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National Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

Companion Resource

Apple Land Use Model

Imagine the Earth as an apple. Use this large, 18"X18" Apple Land Use Model to demonstrate how the distribution of the Earth's water and land resources affects food production. The model is made up of two layers of durable styrene board with a handle on the back of the bottom layer. The top layer is cut into sections and held to the bottom layer by magnets. Remove the top layers of the apple to reveal the images underneath. Order this model online at


Use the following narrative with the Apple Land Use Model to demonstrate the how the distribution of Earth's water and land resources affects food production.


  1. Hold up the Apple Land Use Model. "This apple represents the planet Earth."
  2. Remove and hold up the 3/4 piece. "Nearly three-quarters of the Earth is covered in water."
  3. Point to the remaining 1/4 of the apple. "The remaining quarter represents land area."
  4. Remove and hold up the 1/8 piece. "This section represents uninhabitable land including deserts, mountains, and polar regions that are not suitable for people to live or grow crops."
  5. Remove and hold up the 3/32 piece. "This section represents habitable, but non-arable land. People can live on this land, but crops cannot be grown because it is too rocky, hot, wet, or it has been developed."
  6. Remove and hold up the 1/32 piece. "Only 1/32 of the Earth's surface has the potential to grow crops. This section represents arable land."
  7. Point to the top layer of dark brown soil. "This small section of topsoil represents all the soil on Earth upon which humans depend for food production."
National Center for Agricultural Literacy
National Center for Agricultural Literacy
Lessons Associated with this Resource