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. The AgMag has particular appeal to the study of Minnesota history and geography. You’ll get two issues per school year: October and March.
AgMag Theme: Helping You Every Day!
- Agriculture is Everywhere
- Agriculture is in your School and your Home
- How Does Agriculture Help You?
- State Agriculture Symbols and State Events
- For counting activities, students can use the AgMag as a resource. Have them count how many animals are on a page, or how many food items they see.
- Have a State Day where you discuss state symbols, and things that make our state a wonderful and unique place to live. Milk and Honeycrisp apples can be brought in as a state-themed snack.
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.
|Distinguish between individual needs (conditions necessary to survive) and individual wants (conditions desired to be happy). For example: Needs—to be fed, to be free from thirst, to be sheltered. Wants—to be entertained, to be famous, to be strong, to be helpful to others.
|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.
|Distinguish between goods (objects that can be seen or touched) and services (actions or activities). For example: Goods—apple, shirt, toy. Services—haircut, bus ride, bicycle repair.
|English Language Arts
|0.2.1.1 and 0.2.4.4
|With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
|English Language Arts
|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 is Agriculture?
- What are things that come from Agriculture?
- 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.)
Because this may be your student’s first introduction to agriculture, make sure to really emphasize the definition of Agriculture.
Agriculture: Agriculture is making things that grow on farms, like plants and animals, into things that we use.
- Sheep → mittens
- Potato → French Fries
- Tree → Paper
- Chicken → Drumstick
Page 2: Agriculture is in Your School and Your Home
What is Agriculture? (You will want to review the word and its meaning many times to help students solidify their understanding)
Find 8 Items activity:
To help the students get started, remind them that we learned on the cover page that paper comes from trees! What paper items do they see in the picture? Circle it!
Eight items include:
- Paper is made from trees
- Books are made from paper that is made from trees
- Ruler is made from trees
- Glue – some glue contains gelatin from animals
- Carpet can be made from wool from sheep
- Fabric used in displays and learning activities are made from fibers that can come from
plants and animals
- Tabletops and some desks are made from wood, which comes from trees
- Rocking chair is made from wood that comes from trees, and the cushions are made from cotton that grows on cotton plants
Drawing Favorite Food:
- Brainstorm with the class what their favorite foods are. Remind them that all food comes from agriculture.
- Have a few students share their favorite food with the class. Try and help them make the connection of where that food comes from, and how it ties into agriculture
- Ex: Ice cream is made from milk, which comes from a cow!
Page 3: How does Agriculture Help You?
- What is a need, and what is a want? Help students understand the difference.
- I need to drink water every day. I want to eat pizza every day!
Page 4: State Agriculture Symbols
- What is a Symbol?
- What is the symbol for our country? (Point to the flag and explain that it is one symbol for the United States of America).
- What are things or symbols that remind you of Minnesota?
- Have you ever been to the state fair?
You could extend this state symbols page by introducing many of the state symbols in the classroom. Bring in apples, milk, the state flower, a hockey stick (for ice hockey), etc.
Ask the students if they agree with the state symbols, or if they think something else would be a better symbol for the state flower, state food, state sport, state bird, etc.
State Symbols Videos: