Skip to main content

Utah Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix


Search Result(s)

Lesson Plans (75)

A Rafter of Turkeys

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

Agricultural Production Regions in the United States

Students will investigate US crop and livestock production and analyze the relevance of land use models in contemporary agricultural production. Grades 9-12

Apples and the Science of Genetic Selection

Students will distinguish between natural and artificial selection and use a student-centered learning activity to see how science and genetics have been used to artificially select apples for specific traits like color, texture, taste, and crispness. Grades 9-12

Applying Heredity Concepts

In this lesson, students will complete monohybrid and dihybrid Punnett squares in preparation for taking on a challenge to breed cotton plants that produce naturally blue colored cotton. Grades 6-8

Bartering Through the Seasons

Students investigate the seasons, explore the process of wool production, and discover how trade and barter have historically allowed people to satisfy their needs and wants. Grades 3-5

Build it Better

Students investigate animal handling preferences, design a cattle corral system that is durable, efficient, and effective, and discover the skills needed to be an agricultural engineer. Grades 3-5

Career Trek

Students will explore careers in the fields of agriculture and natural resources through online research. They will check their understanding by playing Career Trek—a board game that requires students to identify careers in agriculture and natural resources. Grades 6-8

Chain of Food

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 6-8

Chain of Food

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

Clothes on the Grow

Students will gain a broad understanding of the types and sources of different fibers, examining their origins and observing their differences. Activities in this lesson include examining clothing and clothing labels and observing how different types of fabrics burn. Grades 6-8

Cooking Right: The Science of Cooking a Hamburger

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

Cotton's American Journey

Students investigate the impact of cotton on the history and culture of the United States. Grades 3-5

Cotton's American Journey

Students investigate the impact of cotton on the history and culture of the United States. Students will discover the growth and processing requirements for cotton, recognize how the invention of the cotton gin affected slavery, explain how the plantation system was organized, and ultimately understand the role of cotton in the Civil War. Grades 6-8

Cotton's American Journey

Students will investigate the impact of cotton on the history and culture of the United States. Students will discover the growth and processing requirements for cotton, recognize how the invention of the cotton gin affected slavery, explain how the plantation system was organized, and ultimately understand the role of cotton in the Civil War. Grades 9-12

Cruisin' for a Bruisin' Food Packaging Specialist

In this lesson students will learn that product packaging is a balance between function, food safety, and economics by designing a protective package for shipping perishable fruit. Each package will be presented to the class for evaluation, and the best design will be shipped to test the product's durability. Grades 6-8

DNA: Expressions in Agriculture

This lesson centers around the activity of extracting DNA from a strawberry while highlighting careers in biotechnology and agriculture. Grades 6-8

Dark Days

Students examine the modern and historical importance of soil erosion in Utah and on the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl. Grades 3-5

Design 'Y'er Genes

This lesson introduces students to the relationships between chromosomes, genes, and DNA molecules. Using the example of a strawberry, it also provides activities that clearly show how changes in the DNA of an organism, either naturally or artificially, can cause changes. Grades 9-12

Drones in High-Tech Farming

Students discover the science behind how a drone works, explore how drones are used in agriculture, and program and operate a drone for the purpose of surveying a field. Grades 3-5

Drones in High-Tech Farming

Students discover the science behind how a drone works, explore how drones are used in agriculture, and program and operate a drone for the purpose of monitoring grazing sheep. Grades 6-8

Eat 'Em Up

Students identify the plant parts that they eat, including roots, stems, flowers, leaves, fruit, and seeds and choose a favorite fruit or vegetable to feature in a healthy recipe they prepare with their families. Grades K-2

Eggs on the Menu

Students will learn the versatility, function, and nutritional benefit of eggs in a healthy diet, identify the function and role of eggs in a recipe, identify forms of technology used on an egg farm, and understand how eggs are classified by size. Grades 6-8

Esperanza Rising

Students read the novel Esperanza Rising written by Pam Munoz Ryan to examine the lives of migrant workers, agricultural economics, the impact of agriculture to rural communities, agricultural history, and how fruits and vegetables have been harvested historically and are harvested currently. Grades 3-5

Evaluating GMO Perspectives

While many view genetically modified crops 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

Exploring Aquaponics

Students identify the basic needs of plants and fish and engineer, assemble, maintain, and observe a small-scale aquaponics system that meets plant and fish needs. Grades 3-5

Companion Resources (76)

Activity
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.
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.
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.
Genetic Engineering in Crops (Grades 6-8)
In addition to selective breeding, genetic engineering tools such as transgenics and CRISPR gene editing can be used by plant breeders to solve agricultural challenges. Plants can be engineered to be more nutritious, more resistent to pests, drought tolerant, etc. This activity challenges students to match several crops and the challenges faced in growing them to potential solutions that could be reached with genetic engineering.
Book
Agricultural Drones
Farm fields can span hundreds of acres. With so much area to cover, checking crops and livestock can be difficult. But with an agricultural drone, this job becomes much simpler. Young readers will discover how drones help farmers maximize efficiencies and bring abundant harvests.
Agricultural Inventions: At the Top of the Field
Historically, farming was an exhausting, physical task. Bright-minded individuals revolutionized agriculture with inventions that eased tasks and sped up production. The invention of milestone machines, such as Eli Whitney's cotton gin, are explored chronologically.
Ancient Agriculture
This book shows the progression of technology through history as human civilizations progressed from foraging to farming. Agriculture enabled humans to stop wandering from place to place to find food. This chapter book includes text as well as photographs and reproductions to illustrate the implementation of agriculture in our daily lives.
Barn
Read the story of a New England barn that was raised in the 18th century. The Barn is a tale of change over time.  It tells the story of life in many generations and different cultures. The story is told from the Barn's voice. The text shows how communities, cities, and people adapt to changes in the land and technology.
Clarabelle
By featuring a single cow (Clarabelle) and her calf on a large, modern-day Wisconsin dairy farm, Peterson describes all the latest technology that enables farmers to create energy and other by-products from their herds. And yet none of the modern-day machinery matches the miracle of production that is the cow herself. Vibrant, close-up photographs capture Clarabelle with her herdmates and her newborn calf as well as the family members of Norswiss Farm who live and work together.
My Family's Soybean Farm
Alexander lives on a soybean farm. What's a soybean farm and what's it like to live there? Join Alexander on his family's farm as he shows us how soybeans grow, are harvested, and are used.
Producing Fish (The Technology of Farming)
What is commercial fishing? What are fish farms? How do fish get from the sea to the supermarket? This book looks at the history of fishing, discusses commercial fishing and aquaculture, and explores how technology has impacted the fishing industry.
Right This Very Minute: A table-to-farm book about food and farming
What's that you say? You're hungry? Right this very minute? Then you need a farmer. You have the stories of so many right here on your table! Award winners Lisl H. Detlefsen and Renee Kurilla's delicious celebration of food and farming is sure to inspire readers of all ages to learn more about where their food comes from – right this very minute!
Stinky and Stringy: Stem & Bulb Vegetables (Plants We Eat)
This book provides a fun-filled exploration of the history and field-to-table processes of onions, garlic, leeks, celery, asparagus, and rhubarb. Examine the discovery and migration of these vegetables as well as their roles in cooking, technology, and world cultures.
The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Robot Farm
Wanda proudly hosts this year's school harvest feast, but she was so busy promoting it she forgot to get the food! Luckily, Ralphie happens to know of a farm that grows the finest produce around, but there's a problem—he thinks it's haunted! There are tractors driven by ghosts, plants that climb walls, and so many robots! Could the spooky discoveries actually be helping the farm?
Booklet/Reader
Adventures in Agriculture Coloring Book
Get a glimpse inside some of the STEM career paths available in agriculture and see women in STEM. Edition 1 is available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Edition 2 is available in English and Spanish.
Ag Today
Agriculture is everywhere! From the time we wake up in the morning until we end our day at night, we have encountered agriculture through the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the fuel we use for transportation. Ag Today is a great reading supplement for upper elementary students to learn about agriculture. The six issues correlate with the themes of the National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes and can be integrated into science, social studies, and language arts curriculum. Each reader provides real-world connections to STEM and makes learning relevant for students in becoming agriculturally literate.
Biotech in Focus
Use this monthly bulletin as a companion resource for secondary lessons about DNA, biotechnology, genetic engineering, and many other related topics. Each 2-page bulletin addresses current topics in biotechnology including the development and safety of GM crops, GMO product labeling, plant breeding, GMOs and human healthy, and many more.
Biotechnology Ag Mag
The Biotechnology Ag Mag is an agricultural magazine written for upper elementary or Jr high students. In this issue, students will learn how biotechnology works both within the cell and in the environment, how farmers utilize it to grow crops worldwide, and read about two different career options. The publication is available for students and teachers to view online, either at a personal computer or as a class on a projection system.
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.
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
Living Science Career Cards (posters or mini-posters)
The Living Science Career Cards feature 32 science careers associated with our nation's food, agricultural, and natural resource system. This is a great resource to help your students better understand the exciting and diverse array of employment opportunities for scientists working to generate new knowledge and to advance technology. These cards are available for free download.
Movie/Video
Agricultural Engineering Video
Use this 8-minute video clip to profile a career in Agricultural Engineering.  Learn how agricultural engineers apply engineering technology and science to help farmers be more productive, reduce environmental impacts, and keep our food affordable, safe, healthy and delicious.
America's Heartland
America’s Heartland is a magazine-style, half-hour video series. The website and YouTube channel offer more than 700 episodes about farmers and ranchers providing food, fuel, and fiber for America and the world. The series strives to give urban viewers a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing modern agriculture today by providing informative and compelling stories about topics ranging from agricultural technology to consumer issues to crop sustainability. Video segments can be viewed from the website or YouTube and can be easily integrated into classroom discussions. Visit the website and search for videos by topic (e.g., dairy farm, cotton, cattle ranch, etc.).
Animal Biotechnology video

Animal biotechnology encompasses a broad range of techniques for the genetic improvement of domesticated animal species including selective breeding, artificial insemination, cloning, and genetic engineering. Learn about both biomedical and agricultural applications of animal biotechnology and some of the science-based and ethical concerns that are engendered by certain applications.

CRISPR: Gene Editing and Beyond
The CRISPR-Cas9 system has revolutionised gene-editing, but cutting DNA isn’t all it can do. From turning gene expression on and off to fluorescently tagging particular sequences, this animation explores some of the exciting possibilities of CRISPR.