"Are there any similarities among the animals and the plants?"
"Do any of these plants and animals produce food that you eat?"
"What products do these plants and animals provide for humans to use?"
"Where would you find these plants and animals?"
Activity 1: Matching Products to Sources
Discuss the information contained in the Background Agricultural Connections, then pass out the Matching Product to Source activity sheet. Students should match the product with its agricultural source.
Timber: paper, pencils, potpourri, houses
Dairy Cattle: cheese, ice cream, yogurt
Cotton: blue jeans, paper, shirts
Flowers: perfume, potpourri
Wheat: spaghetti, tortillas, cereal
Read Farming by Gail Gibbons aloud to the class and highlight the sources of the agricultural products mentioned in the book. Point out the different plant and animal habitats found on the farm and compare their survival needs.
Activity 2: Alphabetizing Agriculture
Discuss with the students other products that come from agriculture.
Hand out the Alphabetizing Agriculture activity sheet. Discuss the bold-faced heading words to ensure the students' understanding.
Discuss the vocabulary words to make sure students are familiar with each agricultural product.
Review the skill of alphabetizing. Have students write the vocabulary words in alphabetical order on the lines under each heading. (This could be a homework exercise with parental input). Answer key:
After students complete the alphabetizing exercise, they should complete the Word Find.
Review terms found in the Word Find and ask the students to either identify what agriculture commodity the item comes from or to identify what items the commodity produces. For example, butter comes from dairy cattle and sheep produce wool that is woven into socks or sweaters.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
Agriculture provides the basic necessities of life; the food we eat and the items we use every day.
Animals produce milk, meat, and eggs for our diet.
Plants produce fruits, vegetables, and grains for our diet.
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Download the Farm To Cart game from American Farm Bureau. Divide the class into two groups to play the game.
Have the students make mosaic pictures about agriculture using seeds (wheat, corn, soybeans, etc.). These seeds can be obtained from a farmer, local grain elevator or some hobby and craft supply stores. Help the students identify each seed before starting the art project. Ask students to draw a simple agricultural scene on poster board. Spread glue in just one section of the picture and add seeds. Continue to spread glue in sections one at a time, and add seeds until the picture is complete. Let the picture dry thoroughly before moving it. Allow time for the students to share their mosaics with the class and explain how their picture represents agriculture.
Using a wall map of the United States, ask students to think about agricultural products grown or raised in certain parts of the country (examples: Florida and California-oranges, Gulf of Mexico-seafood). Ask the students to consider why the products are produced in these locations? Have groups draw the products or cut pictures out from magazines to attach to the classroom map.
Adopt an Agriculturalist. Many teachers find it educational to have someone involved in production agriculture "adopt" their class. The students correspond regularly with the farmer or rancher's family to practice writing skills and learn about the day-to-day operation of the farm or ranch. The family may send photographs or videos, grain or feed samples, and other items from the farm or ranch. In turn, the students can write to the family to ask questions or react to what they have learned. Before students are involved, the teacher and family should set goals for the program. Establish a regular correspondence schedule to keep students interested. Invite the farm family to visit the classroom or schedule a field trip to the farm.
Identify goods and services that could satisfy a specific need or want.
For example: The need to be free from thirst could be satisfied by water, milk or orange juice. The desire (want) to be entertained could be satisfied by a toy, an amusement park ride or watching a movie.
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Culture, Society, Economy & Geography
Identify plants and animals grown or raised locally that are used for food, clothing, shelter, and landscapes (T5.K-2.d)
Trace the sources of agricultural products (plant or animal) used daily (T5.K-2.f)
Food, Health, and Lifestyle
Recognize that agriculture provides our most basic necessities: food, fiber, energy and shelter (T3.K-2.b)
Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy
Identify animals involved in agricultural production and their uses (i.e., work, meat, dairy, eggs) (T2.K-2.b)
Identify examples of feed/food products eaten by animals and people (T2.K-2.c)