To borrow items from the Lending Library contact Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation at

Search by: Crops  •   Environment  •   Farms  •   Food  •   Livestock  •   Technology     




Dress Up Like a Corn Plant


This kit gives instructions and materials to host the Dress Up Like a Corn Plant activity. The lesson starts by reading the My Family's Corn Farm book, and transitions into a skit-like lesson where one student is given props and clothing items to mimic different stages in the corn plant's life cycle. Students learn about farmers giving nutrients to crops, that crops must withstand pressures like hail or insects, and how the plant grows and develops.

Ethanol in a Bag Kit


Ethanol in a bag is easy to make! Students only need some warm water, sugar, and yeast in their bag to be able to see the bag expand like a balloon. Further experimentation can be done to see if starch can replace sugar, or if cold water can replace warm water.

Get Popping! Kit


How does popcorn pop? Investigate this phenomenon by observing how heat affects the water inside a popcorn kernel. This kit contains safety glasses, test tubes, a test tube clamp, an alcohol lamp, balloons, aluminum foil, vegetable oil, and popcorn kernels. This kit complements the lesson Get Popping! located on the National Agricultural Curriculum Matrix. 

GMO Card Sets


How does popcorn pop? Investigate this phenomenon by observing how heat affects the water inside a popcorn kernel. This kit contains safety glasses, test tubes, a test tube clamp, an alcohol lamp, balloons, aluminum foil, vegetable oil, and popcorn kernels. This kit complements the lesson Get Popping! located on the National Agricultural Curriculum Matrix. 

Grains and Legumes of the World kit


This hands-on activity explores grains and legumes common in global agricultural production—barley, dent corn, popcorn, oats, rice, wheat, soybeans, lentils, and pinto beans. Students create their own journals that include important facts, descriptions, and samples of the seeds of these crops. Teachers can use the information to expand students' knowledge of agriculture while connecting to lessons in social studies and science. This kit contains enough seeds for a classroom of 35 students. A master copy of the grains and legumes information cards is also included.

Investigating and Applying Genetics


Students build their understanding of selective breeding for desired traits in crops such as corn. They investigate the outcomes of crosses of hybrid and dihybrid corn plants for two unlinked genetic traits (corn kernel color and sweetness). They use Punnett squares to predict the ratio of phenotypes that will be produced by different crosses and analyze the actual ratio of phenotypes of the second generation offspring. A reading describes traditional selective breeding and modern genetic engineering approaches to improving crops. This kit is complete for 32 students.

Plant Life Cycles


Whiteboards come to life with giant colorful magnets. Bean and apple life cycles are detailed for exploration and discussion.

Plant Nutrient Flash Cards


Play a fun game and test your students' plant and soil science knowledge! This flash card set can also be used to review concepts from the Nutrients for Life Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century curriculum.

Plant Match


Styled after a memory game, this kit includes photo and definition cards relating to plant parts and plant development. Don't let the memory game fool you, it can be tricky!

Plants on the Outside


We take plants for granted, but we shouldn't! Each time we sit down to eat, we're either eating plants or animals, which ate plants. This mini unit gives us a good introduction to how plants are built and how they work.

Pollination Kit


Students can be the bees with this fun kit! Inside, you will find jumbo plastic flowers created from pop bottles. The center of each flower has space for a small sponge to hold glitter glue. Students can use the included bee clothespins to hold cotton balls and "pollinate" their flowers.

Pollinators Pollination Simulation


Pollination with pom-poms? You bet! Students can engage in a pollination simulation activity easily with this kit.

Purposeful Plants


Plants have an important purpose; to live and help us live! In this mini unit, you'll learn about how plants do their most important jobs, like making food and oxygen for the planet.

Seed Classifications


Learn about ways to classify seeds with this interesting kit.

Seed ID Kit


Solve the mystery of the seed! This activity is framed as a crime scene investigation, so students can create and use a dichotomous key. Students help solve the crime by identifying the correct seed!

Serious Cereal Science kit


This kit is based off the National Agriculture in the Classroom lesson entitled Serious Cereal Science. Materials include seeds and cards necessary to complete lesson activities.

Soybean Life Cycle Kit


Help students learn the stages of a plant's life cycle by using the soybean plant as an example. In this kit, find props depicting each stage of the soybean plant's life cycle and a lesson plan explaining the activity. Two forms of this kit are available; one jumbo felt kit in a full-sized bean seed bag, and one laminated cardstock set that fits in an 8.5" x 11" folder.

They're not Just Seeds


That's right, they're a lot more than just seeds! They're the new generation of plants and food for us and animals! This mini unit introduces seeds and how they get their important jobs done.

We need Plants


Not only do we need plants, but every animal on earth does, too! This mini unit helps students understand how plants grow from seeds, grow into adult plants, reproduce, and make food and oxygen for all life!

Basic Needs


Plants and animals need certain things in order to survive and thrive. Some of the most important needs are food, water, air, and sunlight. This mini unit explores what happens when plants are exposed to their basic needs and when they are not.

Biology and Chemistry of Soil Experiment Kit


Time to play in the dirt! Students use ordinary soil samples to conduct a thorough evaluation of soil. Simple, easy-to-follow techniques and staining procedures are introduced early in this series of activiteis. After preforming a series of activities, students are asked to draw conclusions about a soil's ability to support plant growth. All tests are performed using either the patented template or calibrated test tubes.

Describing DNA Differences


We're all a product of DNA action, but what is it? In this mini unit, you'll get to separate DNA from a fruit, build models of it, and find out how it works! When you get done you'll understand more about what makes us special.

Dirty Science


Few people realize they are walking on Earth's most valuable resource: dirt. If it wasn't for soil, there would be no plants. If there were no plants, there would be no animals. This mini unit lets students take apart dirt, make their own soil recipe, and test how well different dirt recipes can grow plants. So let's talk dirt!

Earth Stuff


Rocks, soil, water, and air are basic Earth materials. This mini unit explores the properties of these materials, and how different properties make them useful in different ways.

Get Dirty


All materials have characteristics called properties. The basic properties of soil are color, texture, nutrient value, and porosity. All these properties are explored in this unit.

Have a Life


This mini unit is all about life cycles of plants and animals. All living things have life cycles. They are born, they grow, they reproduce, and they eventually die. Most living things closely resemble their parents. Plants must have a way of spreading their pollen and their seeds to insure their kind continues.

Our Planet Support System


Every time any animal eats something, it's a "bite" of sunshine energy. That energy is supplied by plants and photosynthesis. This mini unit gives students an idea of how much plants and animals rely on each other for life!

Pieces and Parts


Every part of a plant or animal is made in a certain way so that it can do a certain kind of job. All the parts must work together to keep the plant or animal healthy and alive.

Responsible Resources


Life on Earth is dependent on Earth's natural resources. In this mini-unit, students will learn about these resources, and will discover how we need to balance use of these without overusing them.

Weather or not it Happens


That's right, weather is going to happen! But this mini unit gives you a chance to learn about weather, how to measure it, and even how to forecast what could happen tomorrow!

Soil Organism Study


With a simple, reusable aparatus, students easily extract, collect, and study the characteristiscs of small arthropods in soil samples. This kit reveals the teeming multitudes of living organisms found in the smallest sample of common, garden-variety soil. This kit also serves as a valuable extension to the Biology and Chemistry of Soil Experiment kit also housed in the IALF Lending Library.

Weather Watchers kit


There are many ways to describe weather; temperature, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall, and much more. Models can help us understand how weather works. This unit builds models of wind guages, and makes fake snow blizzards, tornadoes, and more!

Soils Kit


This jumbo kit includes all kinds of great things for implementing a soils unit for younger students. A small microscope, microscope slides, books about soil, small seedling flower pots, lesson and resource binder, magnifying glasses, and more are included in this kit. Note that this kit is stored in a large plastic tote, so local pickup and dropoff would be preferred.

What Comes around Comes Around


The circle of life is truly a circle. Nutrients must recycle from dead things, to plants, and then to animals. This mini unit gives students a chance to see how air, land, and water are all involved in the circle of life.

Watershed Decisions


Introduce students to things that can impact a watershed, and some steps that could improve watersheds. This kit includes large, laminated maps, instruction cards, punch cups, and a lesson plan. Students will be instructed to use different colors of food coloring to simulate the polution at different parts of the watershed. They will then use that visual to discuss and make decisions for a plan moving forward, as if they were a part of the area's watershed committee.

Addressing Early Misconceptions of Agriculture


This kit includes resources designed to help young students learn the basics of agriculture.

Agricultural About … Books


Many students create books in school. Why not make one about agriculture? This kit includes sample materials for students to learn about farm animals.

Farm a Month


The Farm a Month kit provides an exciting way for teachers, families, and classroom volunteers to engage preschool and elementary age students in agricultural-based lessons throughout the year. The kit was developed with the goal of helping foster conversations about where food and fiber comes from.

Farm Charm


With this kit, students will learn about elements of what is found on a farm and place representative items in a small bag.

Farm Scholar; Bushels or Bust


This interactive activity will teach students about economics, by having them make decisions that farmers would make in real life. Students will learn about risk, supply and demand, and fluctuating markets.

Farm to Cart


This fun, simple game helps young students understand the general concept of where food products come from. Students will roll dice to harvest crops and livestock from the farm and place them in their cart.

Farmer Grows a Rainbow


Help young students understand how food and nutrition meet with this curriculum. Lessons accommodate the MyPlate nutrition format.

Farmers & Gardeners


What's the difference between a farmer and a gardener? This kit includes printed, laminated cards to help young students sort photos of things farmers work with (large machinery, bags of seeds, etc.), things gardeners work with (hand tools, packets of seeds, etc.), and things both need (soil, water, and sun).

Many Hats of an Iowa Farmer kit


Help students learn about the many roles of a farmer with this highly interactive dress-up activity. Students will have the opportunity to dress up as a job that a farmer is tasked with. Professions like agronomist, businessperson, mechanic, and meteorologist are discussed. This is a very large and extensive kit, taking up two large storage totes. Please plan for local pick-up and drop-off if you'd like to use this kit.

My Farm Web


Young students will explore agriculture connections by creating a 3-D concept map of agricultural products. By distinguishing relationships and linking phrases, students will be exposed to the way agriculture touches their everyday lives.

Source Search Kit


Students of all ages can learn about where products come from with this thought-provoking kit. Spoiler alert: all items either come from a farm or the natural world! This activity is a great way to start any new agriculture or natural resource unit.

Very Hungry Iowa Caterpillar


What would the Very Hungry Caterpillar eat if he was in Iowa? Find out with this kit!

Food Check-Out Week


This kit is used to celebrate American food and as a bridge to National Nutrition month in March.

Grocery Bag Search kit (corn, soybeans, beef)


In this kit, you will find three medium-sized plastic totes filled with examples of products that come from corn, soybeans, and beef cattle. For example, the corn tote includes not only corn chips, but also vitamin D, ketchup, and other interesting items.

Iowa Agriculture Breakout Activity


Harness the excitement of a breakout room in your classroom with a breakout box activity. This kit includes two identical breakout box sets to be used to have a friendly competition in your classroom to see which group can solve the puzzle the fastest. This kit focuses on Iowa agriculture to help students find the missing cornbread recipe!

It's Dinner Time


There's an old saying that we are what we eat! In this mini unit you get to test food for what nutrients are in it, figure out how many calories of energy you need, and discover the importance and amounts needed of varous nutrients.

What's for Lunch


We all ask this question, but most of us don't know what is all involved in getting food. This mini unit explores how the natural world gets its food and recycles materials to keep the planet going!

Where in the World Food Cards and Map


This kit contains the materials necessary to complete the activities for the National Agriculture in the Classroom lesson titled The Columbian Exchange of Old and New Foods. The kit includes food cards, a large fabric map, an answer key, and the corresponding lesson plan.

Animals on the Farm!


This kit contains a reproducible coloring sheet as well as samples of wool, felt, grain, and feed samples for students to observe.

Beef Book Word Blocks


With this super-sized kit, students can literally build sentences! Vocabulary words from the My Family's Beef Farm book are mounted on carboard blocks, which elementary students can use to build sentences, sort into word type, sort into number of sylables per word, or many other great activities!

Beef Book Word Strips


Using vocabulary words from the My Family's Beef Farm book, this kit has word strips that are perfect for creating sentences on desktops or on a white board. Have students write the main idea of the story, define a new word, or sort the words to help build their literary skills!

Build a Calf kit


Students can start learning about simple Mendelian genetics with this kit and lesson. Students will roll dice or flip a coin to learn what trait their calf's parents will pass on, and will then analyze the traits to learn about dominant and recessive traits. Students finish the activity by coloring a picture of their calf based on the traits they discover the parents passed on.

Chicken Genetics Matching Activity


Match parents to offpsring with this chicken genetics activity set.

Chicken Life Cycle Exploration Set


This high-quality kit includes 21 plastic eggs that show illustrations of a chick's embryonic development of that day, from fertilization to hatching.

Countdown To Hatch


Help your students understand embryology with this kit. The kit includes 21 colored plastic eggs with paper inserts that give illustrations for each day of the chick's development. Students can open a new egg each day to learn about how the chick is developing.

Dress Up a Cow


This engaging dress up activity helps students learn the structures and functions of cattle versus humans. Meant to be used as an activity after reading My Family's Beef Farm, this kit includes materials to dress up a student with cow ears, a "leather" vest, a flyswatter tail, and more to illustrate what makes cattle, cattle!

Parent/Offspring Chicken Breeds Activity cards


This kit contains informational cards with photos and information of major chicken breeds. An activity guide is also included.

Decision Making Probability and Risk Assessment


This module is an outstanding teaching tool for helping students develop a greater understanding of how mathematical reasoning can be used to make decisions every day. Activities like rolling marbles, number cubes, and coin tosses introduce probability. After reading several historic cases, students are presented with a hypothetical life-or-death decision involving an epidemic disease. They are asked to make recommendations about ways to reduce the risks associated with local emergency or disaster situations that could be either natural or human-caused. The assessment emphasis is placed on student understanding of trade-offs and decisions. Kit includes teacher guide.

Renewable Energy Science Education Kit


Renewable energy is the wave of the future and you can discover how it works with this educational science kit. Experiment with a hydrogen fuel cell, solar energy, wind turbines, and water electrolysis. An entire miniature renewable energy system can be constructed on a small scale. This set includes a wind turbine module, a solar photovoltaic panel, an electrolyzer, a PEM fuel cell, and hydrogen storage system. You'll be able to learn the whole system step by step, configure it in different ways, and visualize the workings of clean energy principles from start to finish. A complete manual that explains the technology and defines experiments is included on CD.

Transportation Breakout Kit


Learn about transportation and its role in agriculture with this engaging breakout box activity! Students must solve a series of riddles or research questions to unlock box by box to win! Two identical sets of lock boxes are included in this kit to allow for a class to be broken in two groups.