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Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

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Lesson Plans (26)

A Search for the Source (Grades 6-8)

In this lesson students will learn that agriculture provides nearly all of the products we rely on in any given day by participating in a relay where they match an everyday item with its "source." Grades 6-8

AgVenture: Sourcing Ag Careers

Students consider the scope of agriculture and how it is the source of most of our day-to-day necessities in preparation to explore the five agricultural career pathways. Grades 6-8

Agritourism: Extreme Farm Makeover

Through project-based learning, students will work in groups to design an agritourism experience that will increase profits for a family-owned farm and provide agricultural literacy opportunities for community members. Grades 6-8

Career Gaming

Through project-based learning, students will design games that will assist others with identifying a variety of agricultural careers, possible emerging agricultural careers, the education required for agricultural career options, and the types of salaries that can be expected in each career. Grades 6-8

Career Trek

Students will explore careers in the fields of agriculture and natural resources through online research. They will check their understanding by playing Career Trek—a board game that requires students to identify careers in agriculture and natural resources. Grades 6-8

Charting Agricultural Careers

Students will use infographics and charts to explore the careers that produce food, clothing, shelter, and fuel along with a variety of agricultural STEM careers requiring critical thinkers and problem solvers. Grades 6-8

Cheesemaking: A Science, an Art, and a Craft

Students make fresh mozzarella cheese and explore a career as an artisan cheesemaker as they discover the science, art, and craft involved in the development of specialty cheeses. Grades 6-8

Cruisin' for a Bruisin' Food Packaging Specialist

In this lesson students will learn that product packaging is a balance between function, food safety, and economics by designing a protective package for shipping perishable fruit. Each package will be presented to the class for evaluation, and the best design will be shipped to test the product's durability. Grades 6-8

Culinary Concepts

Through project-based learning, students will develop and manufacture a unique and nutritious food product that includes ingredients that have been sourced locally and can be served in retail outlets or the school cafeteria. Grades 6-8

DNA: Expressions in Agriculture

This lesson centers around the activity of extracting DNA from a strawberry while highlighting careers in biotechnology and agriculture. Grades 6-8

Energy Bar Exploration

Through project-based learning, students will develop, market, and brand a healthy energy bar and packaging to be sold to a target audience. Grades 6-8

Find Your Future Career (Grades 6-8)

Students discover the variety of agricultural careers available and consider their career paths in terms of economics, interests, and suitability to their personal talents and characteristics. Grades 6-8

Food Safety Sleuths- Food Safety Specialist

In this lesson students will learn about foodborne illness, its prevention, and the people and organizations that are involved in food safety. Students will conduct an experiment to learn how hand-washing affects the presence of bacteria on their hands. Grades 6-8

Food Scientist for a Day

Students focus on the science involved in the production of our food and explore the high-tech aspects of agricultural production as they learn about careers in food science. Grades 6-8

Fueling Up for a Career in Biofuel

Students will recognize the importance of fuel energy and the fact that agriculture can produce biofuel; students will identify career opportunities in the biofuel industry. Grades 6-8

GPS and GIS Technology in Agriculture

Students will explore technical careers in agriculture and learn how GPS and GIS technologies are used to improve agricultural production. Grades 6-8

Grow it Now, Drive it Later?

Students will discover potential careers in agriculture with a focus on the growing field of biofuel development. Grades 6-8

Journey 2050 Lesson 6: Careers (Grades 6-8)

Students will explore careers related to agriculture, identify personal interests within agriculture or a related field and discuss how agricultural professionals can impact world food. Grades 6-8

Mind Your Own Beeswax

Through project-based learning, students solve the problem of excess beeswax, a byproduct of honey bees, by developing a useful beeswax product and marketing their product to be sold in a local boutique or farmers market. Grades 6-8

Mix It Up! Food Scientist

In this lesson, students will model the responsibilities of a food scientist by working in product development teams to create a new food product. Tasks will involve market analysis, economics, food chemistry and safety, graphic design, and communication. 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

Serious Cereal Science

Students will develop an appreciation for the extensive materials and career fields provided by agriculture, specifically as related to cereal grain production, processing, and consumption. Activities include playing a game in which students become agronomy specialists, mapping the top grain-producing states, and watching videos about careers related to grain production. Grades 6-8

Spice-up Space Food

Through project-based learning, students work in groups to create a flavorful and nutritious meal for astronauts to eat in space. They experience careers in food and nutrition, food science, and marketing, research different ways to preserve foods, and discover how food is taken to and eaten in space. 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

Think in Pictures: Like Dr. Grandin (Grades 6-8)

Students will explore cattle flight zones and work as agricultural engineers to design a corral system that uses the research of Dr. Temple Grandin. Grades 6-8

Companion Resources (29)

An Agricultural Interview
This activity prepares students to interview someone in an agricultural career. Students will gain a greater awareness of the role agriculture plays in the American economy, practice oral and written communication skills, and learn about numerous agricultural careers.
Career Trek Game
Career Trek is an interactive game for up to four players. The object of the game is for students to be able to name 10 careers in agriculture and natural resources. The kit includes 10 game boards for a classroom of 40 middle school students. Order this game online from
Agronomy - Grow with It!
Agronomy Grow with It! explores the science of agriculture. Agronomy is the science we use to grow the crops that feed us, feed our livestock, and even fuel our cars. It's a science that tackles the big challenge of our future: How can we grow enough food to end world hunger and, at the same time, adapt to a changing climate and protect our environment? This book introduces you to 20 real agronomists who face that challenge every day.
Careers in Agriculture
A secondary level e-book designed as a guide for students and young people considering their career opportunities by presenting them with a current, in-depth, thorough, and real view of the agricultural industry. Each page is equipped with interactive links to videos, further reading, and more.
Casper Jaggi: Master Swiss Cheese Maker
Have you ever wondered why Swiss cheese has holes? You'll find out in this story about a Swiss cheese maker named Casper Jaggi. Casper Jaggi was only six years old when his father taught him how to make cheese in the Swiss Alps. In 1913, Jaggi left Switzerland in search of new opportunities in the United States. Like many other Swiss, he settled in Green County, Wisconsin, where the rolling hills dotted with grazing cows reminded him of home. And soon, he'd be turning cow's milk into cheese, just as he did in Switzerland. The book opens the doors to Jaggi's Brodhead Swiss Cheese Factory—largest factory of its kind in Wisconsin in the 1950s. Archival photos help illustrate, step-by-step, the process Jaggi and his workers followed to transform 2,000 pounds of milk in a copper kettle into a 200-pound wheel of Swiss cheese. Jaggi was one of the many European immigrants  who helped establish Wisconsin's reputation for delicious cheese. The Artisan cheese makers crafting award-winning cheeses today are continuing this rich tradition in America's Dairyland.
Strawberry Ag Mag
The Strawberry Ag Mag was written for elementary and middle school students. In this issue, students learn about the history of the strawberry, hybridization, the life cycle and anatomy of the strawberry plant, careers, and more. The reader can be viewed by students electronically on individual devices, as a class with a projector, or printed.
Living Science Careers Equipment Bags
This is a great resource to help your students better understand the exciting and diverse array of STEM employment opportunities in food, agriculture, and natural resources. Each kit comes with yarn, signs, and seven Living Science Careers Equipment Bags, all in a sturdy plastic storage container. Order this kit online from
Mozzarella Cheese Kit
Making mozzarella cheese in the classroom can provide an engaging opportunity to discuss food processing, the science of enzymes and proteins, careers, and more. This kit includes rennet (enzymes), and citric acid (acid), two of the components used in the cheesemaking process. Order this kit online from
Planet Zorcon
This interactive group activity will help your students understand the limited resources available for consumption on earth. Students will work in groups to explore the connection between individual behavior and resource use, explain the differences between renewable and nonrenewable resources, and identify careers related to natural resource management. Order this kit online from
Serious Cereal Science Kit
Use this kit to introduce students to careers that keep cereal on grocery store shelves. Just as grains were foundational in the advent of agriculture thousands of years ago, they continue to play a central role in agriculture and food security today. Corn, rice, and wheat provide more than half of the calories consumed by people worldwide. The science of cereal science is serious business! Order this kit online from
Map: The Most Common Job in Every State
Use this interactive map of the United States to see which job is most common in each state. Statistics can be viewed and compared from 1978 until 2014.
"Cheese Science-As Gouda as TV Gets" Video Series
The Utah Education Network (UEN) website has a series of 25 three minute video clips about cheese and food science.  The videos teach science, chemistry, and physics principles in addition to highlighting many careers in related fields.  
Agricultural Careers Prezi
This Agricultural Career Prezi can supplement a secondary lesson on careers by showing a variety of agriculturally related careers organized by career pathways. Explore careers in plant and animal science, business, science and engineering, education, communication, service, and natural resources.
Agricultural Engineering Video
Use this 8-minute video clip to profile a career in Agricultural Engineering.  Learn how agricultural engineers apply engineering technology and science to help farmers be more productive, reduce environmental impacts, and keep our food affordable, safe, healthy and delicious.
Career Profile Video: Educator & Agronomist
Learn from Catherine Swoboda about being an educator and agronomist. Discover how she became interested in the field and how she has used her education to help alleviate hunger by increasing education on the production of food.
Careers in Agriculture Videos
This collection of 40 short videos highlights a wide variety of careers in agriculture and natural resources. Each video is one to four minutes long and features an interview with a professional working in an agricultural field. Give your students time to explore these videos on their own or select a few to show in class. Allow students to hear directly from a plant scientist, a cheese production manager, an algae farmer, or a GIS specialist and learn how these professionals chose the career paths that got them where they are today.
Connecting to Agriculture
This 17-minute video is a great way for students to learn about how agriculture connects to their lives. Animation, fun facts, and farmers tell the story of agriculture and how it relates to economics, science, and business. Interwoven through the commodity stories of corn, cotton, apples, dairy, and soybeans are important concepts such as: biodegradable properties, renewable resources, biotechnology, foreign trade, pest management, conservation practices, and food quality. Order this DVD online from
Field to Film Career Snapshots
Explore more than 20 agriculture-related careers with these "snapshot" videos. The video playlist features careers on the farm as well as many others in sales, technology, education, and more.
Growing Today for Tomorrow
Farmers have the biggest job on earth. The population is increasing — yet farmland isn't — so farmers have taken on the responsibility of producing more high-quality crops with fewer resources. This 3.5-minute video illustrates the remarkable improvements that have been made in agricultural efficiency and productivity while bringing home the challenges that the future holds. The attention-grabbing message makes for a great introduction to any lesson on agricultural production or careers in agriculture. 
T. Marzetti Virtual Field Trip
1-hour recorded field trip to the Marzetti Innovation Center in Columbus Ohio. Learn how soybean oil is used to create dressings, dips, sauces and bakery items for the T. Marzetti Company. The field trip highlights the science used to develop these products and introduces students to numerous careers in the food science industry. 
Taking Care of Business (DVD)
Help your students understand the difference between a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and cooperative with this video from the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. This 10-minute DVD highlights the distinguishing details of each type of business structure and gives examples that students can relate to. A great video for Business CTE or basic economics courses. Order this DVD online from
Living Science Career Cards (posters or mini-posters)
The Living Science Career Cards feature 32 science careers associated with our nation's food, agricultural, and natural resource system. This is a great resource to help your students better understand the exciting and diverse array of employment opportunities for scientists working to generate new knowledge and to advance technology. These cards are available for free download.
Ag & Food Careers
This website, put together by a partnership of agricultural organizations in Pennsylvania, has agricultural career resources that are applicable to all states. See over 50 careers in agriculture through videos, and infographics on the Ag & Food Careers List. Additionally, there is an Educator Resource section that includes 4 web scavenger hunts to guide students through the videos.
Careers for Green Thumbs
Students interested in a plant science career can use this website to find information on specialized career paths in the fields of agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Discover the demand for nursery and greenhouse workers, horticulturists, florists, flower specialists, and more. 
Corteva Grows Science: Outreach Career Paths
Explore science-related career paths such as those available at Corteva Agriscience. Explore career-path PDFs and career videos.