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National Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

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Agricultural Pests
The crops we eat are constantly at risk of harm from pests. But what are these pests? In this activity, students will develop a definition of an agricultural pest that is meaningful to them and identify categories of pests such as insects, rodents, mollusks, weeds, and diseases.
Are there ingredients from GE Plants in my Food?
In this activity, students will examine a variety of foods and their ingredients to determine which foods contain ingredients that may have come from genetically engineered plants.
Genetic Engineering in Crops (Grades 6-8)
In addition to selective breeding, genetic engineering tools such as transgenics and CRISPR gene editing can be used by plant breeders to solve agricultural challenges. Plants can be engineered to be more nutritious, more resistent to pests, drought tolerant, etc. This activity challenges students to match several crops and the challenges faced in growing them to potential solutions that could be reached with genetic engineering.
Making a New Apple Cultivar
Pair this activity with lessons on selective breeding. Students will identify desirable genetic traits in apples and use a coin flip to simulate the steps and time involved to breed a new cultivar of apple. 
Nutrient Supply Activity
In this activity, students will explore the global problem of hunger and nutrient availability along with techniques that are being used to improve nutrient supplies where shortages exist. Students will also exercise their ability to identify credible information sources.