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Utah Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

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Lesson Plans (7)

A Common Thread: The Significance of Wool in Medieval England

Students will understand how agriculture influenced and shaped culture, class, and society during the Middle Ages. Grades 6-8

A Tail of Two Sheep

Students compare and contrast hair sheep and wool sheep, discover the reasons why farmers raise sheep, and explore ways farmers meet the needs of the sheep they raise. Grades K-2

Baa, Ram, Ewe... Sheep Tales

Students explore the process of making wool into cloth. Grades K-2

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

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

From Wool to Wheel

Students investigate how the need for wool impacted the American colonists by examining the Wool Act of 1699, determining the importance of wool in colonial America, and comparing and contrasting the differences between processing wool then and now. Students spin, weave, and dye wool to explore how wool was processed in Colonial times. Grades 3-5

Growing a Nation Era 1a: Seeds of Change

Students will engage with the Growing a Nation timeline to explore the significant historical and agricultural events and inventions from American history during the years 1600-1929. Students will recognize the importance of labor in agriculture, discover how the implementation of technology increased agricultural production, and explore the role wool played during this era. Grades 9-12

Companion Resources (34)

Hands-On With Wool
Spinning, dyeing, weaving, and felting wool can easily be done in the classroom. This activity provides instructions and a materials list, making it easy to prepare a hands-on wool project for your class. Wool processing is a topic that connects easily to lessons in history and science.
A New Coat for Anna

In A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert, Anna needs a new coat, but her mother has no money, and the stores are empty. The story takes place in the hard times following World War II. Anna's mother barters, directly exchanging goods or services with a sheep farmer, a spinner, a weaver, and a tailor to produce the new coat. 

Charlie Needs a Cloak
A shepherd shears his sheep, cards and spins the wool, weaves and dyes the cloth, and sews a beautiful new red cloak for himself.
Ewe Bee Ewe: A Sheep Tail
Welcome to the vibrant world of "Ewe Bee Ewe," where Leon the sheep shines brighter than the rest! Join Leon on his radiant adventure through the pituresque landscapes of colorful Colorado, where he discovers the joy of sharing his glowing attitude with all his farmyard friends. 
Farm Animals: Sheep
How do farmers keep sheep healthy? Find the answers to this and many other questions about sheep in this informative 32-page book. Fabulous photos illustrate various aspects of sheep farming, and make the book easy and fun for children to read. Includes table of contents, glossary, and index.
Farms Feed the World
A simple introduction to the beauty and variety of farms from a wheat field in Montana to a rice paddy in Indonesia to the harvesting of seaweed from the ocean, to corn, pigs, and wool on farms around the world. Through simple text and stunning photographs, this book shows how farmers provide the world with food and fiber.
From Sheep to Sweater
This book comes from the "Start to Finish" series.  It outlines the steps and process of how wool is taken from a sheep to make a sweater.
Homespun Sarah
Sarah's life in Colonial Pennsylvania is anything but easy. She and her family have to grow, raise, and make everything they need—including their clothes. The time and effort that takes means that nothing is replaced until it's absolutely necessary. As Sarah helps plant flax and raise sheep throughout the year, her one dress gets tighter and tighter. But in the nick of time, wool is spun, fabric is woven, and a brand-new dress is made just for her.
If You Lived In Colonial Times
If you lived in colonial times, what kind of clothes would you wear? What would you eat? Would you go to school? What would happen if you didn't behave? This book describes what it was like to live in the New England colonies during the years 1565 to 1776, providing illustrations of how people made their own clothes and furniture and more.
If You Want to Knit Some Mittens
How do you knit a pair of mittens? The first step is to get a sheep of course! In this playful story, a girl follows 18 steps to knit mittens—from bringing home a sheep to carding, spinning, and dyeing the wool to knitting the mittens. But along the way, her mischievous sheep creates chaos and wins her heart. By wintertime, the girl has sunny-yellow mittens, the sheep has a sunny-yellow hat, and together they're ready for adventure. This tale of patience, creativity, and friendship is knitted from skeins of humor and love.
Sheep on the Farm
Students will read about the physical appearance and basic needs of sheep and will  learn why farmers raise certain types of animals.
Sheepology: The Ultimate Encyclopedia
Discover all there is to know about sheep in all their woolly glory in Sheepology, a delightfully illustrated guide ewe will flock to again and again. Did you know that sheep do not like to be alone and get along well with other animals? Or that a sheep was the first mammal to be cloned by humans? Have you ever wondered how sheep's milk turns into cheese? Or how sheep are shorn and wool is made into cloth? These and other intriguing and engaging facts can be found in Sheepology, a visual encyclopedia.
Thank a Farmer
Bread, milk, wool, fruits, and vegetables: things that fill our day to day lives. But where, and who, do they come from? Across wheat fields and city rooftop gardens, mushroom beds and maple forests, trace food and clothing back to the people who harvested and created them. Thank a Farmer gently emphasizes the importance of agriculture and reminds readers to give thanks to farmworkers around the world.
The Shepherd's Trail
A wagon sits in the sagebrush-covered desert, while herders on horseback move sheep to high summer range. It looks like a scene from the Old West, but it's actually a sight you can see today. Shepherds still live in wagons, tending their flocks in Wyoming and other places in the American West just as they have done for more than a hundred years. From breeding season to lambing season, and shearing in between, this informative text filled with stunning photographs shows how sheep are raised over the course of a year. Use this book as an introduction for examining migrant workers and the importance of their contribution to the American economy or as a background text to provide context to lessons on wool or ranching.
The Surprise
A sheep shears, dyes, and spins her wool into a wonderful surprise.  True to its title, this wordless story will keep readers wondering what "sheep" is up to. After taking some measurements, she realizes that she has enough wool on her body to suit her purposes. She dyes the wool red, shears it off, and, donning a sweater to warm herself, takes the wool to a poodle to be spun into yarn. The sheep then works late into the night, knitting and sewing. Obviously she is preparing something special–but what is it? The final page turn brings a satisfying resolution to the mystery. Even the very young will be able to follow the story by reading the illustrations. A fine addition for wordless-book collections.
Warm as Wool
When Betsy Ward's family moves to Ohio from Connecticut in 1803, she brings along a sock-full of coins to buy sheep so that she can gather wool, spin cloth, and make clothes to keep her children warm. Based upon a true story.
Weaving the Rainbow
How do you make a rainbow? If you are a weaver you can make a rainbow with wool. If you are a sheep you can BE a rainbow! This book is filled with lovely watercolor illustrations that show the process of tending the sheep, shearing their wool, spinning the wool, using natural dyes, and weaving the colored yarn into a piece of art. 
Where Did My Clothes Come From?
Did you know that the cotton for your jeans was picked from a plant? How did the colorful wool in your sweater get from a sheep’s back to a ball of yarn? Where did your soccer uniform, your rain boots, and your fleece jacket come from? And what does recycling plastic bottles have to do with anything? This book will take you to visit farms, forests, and factories all over the world to find out how everything you wear has a story behind it. The fabrics covered include denim, wool, and synthetics, and suggestions on how to recycle or repurpose old clothes are also provided.
Wild Rose's Weaving
Rose’s grandmother wants to teach Rose how to weave, but Rose is enjoying the beautiful day outside far too much to come in and learn. It is not until Grandma shows Rose how she has woven the elements of nature into her rug that Rose wants to create a rug of her own. But now Grandma has spied a rainbow. Hand in hand, she and Rose head outside, and the next day, that rainbow reappears in Rose's own rug.
About Farm Animals Mini Kit
This kit contains a one-page coloring and activity sheet for kindergarten and first-grade-age students, complete with wool, felt, grain and other feed samples for students to paste into place. Order this kit online from
If you are a teacher who creates educational books with your children, try creating the About Cattle, About Sheep, About Chickens, About Pigs, and About Goats books. Some of the books provide pages ready to color, others require the names of the animals be written, and other pages ask students to glue down feed samples or wool products. The books provide an opportunity to talk about animal needs, uses, offspring, seasonal changes, etc. The package of materials includes ready-to-copy booklet masters and enough samples of wool, hay, straw, cattle, pig, and chicken feed for the entire class to create the booklets. Order this kit online from
Test Tube Hydroponics Kit
Investigate the importance of nutrients for plant growth and discover how plants grow without soil. Use this kit to grow and observe plants in a test tube hydroponic system. Kit includes rock wool, seed-starter trays, soybean seeds, plant tags, test tubes, and pipettes for 35 students. The Test Tube Hydroponics Kit complements the lesson Test Tube HydroponicsOrder this kit online from 
Wool Samples
Use these samples to show your students what minimally processed wool looks like. The kit comes with a sample of scoured wool and another sample of wool top. Scoured wool is wool that has been washed commercially so that grease and vegetable matter are removed. Wool top is wool that has been scoured, carded, and combed. Order this kit online from
Wool Spinning Kit
Involve students with the materials and techniques that people have used for centuries to spin, dye, and felt wool. This kit comes with 15 feet of carded wool, 30 wool-spinning hooks, and instructions. Wool refills are also available. Order this kit online from
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.