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Utah Agriculture in the Classroom

Teacher Award

State & National Teacher Award 2007

Marie Gardner

River Heights Elementary School, River Heights, Utah
2nd Grade
Marie Gardner

Using resources from the online course—Food, Land & People (FLP)—offered through Utah State University—Marie's students do not simply learn about agriculture during Agriculture Week; they have the opportunity to experience it on a weekly basis.

For example, in science students examined the lifecycle of plants and animals. During the weather unit, students extended the scientific principles they were learning to forecast the effects of weather on crops and livestock. They also analyzed the interactive relationship between bees and flowers.

Social studies lessons included research on the different types of breads consumed throughout the world. Students developed mapping skills as they tracked a shipment of peaches from orchard to destination. Students gained an understanding of basic economic principles through a lesson in the growth of pumpkins for profit.

Mathematics and agriculture were integrated through taste testing of milk, and gathering and analyzing data. One of the students' most memorable days involved measuring milk into bottles and feeding calves. In addition to being a once in a lifetime experience for many of the students, the students were accessing prior knowledge and demonstrating mastery of capacity.

Agriculture was also integrated into the language arts curriculum through various literary forms and writing experiences. During one writing activity, students were able to learn about life on the farm as they exchanged letters with a farmer.

As Marie states, "The Food, Land, & People course rekindled my passion for teaching agriculture and provided the tools to teach it effectively. With each agricultural connection, I see the sparkle of discovery in the eyes of my students. I am constantly assured that integrating agriculture is truly a marvelous addition to our daily quest for knowledge."