Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) provides classroom visits for Pre-K - 5th grade students. Customized lessons and hands-on activities provide students with opportunities to develop an awareness that agriculture is their source of food, clothing, and shelter. Each lesson is aligned to Nebraska State Education Standards within science, social studies, math, or language arts.
By participating in a Classroom Visit, students will:
- Engage in a hands-on activity.
- Understand that agriculture is essential to everyday life.
- Identify agricultural animals and plants grown in Nebraska.
- Explore learning through the lens of the food, fiber, and fuel system.
Agriculture means survival. In Nebraska, 1 in 4 jobs are related to agriculture. Agriculture provides a rich context for Nebraska’s past and present, the environment, food production, nutrition, and economics.
The following lesson opportunities will be available this spring 2020 and are grade specific. Use the link below to sign up for Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom staff to visit your classroom! Please contact Brooke Tempel at (402) 421-4408 or for questions regarding classroom visits.
Go Big Red! Did you know corn is important to every Nebraskan? This lesson introduces students to how corn is grown by farmers, teaches about the natural resources necessary to grow corn, showcases the uses of corn, and engages students in an activity to grow their own corn seed in a necklace.
Seasons of an Apple Tree
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SS 0.3.3.b Identify the four seasons.
Sweet, nutritious, and delicious! How does the apple tree change over the year? This lesson illustrates an apple tree’s growth by having students work as a team to create a display about the four seasons. Students will learn about the life cycle and seasonal changes of an apple tree.
Milk or Meat? You Tell Me.
Nebraska State Standard Connection: LA 0.1.6.e With adult guidance, retell main ideas from informational text and/or media.
Milk or Meat? Beef or Dairy? Students will explore two of Nebraska’s top agricultural industries through an interactive activity; identifying the differences between beef and dairy cattle to determine the commodities produced by each type of cattle.
Seed Sorting for Sources
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SS 1.3.5.b Match resources to their sources (e.g., food from farms, wood from trees, minerals from the ground, fish from the sea).
From resources to sources! Students will explore the importance that seeds play in our daily lives through an interactive game to match Nebraska’s seeds to their food, fiber, or fuel source!
Give Me Five!
Nebraska State Standard Connection: LA 1.3.1.c Utilize appropriate visual and/or digital tools to support verbal communication.
Give me five - of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy that is! Students will develop an awareness that farmers provide an abundance of foods we need to maintain and develop healthy lifestyles. Students will create a visual to help them remember the five food groups and recognize locally grown foods.
Farming in a Glove
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SC 2.72.A What does a plant need to grow?
Let’s think about plants…what do they need to grow? Plants need L.A.W.N.S: light, air, water, nutrients, and space to grow. Nebraska’s farmers serve a vital role in meeting plants’ needs because the availability of resources varies from one ecosystem to another. In this lesson, students will identify what plants need to survive, grow their own plants, and use a scientific journal to track the growth of their farm in a glove.
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SC.2.7.2.B Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
What do bats, bees, and birds have in common? Pollination! Pollination is essential in the lifecycle of a plant. Students will explore pollination in Nebraska crops by developing a simple model using Cheetos to pollinate their own flower. This lesson is sure to create a buzz in your classroom!
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SC.3.7.2.C Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat, some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
Did you know pigs can’t sweat? Like humans and other animals, pigs have four basic needs – air, water, food, and shelter. Pigs raised on farms live in environments that are designed to help farmers meet these needs. Students will design and create a pig barn that will help farmers meet the needs of pigs.
Chicken Little to Chicken Big!
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SC.3.9.3.B Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
Students will identify different breeds of chickens, examine physical characteristics, and determine the stages of a chicken’s life cycle. Then, in a group activity, students will hatch a plan to analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that chickens have traits inherited from parents.
What Goods & Services Can Nebraska Provide?
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SS 4.2.12.a Compare Nebraska with different regions and the goods and services each region produces (e.g., beef, wheat, telemarketing, cotton, coal).
In Nebraska, agriculture means survival. 91% of the land is used for farming and ranching in our state; but how is it used to provide goods and services? In this activity, students will use play-dough to demonstrate how small a proportion of the Earth has the appropriate conditions for successful agricultural activities. Students will engage in critical thinking to discover how Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers make wise use of limited agricultural land while exploring Nebraska’s different climates, landscapes, plants, and animals that provide goods and services.
Beef it Up with Technology!
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SS 4.2.12.b Discuss how technology has affected the specialization of Nebraska’s economy and surrounding states.
Did you know more cows live in Nebraska than people? This lesson teaches about the production of beef from the beginning to the end. Students will discover how farms use to be years ago and the specialization of farms today. Students will identify ways in which farmers and ranchers today utilize technology to care for their livestock. This content is reinforced through cooperative learning with Beef Jeopardy.
From Soybeans to Car Parts
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SS 5.2.12.b Investigate and report on entrepreneurs and inventors.
From entrepreneurs and inventors to soybeans and car parts, students will investigate the collaborative work of an agriculture scientist and engineer who found new uses for soybeans. Students will use critical thinking and creativity to design their very own invention in addition to exploring ways in which we can use by-products from local Nebraska farms.
Nebraska State Standard Connection: SS 5.2.1.a Describe how competition among sellers results in lower costs and prices, higher product quality, and better customer service.
“Cannot predict now” - an answer straight from the magic eight ball. Predicting the price of the futures market can be both complicated and risky. A lot of planning goes into the sale of a farmer’s crop. In order to make the most money, a farmer must predict when he or she will receive the best price for the crop, sometimes even before the crop is planted or harvested resulting in competition among buyers and sellers. In this lesson, students will use M&M’s to see what it is like to predict the futures with their “crop” in hopes of making the most money.
Have you participated in a Classroom Visit? Please volunteer feedback and comments about your recent participation in a Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Visit. All feedback is welcome and will help us to improve the program. In addition, stories are an important tool for education and fundraising efforts. Please share your story with us!