Target Grade Level / Age Range:

1 st Grade


Three 40-minute lessons


Students will learn about goods and services and how different goods get from the farm to the consumer.   


  • Books for lesson (available for checkout in the IALF lending library)
    • From Corn to Cereal by Roberta Basel
    • PB&J Hooray by Janet Nolan
    • How Did That Get In My Lunchbox? by Chris Butterworth
    • Where Did My Clothes Come From? by Chris Butterworth
    • Who Grew My Soup? By Tom Darbyshire
    • From Egg to Chicken by Anita Ganeri
    • From Oranges to Orange Juice by Kristin Keller
  • Articles of clothing made from different sources (Blue jeans = cotton, mittens = wool, fleece = plastic)
  • Flow Chart.docx
  • Outline of World Map.docx

Suggested Companion Resources:


  • Goods: articles of trade; wares; merchandise
  • Services: the providing or a provider of accommodation and activities required by the public, as maintenance, repair, etc.
  • Consumer: A person or organization that uses a commodity or service
  • Producers: A person who creates economic value, or produces goods and services

Background – Agricultural Connections:

People from around the world eat many different types of food. The food people eat is often determined by their local culture and what can be grown or raised near them. The production of food does not end at the farm. Once the crop and animal is harvested it is then put into production to create many goods and services for the consumer.

Coming from the state of Iowa, we are one of the top agriculture producing states, and produce products that are exported internationally! Iowa is a leading producer of corn, soybeans, pork, and eggs. Ninety-nine percent of the corn that is grown in Iowa is field or dent corn. It is not something we can eat right out of the field. Less than 1% of the corn grown in the United States is sweet corn. Dent/field corn is mainly used for ethanol production and as a feed source for livestock, but it also helps make over 4,000 other products we use every day. The starch of the corn plant goes into making adhesives for glues, plywood, fireworks, sandpaper, and wallpaper. The oil of the corn plant goes into making tanning oils, printing inks, and vitamin carriers. And the corn cob goes into making cosmetic powders, cleaning agents, and construction paper. Products like toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, medicines, glues, chewing gums all have corn in them.

This is made possible by using by-products. By-products are goods that are produced additionally to another product. For example, the main purpose of beef cattle is for meat production. After the meat has been harvested there are still many things that can be made from beef cattle. The hooves, horns, and bones are used to make toothbrushes, toothpaste, cosmetics, glues and adhesives, paper, Jell-O, marshmallows, and bone china. The hide of cattle is used to make leather products such as sports items like baseballs and gloves, as well as belts, shoes, and jackets. Beef fat helps make soaps, shampoos, and other personal hygiene items.

Soybeans also contribute to the list of items made from agriculture. Some of the more familiar products from soybeans would include soy milk, soy sauce, and bean sprouts. Also, edamame are immature soybeans and tofu is another use of soybeans. Soybeans also go into products that we may not generally think of like pastry fillings, whipped toppings, paints, crayons, biodiesel, laundry detergents, antifreeze and so much more.

Pigs are also used to create goods. Not only is the pork industry known for their juicy pork chops and sweet honey hams but it also contributes largely to the medical industry. If you are diabetic, the insulin you use can come from the pancreas of pigs. Cortisone is produced from the adrenal glands and heart valves come from the heart to aid in medical surgeries.

Plants and animals are grown on a farm and from there they are harvested and sent to processing facilities. These facilities are what takes the raw product and turns it into something new. From the processing facilities, the goods are sent to the store where customer buys these goods for use in their everyday life.

Interest Approach or Motivator:

  1. Read the story, From Corn to Cereal by Roberta Basel.
  2. Discuss with students and make a flowchart on the white board on how the corn goes from the farm to the consumer. (Corn is harvested, goes to cooperative, transported to food processor, cereal is shipped to a whole seller, then to the grocery store, then to the consumer)
  3. Students could view video clips on harvesting or how the corn gets from the farm to the store.  One suggestion is Hatch Farms Harvesting Corn in Iowa 2015 -  


Day 1:

  1. Give students other goods and services books and have them work in small groups to make flowcharts, using the Goods and Services Flow Chart.doc, to show how different foods get from the farm to consumers.
    1. Books to use include:
      1. PB&J Hooray by Janet Nolan
      2. How Did That Get In My Lunchbox? by Chris Butterworth
      3. Who Grew My Soup? by Tom Darbyshire
      4. From Egg to Chicken by Anita Ganeri
      5. From Oranges to Orange Juice by Kristin Keller
  2. Have students present their Flow Charts to the class.
    1. Ask questions like where the item originated, how it is grown, how it is processed, how consumers get it, etc.

Day 2:

  1. Bring in different clothing items such as a sweater, shirt, jeans, and mittens.  Ask students if they know how these goods are made and get to consumers?
  2. Explain that just like food, farmers also help provide the fiber for the clothing we wear. Read the story Where Did My Clothes Come From? by Chris Butterworth aloud to the whole class.
  3. As a class, have students discuss together to make a flowchart on how cotton goes from the plant to the consumer. Use a white board or projector and draw what the students tell you.
    1. Cotton is grown in the southern United States. Cotton grows on a plant in bolls. The bolls are harvested, baled, and sent to a cotton gin. The gin separates the cotton from the cotton seeds and other plant parts they don’t want. The pure, clean cotton is then put in smaller bales that are sold to textile plants and other customers. Clothing makers may buy the bales and process them into pants, shirts, and other goods that will be packaged and sent to stores for consumers like us.
  4. Then, have students work in pairs to create flowcharts using the Goods and Services Flow Chart.doc on how a sheep’s wool gets to the consumer.
    1. Wool comes from sheep. Sheep are sheared once or twice per year, and the farmer collects the wool to sell. The farmer may form a group with other wool farmers called a cooperative so they get the best price possible. A customer like a textile company might purchase the raw wool, clean it, process it, and create yarn or even clothing. The finished product will then be packaged and sent to stores for customers like us.
  5. Think-Pair-Share: Have students discuss one thing they learned about clothing from today’s lesson with a partner. Then ask for ideas from the class in a large group discussion.

Day 3:

  1. Today, students will compare the goods they eat at lunch to the goods other students eat around the world.
  2. Chose to either read the book, What’s for Lunch: How Schoolchildren Eat Around the World by Andrea Curtis or watch the YouTube video, School Lunches Around The World  .
  3. Discuss what they saw in the video.  Make some comparisons between lunches they eat to different foods they saw. 
  4. Give students the Outline of World Map.doc and have them draw a picture of one thing that people consume in different parts of the world based on what they learned from the book or website. Complete the activity together to ensure the foods are placed on the correct place on the map.
    1. Some examples could be:
      1. Japan – miso soup, mackerel, rice
        1. Video: pickled spinach
      2. India – dal (rice with lentils or peas)
        1. Video: rice, dal mahkhani, saag paneer
      3. France – bread, cheese, chicken, vegetables
        1. Video: grapefruit, salad, rice pudding
      4. Mexico – chips, sandwich (torta)
      5. Kenya – CSB (nutrient-fortified corn-soy blend soup)
      6. Canada – cookies, yogurt, carrots, sandwich
      7. Brazil – rice, beans, beef, potatoes, banana
      8. Russia – bread, beef, kasha (porridge), borsch (beet soup)
        1. Video: porridge, sausage
      9. Peru – cuy (guinea pig meat), quinoa and vegetable soup
      10. U.S. – mixed fruit, corn, pizza
        1. Video: peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple, chips, yogurt
      11. Afganistan – high energy biscuits
      12. England – carrots, potatoes, peas, roast beef and gravy, Yorkshire pudding
        1. Video: shepherd’s pie, pear, veggies, yogurt
      13. China – rice, pork, vegetables, soup
      14. Cuba – rice, ropa vieja
      15. Norway – strawberries, open-faced sandwich, yogurt
      16. Nigeria – beans, plantains, rice
      17. Phillippines – rice, lechon kawali
      18. Korea – purple rice, soup, radish, bulgogi, kimchi
  5. Have students share anything that surprised them about what they learned today about goods people consume around the world.
    1. Point out that where people are impacts what they eat. Nations with lots of coastlines, like Japan, eat lots of fish. Some foods are more popular where the crops are native to, like plantains.

Essential Files:

  1. Goods and Services Flow Chart.docx
  2. Outline of World Map.docx
  3. School Lunches Around The World - .

Did you know?

  • One acre of land, which is about the size of a football field, can produce about 700 pounds of cotton. That can make over 1,774 t-shirts.  
  • If a sheep’s fleece gets too long it can get full of dirt or rocks that can make it very heavy and weigh them down.
  • Wool never stops growing.

Extension Activities:

  • Do a pork, beef, dairy, or corn FarmChat®
  • Do a field trip to different farms (dairy, beef, corn, soybean)
  • Begin a pen pal program with a farmer to learn more about what they do to get products to consumers.  



Hannah Pagel

Robyn Rich

Organization Affiliation:

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

Sioux City Spalding Park

National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes:

  • T1.K-2.c: Identify examples of feed/food products eaten by animals and people  

Iowa Core Standards:

  • Social Studies
    • SS.1.8: Identify students’ own cultural practices and those of others within the community and around the world
    • SS.1.11: Compare the goods and services that people in the local community produce with those that are produced in other communities.
  • English Language Arts
    • RI.1.7: Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.