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New York Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

Lesson Plans (7)

Agricultural Land Use

Students explore the impact of fertilizer on algae growth, soil erosion, and agricultural soil and water conservation practices. Grades 9-12

Fertilizers and the Environment (Grades 9-12)

Students will recognize that fertile soil is a limited resource, describe the role fertilizer plays in increasing food productivity, distinguish between organic and commercial fertilizers, describe how excess nutrients are harmful to the environment, and identify different sources of nutrient pollution. Grades 9-12

Pig Power: Creating Biogas and Renewable Energy

After exploring the science of energy and energy conversion, students will evaluate some environmental impacts of hog farming and explore technologies that minimize negative human impact by creating biogas energy from animal waste. Grades 9-12

Planet Zorcon (Grades 9-12)

Explore the use of natural resources and how humans impact the environment. Discover the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources and identify careers related to natural resource management by playing a futuristic simulation game in which teams have to collect limited resources from "Planet Zorcon." Grades 9-12


Students evaluate the growth of human populations across time, analyze graphic data to make predictions about future population growth, research country statistics to evaluate demographic transition, and participate in a simulation of a village reliant on subsistence farming. Students begin to develop a sense for the Earth's carrying capacity and how humans have impacted it. Grades 9-12

The Carbon Cycle and Climate Smart Agriculture

Students explore the carbon cycle, evaluate natural and human-induced activities that drive the carbon cycle, and discover climate smart agricultural practices that can be used to produce our food. Grades 9-12

The Water Footprint of Food

Explore concepts of sustainability by evaluating the water footprint (WF) of food. Students are introduced to irrigation practices throughout the world, consumptive and non-consumptive water use, and investigate the water requirements for various food crops. Grades 9-12

Companion Resource (1)


The Man Who Tried to Feed the World
The Man Who Tried to Feed the World recounts the story of the man who would not only solve India’s famine problem, but would go on to lead a “Green Revolution” of worldwide agriculture programs, saving countless lives. He was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work but spent the rest of his life watching his methods and achievements come under increasing fire. This documentary provides context for discussions about the Green Revolution, plant breeding methods, accomplishments in selective breeding, conserving natural resources, responding to political pressures, protecting the environment, and providing food to a growing population. The full documentary is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime