Target Grade Level / Age Range:

6 th-8 th grades


45 minutes


  • Blank paper or dry erase boards
  • Pencils or dry erase markers
  • One minute timer
  • Agriculture Career Pictionary Cards, printed 4 per page and cut

Vocabulary (with definitions)

  • Agriculture – production and processing of crops and livestock for feed, fuel fiber.

Interest Approach or Motivator:  

Have students draw a picture of themselves in 10 years. Ask them to answer these questions in their picture: What have they accomplished? What are they doing? What skills do they have? Did they go to college? Do they have a career? Do they have a family? After five minutes, select a few students to share their drawings.

Background – Agricultural Connections (what would a teacher need to know before teaching this lesson):

There are over 300 different careers in agriculture, and most go far beyond on-farm jobs. In the coming years, there are an anticipated 50,000 job openings in agriculture and not enough students to fill them. There are many opportunities with agricultural companies that will be fulfilling and lucrative for students.

Jobs in agriculture are no longer just farming. There is a huge need for agronomists (people who study plants and their environment and help farmers improve yields and the environment), agriculture journalists, agriculture teachers, aquaculture specialists, agriculture engineers, and environmental managers. There are vast opportunities for students with agricultural backgrounds to become involved in the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by the year 2050. Your students can be a part of that.

Procedures (outline the main points, step by step activities, and the full content to be presented to students)

  1. After getting students thinking about the future, ask them if they’ve considered a career in agriculture.
    1. Ask students if they can define agriculture and explain its importance.
    2. What career opportunities do students think exist in agriculture?
  2. Introduce the concept of Pictionary. Explain that students will get into groups of 4-5 and each group will receive several blank pieces of paper (or a whiteboard), a timer and the Pictionary cards.
  3. Select one student in each group to draw first and keep score. That student will select a Pictionary card off the top of the card pile, read the card silently to themselves, and have one minute to draw the career that is described on the card without using words. Students in the group have until a minute is over to guess what that career is.  
  4. After the allotted time, if there are no correct guesses, the student who drew the product should ask if there are any final guesses as to what the career is. They should then read the card aloud to the group, and pass play to a person of their choosing.  
  5. A student who guesses the drawing successfully will be awarded a point and be the next person to draw. Repeat steps 3-5.
  6. After a half-hour, call for the game to end. The student in each group with the highest number of points will come to the front of the classroom. Each student has 60 seconds to write as many careers as possible on the board. The student who completes the final challenge with the most careers listed will be the class winner.
  7. Lead the class in a discussion of the careers.
    1. What was the most unexpected career in agriculture?
    2. Who found a career they were interested in?
    3. Who found a career they knew of but didn’t know was a part of agriculture?
    4. Why would working in agriculture be a good idea?
    5. What purpose do jobs in agriculture serve?

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

Extension Activities (how can students extend learning outside of the classroom? This could include assignments they do outside of class.)

  • Have each student in the class select a career in agriculture and do a research project on it. Have them look up pertinent information, such as salary, skills required, what a typical day looks like, etc. Have them present their career to the class.


Original idea from Yvonne Gaul


Kelsey Faivre - IALF

National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Outcomes
    • 6 th-8 th grades: Identify science careers related to both producers and consumers of agricultural products
  • Culture, Society, Economy & Geography Outcomes
    • 6 th-8 th grades: Distinguish between careers in production (farmers and ranchers) with those that directly involve consumers (business and nutrition)

Iowa Common Standards (Essential Concepts and Skills)

  • 21 st Century Skills:
    • 21.6–8.ES.2 Essential Concept and/or Skill: Adapt and adjust to various roles and responsibilities in an environment of change.


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