Why Ag in the Classroom?
Agriculture means survival. Over time, fewer and fewer people have close contact with farming and the total agricultural sector. They’re not aware of their own and society’s total dependence on agriculture. People must be agriculturally literate in order to make responsible decisions affecting this giant lifeline.
Teaching students to be agriculturally literate brings their learning to life. Helping students understand the farm-to-table connection is important in our consumer-driven society. That’s what the student Minnesota AgMag Series is all about.
About Your AgMag
The AgMag is a great supplement to your social studies, science, or language arts curriculum. You’ll get two issues per school year: October and March.
AgMag Theme: Grown in Minnesota!
- Minnesota Grown
- Animal Parts
- Why We Trade
- For counting activities, students can use the AgMag as a resource. Have them count how many animals are on page, or how many food items they see.
- Extend the activity on page 4 by having students learn about other kids of foods that are grown all over the world. You could even bring in a sample of foods you might buy at the grocery store and help the students learn where those products came from.
English Language Arts
- Use the AgMag to help students identify different letters and sight words that you are focusing on.
Some words in your AgMag may be unfamiliar to your students. Many are defined in the articles. There is also a glossary on the AgMag website: http://mnagmag.org/glossary/ Words you might wish to pre-teach are:
AGRICULTURE: Growing plants and raising animals that people use for food, clothing and many other things every day. It’s also harvesting those farm products and getting them to us so we can use them. Agriculture is the industry that grows, harvests, processes, and brings us food, fiber, fish, forests, sod, landscaping materials, and more. It uses soil, water, sun, and air to produce its products. The process starts on farms, orchards, gardens, and ranches with the growing and the harvesting of crops and livestock, then moves to processing plants before finally traveling as finished products to stores, farm markets, lumberyards, greenhouses, and more where consumers buy the products. Agriculture is connected in some way with almost everything we eat, wear, and use.
Quote from an Unknown Source: “Agriculture is not simply farming. It’s the supermarket, the equipment factory, the trucking system, the overseas shipping industry, the scientist’s laboratory, the houses we live in, and much more. It has an effect on the air we breathe, the ground we walk on, the water we drink, and the food we eat.
Minnesota Academic Standards Connection
|Social Studies||220.127.116.11.2||Use relative location words and absolute location words to identify the location of a specific place; explain why or when it is important to use absolute versus relative location.|
|Social Studies||18.104.22.168.1||Explain that people trade (voluntarily) when they each expect to be better off after doing so. For example: Barter—a trade with a friend (such as your toy for her book) will happen only if you want her book more than your toy and she wants your toy more than her book.|
|Social Studies||22.214.171.124.1||Compare physical and human characteristics of a local place and a place far away on a globe or map (such as a place in an equatorial or polar region).|
|Science||1L.126.96.36.199||Develop a simple model based on evidence to represent how plants or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.|
|English Language Arts||188.8.131.52||With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1, as well as select texts for personal enjoyment, interest, and academic tasks.|
|English Language Arts||0.2.7.7||With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).|
AgMag Cover: Agriculture is Everywhere!
- What grows in Minnesota?
- Have any of you ever grown plants at your home? Perhaps you have a garden or fruit tree. What grows here?
- What are things that come from Agriculture in Minnesota?
- As this may be the first time your students are hearing this word, you may need to help prompt them in the right direction. (Food, clothing, paper, glue, etc.)
Find it Activity
- Your students may need a little guidance knowing what plants and animals grow on farms in Minnesota.
- Discuss why a pineapple does not grow well here (Pineapple’s need a warmer climate than what Minnesota has), or where Kangaroos are found (in Australia).
- Pine Trees, Potatoes, Peppers, and Sunflowers can be grown in Minnesota.
- Pigs, Horses, and Sheep are raised in Minnesota
- Because agriculture probably new to many of your students, make sure to go over the definition of agriculture.
- Agriculture: Agriculture is making things that grow on farms, like plants and animals, into things that we use.
Page 2: Minnesota Grown
- Where are we located on the map? Students might not know where they live in relation to the overall state of Minnesota, so make sure to help them identify what county you live in. Have them draw a star in that county to help them remember.
Make sure to note that vegetables can grow almost anywhere in Minnesota! This map will give students a good idea of what can grow where, but it isn’t all encompassing–many plants and animals will be found growing in other parts of Minnesota too.
Page 3: Animal Parts
Ask students what parts make a cow unique? A Horse? A pig? Explain that animals have special parts that help them grow and live.
1st Photo → Tails
2nd Photo → Udders
3rd Photo → Split Hooves
4th Photo → Wool
Page 4: Why We Trade
- What does it mean to trade?
- What are crops that Minnesota farmers might trade with other farmers who don’t live here?
You could extend this activity by having students choose a different state or country and learn what crops are grown in that place. They could interview their parents/guardians or neighbors who might have traveled to a unique place and could learn more about the foods that were grown there.