Target Grade Level / Age Range:

3rd-5th Grades


45 minutes


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


  • BINGO Boards (30)
  • Bingo Chips or markers for laminated BINGO Boards
  • Ping pong balls labelled 1-34 or Internet randomizer set for 1-34
  • BINGO Spinner (optional – can be replaced by Internet randomizer)
  • Iowa Ag Today! Student reader

Suggested Companion Resources

  • How Did that Get in My Lunchbox? by Chris Butterworth
  • Who Grew My Soup? By Tom Darbyshire
  • A Hog Ate my Homework! By Gary Metier


  • Teosinte – The genetic ancestor of corn from Mexico
  • Ethanol a fuel made from corn or other biomass that is mixed with gasoline and better for the environment.
  • Biodiesel a fuel for diesel engines in trucks and busses that is usually made from soybeans.

Interest Approach or Motivator

Read with students one of the books listed above. Ask: “What are some facts you think you know about agriculture? Is agriculture important to you?”

Background – Agricultural Connections

This fast-paced bingo game hits on many different agriculture facts and ideas. Students should walk away with a better understanding of the breadth and global significance of agriculture and a few cool facts to share.

Agriculture is a hugely important part of our lives. If we eat, wear clothing, or drive cars we are involved in agriculture, and it is important for students to understand the impact of agriculture. Iowa is a huge producer of corn, soybeans, ethanol, biodiesel, eggs, and pork. Any student who has eaten eggs and bacon for breakfast has already been touched by agriculture. The car they rode in to school was likely fueled by ethanol, and by-products like insulin, hair for air filters, and plastics made from soybean oils are everywhere.


  1. Pass out BINGO Boards and chips or markers to students.
  2. Use the internet randomizer or BINGO spinner to draw a number. Refer to the BINGO Questions sheet to read the question corresponding with the number drawn. For example, if the number 24 comes up, you would read the #24 question on the sheet aloud to students at least twice.
  3. Allow students time to find the answer located on their board. Not all boards will have all answers.
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until a student gets five spaces filled up in a row and calls for BINGO. Check to make sure that the answers marked off on their sheet are correct. If the BINGO is legitimate, have all students clear their boards.
  5. Play until each question has been asked. Then, ask students to work by themselves to record three new agriculture facts that they leaned.
  6. Discuss the facts with students. What was a surprise? What didn’t they understand? What piqued their interest? Some questions to ask:
    1. How is agriculture important to you?
    2. So far today, has agriculture impacted your life? Will it?
  7. Distribute a copy of Iowa Ag Today! to each student, and have them aloud for the class, stopping for discussion and thought at the appropriate places.

Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)

Did you know? (Ag facts)

  • What state is the #1 producer of ethanol? (Iowa)
  • Ethanol is primarily made from what Iowa crop? (Corn)
  • True or False? Most corn grown in Iowa is sweet corn. (false)
  • What percentage of American farms are owned by families?  (97%, AFBF)
  • What percentage of Americans are involved in production agriculture? (2%, AFBF)
  • What animal does a flat iron steak come from? (beef)
  • What temperature in Fahrenheit should pork be cooked to? (145 degrees F)
  • What temperature in Fahrenheit should beef be cooked at? (160 degrees F)
  • Corn is closely related to this plant? (grass)
  • Cattle have this many chambers in their stomach. (4)
  • Animals that have 4 chambers to their stomach are called this: (ruminants)
  • True or False? On most farms, dairy cows are not milked by hand. (true)
  • Corn is a descendant of this ancient plant. (teosinte)
  • Biodiesel can be made from this Iowa crop: (soybeans)
  • Find a product on your board that contains soybeans (crayons, ink, vegetable oil)
  • Find a product on your board that contains corn (candy, plastic, taco shells)
  • Find a product on your board that contains a beef by-product (football)
  • Find a product on your board that contains a pork by-product (insulin)
  • What is the industry that feeds, clothes and fuels the world? (agriculture)
  • What is the primary small grain grown in Iowa? (oats)
  • Forages like alfalfa are baled in summer and fed to cattle. This is called: (hay)
  • What is the average farm size in acres in Iowa? (333 acres)
  • What is the average age of a U.S. farmer? (57)
  • How many job openings are there in agriculture and related fields each year? (50,000)
  • How many different careers are there in agriculture? (300)
  • What percent of US farmers are run by women? (30)
  • How many people does a US farmer feed today? (155)
  • What is the top degree for 4 year agriculture programs? (An Sci)
  • What is the top degree for 2 year agriculture programs? (Horticulture)
  • What is a castrated male cattle called? (steer)
  • What is a pig that has farrowed called? (sow)
  • What are precautions taken to protect animals from disease called? (biosecurity)
  • What is the practice of not tilling the soil before or after planting or harvesting a crop? (no-till)
  • The stem of oats or wheat can be baled and used for bedding. This is called: (straw)

Extension Activities

  • This activity could be adapted to fit individual agricultural topics, such as technology, beef production, dairy production, myths, etc.


Kelsey Faivre

Organization Affiliation

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation     

Agriculture Literacy Outcomes

  •  Theme 3: Culture, Society, Economy & Geography Outcomes, 3-5
    • Explain the value of agriculture and how it is important in daily life

Common Core Connections

  • Employability Skills, 3-5:
    • 21.3–5.ES.4 Essential Concept and/or Skill: Demonstrate initiative, creativity, self–direction, and entrepreneurial thinking to produce successful outcomes.
  • Vocabulary Acquisition and use, 3-5:
    • L.4.6 Acquire and use accurately grade–appropriate general academic and domain–specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g., wildlife, conservation, and endangered when discussing animal preservation).
  • SL.3.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 

Creative Commons License

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