1913, Jaggi left Switzerland in search of new opportunities in the United States. Like many other Swiss, he settled in Green County, Wisconsin, where the rolling hills dotted with grazing cows reminded him of home. And soon, he'd be turning cow's milk into cheese, just as he did in Switzerland. The book opens the doors to Jaggi's Brodhead Swiss Cheese Factory—largest factory of its kind in Wisconsin in the 1950s. Archival photos help illustrate, step-by-step, the process Jaggi and his workers followed to transform 2,000 pounds of milk in a copper kettle into a 200-pound wheel of Swiss cheese. Jaggi was one of the many European immigrants  who helped establish Wisconsin's reputation for delicious cheese. The Artisan cheese makers crafting award-winning cheeses today are continuing this rich tradition in America's Dairyland.
Extra Cheese, Please!
When Annabelle gives birth to her calf, she also begins to produce milk. The milk is then processed into cheese, and from the cheese, pizza is made. An excellent nonfiction look at milk production.
How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?
One of the best parts of a young child's day is opening a lunchbox and diving in. But how did that delicious food get there? From planting wheat to mixing dough, climbing trees to machine-squeezing fruit, picking cocoa pods to stirring a vat of melted bliss, here is a clear, engaging look at the steps involve in producing some common foods. Health tips and a peek at basic food groups complete the menu.
On the Farm, at the Market
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of three different farms where food is locally grown, harvested, and sold at the market. This book illustrates the journey of vegetables, cheese, and mushrooms as they travel from the farm to your fork. 
Say Cheese! A Kid's Guide to Cheese Making
A mother-daughter team bring easy cheese making right into your kitchen with this fun guide for kids and families. Step-by-step photos take kids ages 8–12 through the cheese making process, then teach them how to make 12 classic favorites, including mozzarella, feta, ricotta, and cream cheese. A hearty helping of kitchen chemistry and math along with bits of international cheese making history add to the education. 
Kit
Biotech Cheese Kit
Make cheese in your classroom using the same fast methods as industry. This kit includes the recipe to make cheese (also available to download), cheesecloth, and two different types of rennet - one from an organic animal source and one from a genetically modified yeast source. You add water, powdered milk, and buttermilk. This is a great activity for exploring enzymes and chemistry as well as the benefits and concerns surrounding genetic modification. Order this kit online from agclassroomstore.com.
Food Science in a Box
This kit is designed to support various forms of homeschool, virtual learning, and online classes by providing ready-to-use supplies to facilitate hands-on learning and discovery. The kit contains materials for one student to complete a variety of activities found in the following lessons: What's on MyPlate? (Activity 1); Get Popping! (Interest Approach—Engagement); Cultures, Food, and Communities Around the World (Activity 1); Cheesemaking: From Liquid to Solid (Activity 1); By Land, Air, or Sea (Activities 2 & 3). Order this kit online from agclassroomstore.com
Mozzarella Cheese Kit
Making mozzarella cheese in the classroom can provide an engaging opportunity to discuss food processing, the science of enzymes and proteins, careers, and more. This kit includes rennet (enzymes), and citric acid (acid), two of the components used in the cheesemaking process. Order this kit online from agclassroomstore.com.
Strawberry DNA Necklace
This kit allows students to take home visible proof that plants have DNA. Each kit contains enough supplies for 100 students to make their own DNA necklace. The kit contains cheesecloth, funnels, pipettes, test tubes, flasks, microcentrifuge tubes, and yarn, all in a sturdy plastic storage container. Refill kits are also available. Order this kit online from agclassroomstore.com.
Map
Interactive Map Project
Use this interactive map to help students see how geography and climate affects the production of agricultural crops. The map has USDA statistics built in to allow your students to answer questions such as, "Which state(s) produce the most cattle?" "Where does [my state] rank nationally in corn production?" "What region of the United States produces the most cotton?" etc. There are many agricultural maps available including field crops such as corn, wheat, barley, and alfalfa in addition to fruit and vegetable crops, ornamental nursery crops, and livestock.
Where Does Your Cheeseburger Come From?
Do you know the source of the burger, bun and toppings that make a delicious cheeseburger?  This 11" x 17" student poster breaks down the cheeseburger ingredients to help students correlate the farm-to-fork path. These are available to educators free of charge from Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom.
Where Does Your Pizza Come From?
Farmers Make Great Pizza!  Use this 11" x 17" student poster to discover the connections between your favorite pizza ingredients and toppings, and agriculture. These are available to educators free of charge from Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom.
Who Makes the Best Burger?
This 42" x 25" bulletin board teaches students about the production of the ingredients in hamburgers. A large picture of a hamburger is featured in the middle of the bulletin board and pictures of the ingredients and their descriptions are in each corner. An envelope asking students to vote for "Who makes the best burger?" is included. The envelope can be removed after the voting to display the words "FARMERS and RANCHERS." The bulletin board is mailed in a reusable storage tube. Order this bulletin board online from agclassroomstore.com.
Movie/Video
"Cheese Science-As Gouda as TV Gets" Video Series
The Utah Education Network (UEN) website has a series of 25 three minute video clips about cheese and food science.  The videos teach science, chemistry, and physics principles in addition to highlighting many careers in related fields.  
Careers in Agriculture Videos
This collection of 40 short videos highlights a wide variety of careers in agriculture and natural resources. Each video is one to four minutes long and features an interview with a professional working in an agricultural field. Give your students time to explore these videos on their own or select a few to show in class. Allow students to hear directly from a plant scientist, a cheese production manager, an algae farmer, or a GIS specialist and learn how these professionals chose the career paths that got them where they are today.
From Moo to You Video
This 26-minute program from the Gee Whiz in Agriculture series explores a dairy food processing plant that makes many of our favorite foods, such as cheese, butter, and ice cream. Why "milk does a body good" and why it's considered nature's most perfect food are emphasized. A direct comparison of the nutrient values of milk and soft drinks are made, along with other nutritional considerations. This video can be purchased on DVD or accessed on YouTube.
Hilmar Cheese Company Virtual Video Tour
10-minute video for elementary students to learn about the dairy industry. They visit the dairy farm and the processing plant where they learn about pasteurization and cheese making.
Make Mine Milk
This 27-minute DVD teaches students where milk comes from, how milk is transported and processed, and how milk contributes to a nutritious diet. Order this DVD online from agclassroomstore.com.
Moo 2 You DVD
What happens when the substitute teacher, Ms. Moo, leads the class for a day? Join Ms. Moo in a fun, fast mooving learning experience for grade school students. Through zany games of "Moo-nopoly" & "Pyramid of Power" Ms. Moo and her class discover life on a farm, where milk comes from, how cheese is made, and how milk group foods keep bones and teeth healthy and strong. Order this DVD online from agclassroomstore.org.
NMSU Field Trip! Video Series
Field Trip! is a series of video field trips you can take right in your classroom. Video field trips include: Beef, Cheese, Cotton, Honey, Milk, Onion, Peanuts, Pecans, Pistachios, Red Chile Spice, Salsa, Turf, and Wine!
Teacher Reference
Food Chemistry Experiments
This free, downloadable 60-page booklet contains seven basic food science experiments designed for middle and high school students. Includes teacher/student activity guides.
Gourmet Lab: The Scientific Principles Behind Your Favorite Foods
Hands-on, inquiry-based, and relevant to every student’s life, Gourmet Lab serves up a full menu of activities for science teachers of grades 6-12. This collection of 15 hands-on experiments, each of which includes a full set of both student and teacher pages, challenges students to take on the role of scientist and chef as they boil, bake, and toast their way to better understanding of science concepts from chemistry, biology, and physics. By cooking edible items such as pancakes and butterscotch, students have the opportunity to learn about physical changes in states of matter, acids and bases, biochemistry, and molecular structure.  What better topic than food to engage students to explore science in the natural world?