Lesson Plans

Pre K - 2nd

Iowa In A Pocket

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2 - may also be adapted for preschool or older students

Description: In this lesson, students will identify attributes of living and non-living. They will also look at what needs are different in that of plants and animals. As a culminating activity, the student will sort pictures into living and non-living groups. They will then sort the living pictures into plants and animals. The students will make two crafts in which a wheel will display various animals in a barn, as well as various plants and seeds in a grain bin. Depending on the familiarity of the material and student comprehension, Days 1, 2, 3, and 4 may need additional reinforcement of concepts. For older or higher achieving students, enrichment activities are included.

Hungry Caterpillar

Target Grade Level / Age: Preschool, Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2

Description: What did you eat yesterday? Last week? Could you eat as much as a hungry caterpillar? Students will learn vocabulary and learn about different agricultural products with this engaging activity. The story will come to life as you read and students construct their own caterpillar.

Farm Animals For Beginners

Target Grade Level / Age: Kindergarten

Description: Students will identify characteristics of farm animals including differentiating between mammals and oviparous (egg laying) animals.

Butter Making

Target Grade Level / Age: Kindergarten through 2nd grade

Description: Students will learn about the source of dairy products and how butter is made. This fun activity will have them curious about dairy cows and start the scientific inquiry process.

Charlotte's Web

Target Grade Level / Age: 1st through 2nd grade

Description: Extend the popular children’s story Charlotte’s Web to learn about agriculture.

Animal or Plant?

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will learn about the sources of different foods by differentiating between foods originating from plants and foods originating from animals.

Farm to School Program

Target Grade Level / Age: K to 3rd grades

Description: Students will explore healthy food options while learning about how these food options are grown.

Sunflower Life Cycles

Target Grade Level / Age: Kindergarten – 2nd Grade

Description: Students will learn about the growth and development of sunflowers and other plants.

The Farm Match

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will learn to associate different animals, crops, and machines with agriculture.

All about Milk

Target Grade Level / Age: pre K-K

Description: Students will explore the variety of milks available and the source of those milks.

Apples and Pumpkins

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will explore the lifecycles and traits of apples and pumpkins.

Bees as Pollinators

Target Grade Level / Age: Preschool-Kindergarten

Description: Students will understand the importance of bees and the basics of pollination.

Creating Healthy Meals

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: The students will be able to identify food groups and healthy food options.

Fruits - Inside and Out

Target Grade Level / Age: Preschool - Kindergarten

Description: Students will explore raw fruits to observe their characteristics and graph their observations.

Iowa, Pork and the US

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: To help students understand pigs and pork in the state of Iowa.

Seeds to Soup

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will learn the path that food takes from the plant to the table.

Soil Comparison

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: The students will be able to determine similarities and differences between two types of soil and information presented in two nonfiction texts. The students will be able to use the scientific process to observe, question, and form a hypothesis on why the two soil types are different

Weather Watchers

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will observe and record weather conditions for one week.

Farmers and Gardeners

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: To help students understand some key differences and similarities between large-scale (farmer) and small-scale (gardeners) food production, while helping students learn to make connections, communicate, and use visual aids to portray concepts.

From Plants and Animals

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will understand that many products come from plants and animals on farms.

Liquids and Solids

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will explore, through hands-on experiments, the concepts of liquid and solid.

Composting and Vermicomposting

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will be introduced to composting and vermicomposting and how it impacts the health of our soil.

School Garden Tool Sort

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will compare tools used in a school garden and those used in modern agriculture.

The Food Pyramid

Target Grade Level / Age: First Grade - 6 and 7 year olds

Description: At the end of this activity the students should be able to Identify the food groups, Identify reasons to choose healthy food choices to eat, Sort foods on to the MyHealthy Plate, and Identify how the local farmer produces and provides food for the consumers.

Water Use Lesson

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will explore humans’ demands on the world’s water supply and discuss ways to conserve it.

Farmers are Superheroes, Too!

Target Grade Level / Age: K-2

Description: Students will gain a basic understanding of who farmers are and what they do.

Bees - Life Cycle and Pollination

Target Grade Level / Age: 2nd

Description:Students will learn the life cycle of a honey bee and their importance to agriculture through pollination.

From Pig to Bacon

Target Grade Level / Age: Kindergarten and First Grade

Description: To help students understand pigs and their products, producers, and consumers by using various nonfiction books, and activities.

History of Iowa Agriculture

Target Grade Level / Age: 1st

Description: Students will learn about key points in Iowa’s agricultural history, while gaining writing and sequencing skills.

What Plant Parts We Eat

Target Grade Level / Age: Kindergarten

Description: Students will strengthen their sorting skills by learning about which part of food crops they eat.

Dairy Products We Eat

Target Grade Level / Age: 2nd

Description: Students will be able to identify healthy dairy products, describe the dairy process, and strengthen writing and sequencing skills.

Farm Economics and Food Processing

Target Grade Level / Age: 1st

Description: Students will understand the concepts of purchasing goods and the differences between needs and wants through the lens of a farmer and how they market their grain or livestock.

Farming Through the Seasons

Target Grade Level / Age: 1st - 2nd

Description: Students will learn about differences in seasons through the lens of what farmers do in each season.

Plant Growth in Different Soil Types

Target Grade Level / Age: 2nd - 3rd

Description: Students will show that plants grow more successfully in fertile soil when compared to other materials.

The Amazing Milk Cow

Target Grade Level / Age: K - 1st

Description: Students will be introduced to dairy cows and will understand that dairy products, like milk, come from these animals.

3rd - 5th

Agriculture and Augmented Reality

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 4-6

Description: Your local grocery store conducted a survey of their customers and found that customers want to know where their food comes from. The store has hired your team to create an augmented reality video that will be triggered by an image at the grocery store and tell the story of where that food product came from.

Where's Iowa

Target Grade Level / Age: This particular presentation is geared to 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students and is meant as lessons to incorporate wherever Iowa as a state is studied.

Description: “Where’s Iowa” is an Agriculture in the Classroom spin off of the *Where’s Waldo* books. Each state has a significant role they fulfill in the U.S. agricultural picture. Some of this information is general agricultural data that applies to all states, such as the size of an acre, what is a bushel, how agricultural products are measured, etc. With little effort the teachers that make use of these "Where's Iowa" lesson plans can take this informative presentation and gear it to work in their own state by putting in their state symbols, agricultural products, weather, etc. Each of the four units within “Where’s Iowa” comes with materials needed, information resources, and how it fits into the national core curriculum.

Let's Mix Up Some Soil!

Target Grade Level / Age: Third or fourth grade.

Description: Farms provide food, clothing and shelter for millions of people every year. Plants grown for these essential needs start with soil. Livestock that provide food for people eat plants grown in soil. Soil is a natural resource that we all need to care for. Students will learn that soil is a valuable natural resource that farmers are conscientious about caring for.

Iowa Soil - An Invaluable Resource

Target Grade Level / Age: This activity is most appropriate for 4-6th grade students, but can easily be adapted for lower elementary or even high school students

Description: By observing the slicing of an apple, students become aware of the small fraction of the Earth’s limited land that is used to produce food.

Mapping Iowa Agriculture

Target Grade Level / Age: 4th Grade

Description: Students identify products that are grown in Iowa, and locate them on a map through this interactive program.

Mighty Soybeans

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd through 5th grade

Description: Students will observe the power of seeds by germinating soybeans in plaster of Paris.

Topsy-Turvy Soybeans

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd through 5th grade

Description: Students will observe how plants respond to gravity by germinating soybeans in a CD case and rotating the case as they grow.

Exciting Agventures with Corn

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd through 5th grade

Description: Students will learn the importance of corn production to Iowa and the nation, understand what a by-product is and how they are used, and discover the weights and sizes of different measurements of corn.

Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Carving!

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd through 5th grade

Description: Students will get a broader understanding about agriculture and the use of pumpkins. Students will learn about the lifecycle of the pumpkin and the pumpkin industry. Students will practice math skills with measurements and make a pumpkin pie in a bag.

Water Pollution

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd through 5th grade

Description: Students will learn about the ways in which water can become polluted, ways to conserve it, and why it is important to conserve water.

Cracker Pizza

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd through 5th grade

Description: Students will learn about the sources and healthfulness of several common foods.

Seed Germination Necklaces

Target Grade Level / Age: 3-5

Description: In this lesson, students will observe corn and soybean seeds as they germinate and compare monocots and dicots.

Turkeys Talk Math

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Students will have a greater understanding of how turkeys are raised and how this important part of Thanksgiving dinner gets from the farm to your dinner table.

Build a Calf Workshop

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Description: Students will explore genes and heredity in the context of beef cattle. They will discover probability and be introduced to beef breeds.

Conservation Nation

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Students will learn about issues concerning soil and water and how farmers use science to help conserve these resources.

An Introduction to Agriculture through Reading

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Students will be introduced to the basics of agriculture through exploring books.

How is corn used?

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Students will practice math skills while becoming familiar with the uses of Iowa corn.

Agriculture BINGO

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Students will be familiarized with the importance of agriculture and how it touches their everyday lives.

Agriculture Pictionary

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Students will explore the uses of common Iowa products by playing the agriculture version of the popular game, Pictionary.

Many Hats of an Iowa Farmer

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Students will understand that farmers have to complete many different types of tasks for their jobs and why those tasks are important.

We Depend on Plants and Animals for That?

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Students will show understanding that humans are dependent on plants and animals for many purposes and that many of these resources come from agriculture.

Corn, Soybeans, and You

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd

Description: Students will compare and contrast corn and soybean plants, the growth and development, and how each are used for different purposes and make different products that all of us use daily. Students will also learn and identify the parts of a monocot and dicot and measure growth.

From Farm to Lunch Tray

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd – 5th

Description: Students will show understanding that humans are dependent on plants and animals for many purposes and that many of these resources come from agriculture.

Collaborative Corn Stalk

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd-5th

Description: Students will explore the parts of a corn plant and their uses.

From Field to Table

Target Grade Level / Age: 4th – 6th grade Talented and Gifted

Description:

Two 40 minute class periods (can be shortened with research for homework rather than class time).
Supply and Demand - Avian Influenza

Target Grade Level / Age: 5th

Description: Students will gain an understanding of supply and demand, making predictions for the price of future egg prices.

Animals in Iowa

Target Grade Level / Age: 3rd - 4th Grade

Description: The students will learn about livestock raised in Iowa while strengthening their language arts and 21st century skills through basic internet research.

6th - 8th

Tassel to Tank

Target Grade Level / Age: 3-12th grades

Description: Students gain familiarity with the processes of raising and creating alternative renewable materials for fuel, specifically ethanol.

Feed Sacks Pork Lesson

Target Grade Level / Age: 4-8th grades

Description: Students will learn the basics of hog nutrition and how STEM relates to the feeding of hogs.

By-Product Riddles

Target Grade Level / Age: 3-12th grades

Description: Description: Students will learn and exercise knowledge of the uses of by-products of common Midwestern crops.

Plant Match

Target Grade Level / Age: 4-8th grades

Description: Students will learn plant, seed, and flower parts and their functions.

Supply and Demand

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th Grade

Description: Students will understand the law of supply and demand and how it affects the cost of goods and services. Students will use the law of supply and demand to explain why the market price of crops and livestock fluctuates.

Feeding a Digital World

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th - 12th Grades

Description: Using an interest based approach, students will create an augmented reality video to educate consumers about where their food comes from.

Agriculture Career Pictionary

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th - 8th Grades

Description: Students will explore the many careers in agriculture by playing the agriculture version of the popular game, Pictionary.

Antique Farm Equipment

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th - 8th Grades

Description: To learn about history and culture through the engineering breakthroughs in American agriculture.

Healthy Choice Menu

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th - 8th Grades

Description: Students will explore food groups and healthy food choices.

Cars, Corn and You

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th - 8th Grades

Description: Students will explore the process of biofuel production and how it relates to food chains.

Where Does a Soybean Get its Mass From?

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th - 8th Grades

Description: Students will observe how plants increase in mass due to photosynthesis and apply ideas of the conservation of mass.

Renewable Energy Resources

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th - 8th Grades

Description: The objective of this lesson would be to make the students aware of the renewable fuels available for their own homes.

crAgnium

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th - 8th Grades

Description: Students will learn and review common facts about Iowa agriculture, including historical figures, scientific facts, and agriculture related careers.

The Importance of pH for Foods: An Investigation of Soils

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th - 8th

Description: Students will be able to connect their knowledge of pH to real life agricultural applications, and understand the importance of pH requirements for Iowa crops.

Beginnings of Agriculture

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th

Description: Students will compare and contrast hunting and gathering to farming, and will be able to explain this revolution.

Father of the Green Revolution

Target Grade Level / Age: 7th

Description: This lesson will expose students to the history and social studies aspects of the Green Revolution and its founder, while helping students gain reading and writing skills.

Soil Erosion

Target Grade Level / Age: 6th

Description: Students will compare three types of groundcover to see which provides the best defense against soil erosion.

9th - 12th

Watershed Decisions

Target Grade Level / Age: Adults and older youth (aged 12-18) with basic understanding of watersheds.

Description: We all live in a watershed – the area that drains to a common waterway, such as a stream, lake, estuary, wetland, aquifer, or even the ocean – and our individual actions can directly affect it. Working together using a watershed approach will help protect our nation’s water resources.

FARMLAND

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 9-12

Description: These four lessons accompany the FARMLAND Film and dive deeper into issue discussed in the film like Animal Welfare, Farm Risk, Farm Size, and GMOs. There are also facilitated discussion questions. Students will learn about the care of livestock on farms and consider regulations and government’s role in the industry. Students will understand farm-related risk and how it relates to the risk in everyday life. Students will explore farm size in the U.S. and how farmers are able to feed a growing population. Students will gain a basic understanding of genetically engineered crops and compare conventional and organic farming practices.

What’s in Your Food?

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 10-12

Description: Students will consider the nutritional value of various processed foods.

Renewable Energy Choices

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 9-12

Description: Students will explore renewable fuel choices in Iowa and explain their value to consumers.

Ag and Energy

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 9-12

Description: Students will consider the role of agriculture in energy production.

Introduction

Lesson 1 - Ag & Energy

Lesson 2 - Energy Conservation Infrastructure

Lesson 3 - Energy Conservation Practices

Lesson 4 - Ag & Renewable Energy

Lesson 5 - Ag & Solar Energy

Lesson 6 - Ag & Wind Energy

Lesson 7 - Ag & Biogas Energy

Unit 1

Lesson 1 - What are Biofuels?

Lesson 2 - Ag & the Biofuels Industry

Lesson 3 - Ethanol then to Now

Unit 2

Lesson 1 - Ethanol Inputs

Lesson 2 - Chemical Reactions

Lesson 3 - Ethanol Production

Lesson 4 - Geography

Unit 3

Lesson 1 - Vehicle Technology

Lesson 2 - Engine Performance

Unit 4

Lesson 1 - Ethanol and the Environment

Unit 5

Lesson 1 - Production & Utilization

Lesson 2 - Impact on the Corn Supply

Unit 6

Lesson 1 - Biofuels Careers

GMO Decisions

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 10-12

Description: To expose students to modern agriculture issues, scientific solutions, and the outcomes of those decisions, while discussing the sciences of biology and biotechnology.

Nitrogen Cycle

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 9-12

Description: Students will gain an understanding of the nitrogen cycle and why farmers practice crop rotation or choose to fertilize.

Ergot and the Crucible

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 9-12

Description: This lesson is designed to supplement a high school English class reading The Crucible or a high school history class studying the Salem Witch Trials. Students will understand one theory of the cause of the witch trials and how they could have been prevented.

crAgnium

Target Grade Level / Age: 9th - 12th Grades

Description: Students will learn and review common facts about Iowa agriculture, including historical figures, scientific facts, and agriculture related careers.

Average Daily Gain

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 9-12

Description: Students will use livestock weight gain data to construct and interpret line graphs.

Soil Conservation

Target Grade Level / Age: 9th - 12th

Description: Students will learn about operational and structural conservation practices, and will understand their pros and cons in modern agricultural systems.

Whey Waste

Target Grade Level / Age: Grades 9-12

Description: This lesson encourages students to think through and engineer a solution to an issue for smaller-scale cheese producers.