Plants, Animals, People, and Technology (K-2)
Plants, Animals, People and Technology (K-2)
Target Grade Level / Age Range:
Activity 1 (20 minutes), Activity 2 (40 minutes)
Students discover that pizza ingredients are made from plants and animals raised on farms and identify the natural resources, people, and technology needed to make pizza.
- Interest Approach:
- Dry erase board and marker
- Learn How Pizza is Made video
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
- Interest approach:
- Paper Pizzas
- Where Does your Pizza Come From worksheet
- Natural Resources PowerPoint
- Pizza Making Technology worksheet
- Agriculture: The science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.
- Microorganism: Living things that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. They are normally viewed using a microscope. Bacteria, viruses, and some molds are all examples.
- Goods: Tangible things that are produced, bought or sold, and then consumed.
- Services: Activities provided by people or businesses.
- Natural resources: Resources created by nature including soil, water, air, and minerals. Plants and animals are often considered natural resources too.
- Livestock: Domesticated animals raised on a farm or other agricultural setting to produce goods such as food and fiber.
- Crops: Plants that are grown and harvested to produce goods such as food and fiber.
- Technology: A tool or technique that makes a job easier or more efficient.
Background – Agricultural Connections
Almost all of the ingredients that are used to make pizza are derived from plants that are harvested or animals that are raised on farms. Many of the ingredients have the same initial source but are manufactured differently. An example of this is pepperoni, bacon and sausage which come from pigs but undergo different processes.
All ingredients that are used to make pizza are examples of goods. Goods are tangible, or things we can touch, that are produced, bought or sold, and then consumed. These goods need resources to be produced. Soil, sun, water and air are natural resources used to grow or produce many of the ingredients used in pizza. Many pizza ingredients themselves, like seeds, plants and animals, are also examples of natural resources.
Technology is a tool or technique that makes a job easier or more efficient. There is a wide range of technology that is used to make pizza and to turn resources into usable ingredients. Technology can be as simple as a toothbrush, spoon, or dry erase board, or it can be as complex as a smartwatch or an electric car. Some examples of technology in agriculture include milking systems in dairy farms, tractors, planting equipment, combine harvesters, and more.
Interest Approach – Engagement
Using the paper pizzas, have students identify different ingredients and toppings. Make a list of these on the board. Ask students for their favorite pizza toppings and add them to the list if they are not already there. Ask students if they have ever made pizza crust and sauce from scratch? If so, what ingredients did they use? Add these to the class list.
Activity 1 (20 minutes)
- Watch Learn How Pizza is Made.
- After the video is finished, add any new ingredients from the video to the class list.
- Next, ask the students where these ingredients for pizza come from. Explain that almost all pizza ingredients are made from plants or animals raised on farms. The only exception to this is yeast and water. Water is a natural resource that is collected and filtered. Yeast is a living microorganism made up of a single cell. Yeast grows and multiplies when it is in the right condition and has sugar to feed on. Yeast for baking is grown in large quantities by yeast manufacturers under controlled conditions.
- Hand out the Where does your pizza come from? worksheet. Have students complete the matching activity by placing the ingredients in the correct boxes. Give students 10 -15 minutes to complete this and then go over it as a class.
- Pepperoni, bacon and sausage – pork from pigs
- Olive oil, flour and sugar – from plants
- Meatballs – beef from beef cattle
- Remind students that pizza ingredients, and all food, are examples of goods. Goods are tangible, or things we can touch, that are produced, bought or sold, and then consumed. All food and other goods use resources. Ask students “what resources do farmers use to raise plants and animals?” (water, feed, buildings, people, etc.) Processing plants use resources (machines, people, water, etc.) to turn the plants and animals into pizza toppings. Pizza companies and restaurants use resources (people, cooking equipment, electricity, etc.) to turn the ingredients into pizza.
- Using the Natural Resource PowerPoint discuss with students the different resources.
- Soil, sun, water and air are examples of natural resources. Seeds, plants, and animals are also natural resources.
- Ask the class to separate into groups by their favorite pizza topping. As a class go through each group’s topping and list at least 2 natural resources that are needed to produce their topping. Leave the last slide of the power point up and allow students to use it as a word bank. Examples include:
- Pork – animals, seeds and plants to feed the animals, soil to grow the seeds and plants.
- Peppers - seeds and plants grow the peppers, soil to grow the seeds and plants
Activity 2: Technology (40 minutes)
Explore & Explain
- Ask students, “What is technology?” and have them provide examples of technology at home or at school. If they only list electronic devices and machines, ask if they can name an example that does not use electricity, a battery, or fuel.
- Explain that technology is anything that makes a job easier or more efficient.
- Technology can be as simple as a toothbrush, spoon, or dry erase board, or it can be as complex as a smartwatch or an electric car.
- Sometimes simple tools are well suited for a job. If the job is bigger, a small machine might help complete the job faster. Large, complex, and even automated machines are best suited to large or very labor-intensive tasks. For example, a knife would be sufficient for slicing one onion at home. If we needed to slice six onions, we would probably choose to use my hand-held vegetable slicer or even an electric food processer. If we worked at a company that made frozen onion rings, a large industrial slicing machine would slice many onions at once. Instead of doing the slicing us, our role would likely be to monitor the machine to ensure that it is working properly, and the slices are uniform.
- Watch the pizza Learn How Pizza is Made video again, and have students complete the Pizza Making Technology Worksheet. Remember that technology does not have to use electricity.
- Were any tasks done by hand? Why do you think these tasks were done by hand?
- Tasks done by hand include rolling the pizza dough, assembling the pizza, and cutting the pizza.
- Next, let’s see how frozen pizza is made. Play the How It’s Made – Frozen Pizza video. Ask students to pay close attention to the role of machines and people in the video.
Elaborate & Evaluate
- Now compare the two videos using a Venn Diagram. How was the process of making pizza different and similar in the restaurant vs. the frozen pizza company?
- What new technology was used? (larger mixer, chunking machine, dough rolling machine, cutting machine, conveyor, oven with conveyer, sauce machine, larger shredder, cheese output machine, meat applicator, scale, blast cell freezer, wrapping machine, quality control machine, etc.)
- Did you notice any similarities in the technology used? (The dough mixer and cheese shredder are similar to but bigger than the ones used at the restaurant.)
Did you know? (Ag facts)
- Iowa is the number one pork producer. All of Casey’s General Store chicken and pork toppings are made in Nevada, Iowa, at Burke.
- PizzaThon Lesson 2: Natural Resources (K-2)
- PizzaThon Lesson 3
- From Pig to Bacon
- Have students make their own pizzas. Have them choose one ingredient and investigate where it comes from in Iowa.
Suggested Companion Resources
Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation
Agriculture Literacy Outcomes
- T1.K-2.c. Identify natural resources
- T2. K-2.e. Identify the importance of natural resources in farming
- T5.K-2.e. Identify the people and careers involved from production to consumption of agricultural products
Iowa Core Standards
- Social Studies
- SS.K.1. Recognize a compelling question.
- SS.K.3. Construct Responses to compelling questions using examples.
- SS.1.4. Construct responses to compelling questions using examples.
- SS.2.4. Construct responses to compelling questions using reasoning, examples and relevant details.
- SL.K.1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
- Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).
- Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.
- Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
- Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
- Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.
- Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
- Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
- Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.