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New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

Lesson Plans (16)

At Home on the Range (Grades 6-8)

Students investigate rangelands by growing their own grass to represent a beef or sheep ranch. Grades 6-8

Hungry Pests

This lesson teaches about invasive species: what they are, the threats they pose, and damages they can cause. Students will identify individual pests and invasive species and discover what they threaten, where they live, and the pathways hungry pests use to enter new locations. Finally students move into action and explore what they can do to prevent the spread of invasive species. Grades 6-8

It's a Dirty Job

In this lesson, students will create mini habitats to observe earthworm behavior and learn about the important role that earthworms play in decomposition and plant growth. Grades 6-8

Journey 2050 Lesson 1: Sustainable Agriculture (Grades 6-8)

Students will explore the core question, “How will we sustainably feed nearly 10 billion people by the year 2050?” as they discover what sustainable agriculture is and how it is critical to securing a stable food supply and future for a growing population. Grades 6-8

Journey 2050 Lesson 2: Soil Nutrients (Grades 6-8)

Students will identify nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus as primary soil nutrients necessary in the production of abundant and healthy foods, describe various methods of replenishing soil nutrients that have been depleted by plant growth, discover how overall plant health impacts a plant’s ability to resist disease and pests and describe what best management practices are in agriculture to improve overall sustainability. Grades 6-8

Journey 2050 Lesson 3: Water (Grades 6-8)

Students will discuss the limited amount of fresh water on earth, identify how best management practices can reduce water consumption, discuss the need for water conservation and protection, and compare and contrast methods of irrigation for water conservation. Grades 6-8

Journey 2050 Lesson 5: Land Use (Grades 6-8)

Students will recognize that arable land (ideal land for growing crops) is a limited resource, identify best management practices that can be applied to every stakeholder’s land-use decisions; and analyze and discuss the impacts of food waste on our environment. Grades 6-8

Land and Soil in the Ecosystem

Students use an apple to represent the Earth and discover how our land resources are used. Through critical thinking, students discover why topsoil is a nonrenewable resource, the importance of soil to our food supply, and factors that impact topsoil distribution in different regions. Grades 6-8

Learn, Protect, and Promote Water!

In this lesson students learn about water sources, water pollution, and water protection. Students participate in an activity where they demonstrate the water cycle and see the potential for our water supply to become contaminated. Grades 6-8

Overfishing and Aquaculture (Grades 6-8)

Students discover the sources of various fish and seafood, compare wild-caught and farm-raised aquaculture systems, and use a simulation to learn how overfishing can damage the ocean ecosystem. Grades 6-8

Photoperiod Phenomena (Grades 6-8)

Students will understand how photoperiodism impacts plants and animals in the environment and learn how egg farms use this science to manage the laying of eggs by their hens. Grades 6-8

Planet Zorcon (Grades 6-8)

Students explore the connection between individual behavior and resource use, learn the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources, and identify careers related to natural resource management by playing an active, futuristic simulation game in which teams have to collect limited resources from "Planet Zorcon." Grades 6-8

Soil and Sustainability (Grades 6-8)

Students are introduced to the Dust Bowl and determine how to avoid another event like it in the future as they study soil texture, particle sizes, soil nutrients, and pH. Grades 6-8

The Remarkable Ruminant

In this lesson, students will follow the farm to fork process of producing beef, learn how cattle and other ruminants convert grass into nutrient-rich foods such as milk and meat, discover ways cattle recycle food waste, and identify careers in the beef cattle industry. Grades 6-8

Water Quality

Students investigate the effects of added soil nutrients on water quality, perform chemical and physical tests on water samples, collect and identify macroinvertebrates from a freshwater system and compare physical, chemical and biological factors of an aquatic ecosystem to determine water health. Grades 6-8

Watersheds, Soil Profiles, and Erosion

Students develop an understanding of what factors impact water quality within watersheds, what soil types/profiles are most susceptible to erosion, and what factors impact water quality within watersheds and how to mitigate erosion on susceptible soils. Grades 6-8

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