Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
Lesson Plans (16)
A Tale of Two Burgers: Beef and Plant-based Protein
Students will compare the components of beef and plant-based burgers by determining the production and processing methods of each product; evaluate the ingredients and nutritional differences between beef and plant-based products; and discuss different points of view in the agricultural industry concerning plant-based proteins and traditional beef.
At Home on the Range (Grades 3-5)
Students will learn about rangelands by participating in a hands-on activity of growing their own grass to represent a beef or sheep ranch.
At Home on the Range (Grades 6-8)
Students will learn about rangelands by participating in a hands-on activity to grow their own grass to represent a beef or sheep ranch.
Students will explain the importance of the beef cattle industry, including the products cattle produce, the production process from farm to plate, and how cattle can utilize and obtain energy from grass and other forage.
Beef: Making the Grade
Students will evaluate the USDA grading system for whole cuts of beef and discuss consumer preferences and nutritional differences between grain-finished and grass-finished beef. Students will also distinguish various labels on beef products and discuss reasons for the government’s involvement in agricultural production, processing and distribution of food.
Students will explore concepts of heredity in beef cattle and identify dominant and recessive traits.
Carbon Hoofprints: Cows and Climate Change
Students will explore the carbon cycle and evaluate the carbon footprint of cattle. Using critical thinking skills, students will use the Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning model to determine the effect of cows’ methane production on the environment and investigate the extent cattle contribute to climate change.
Caring for the Land
Students will explain why people have different opinions regarding soil management and identify cause and effect relationships relating to agriculture and the environment.
Making a Brand for Ourselves the "Cowboy" Way
Students will explore cowboy culture and history and learn about 19th-century Texas cattle trails. Activities include writing cowboy poetry, mapping historic cattle trails, and creating cattle brands.
Milk or Meat? Beef or Dairy?
Students will identify the differences between beef and dairy cattle and determine the commodities produced by each type of cattle.
Right This Very Minute
Students will read Right This Very Minute—a table-to-farm book about food production and farming—and diagram the path of production for a processed product. Students will study a map to discover where different commodities are grown and write a thank-you letter to farmers in their local community.
Roll of the Genes
Students will learn about genes and how they affect important traits such as growth, reproduction, disease resistance, and behavior. Students will also discover the responsibilities of an animal geneticist.
The Cattle Drive and Westward Expansion
Students will gain a greater understanding of the historical context and purpose of the cattle drives that took place in the mid 1880s. Students will be able to explain the cause and effect relationships of life on the frontier including, population growth, and later the invention and use of barbed wire, refrigeration, and railroads.
The QUEST for the Whole Enchilada
This lesson utilizes a process learning model to recognize how the Columbian Exchange and early Spanish explorers impacted the culture and cuisine of the Southwest United States. Students will participate in a food lab to make enchiladas and learn about the production of each ingredient.
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.
Where Does It Come From?
Students will explore the connection between geography, climate, and the type of agriculture in an area by reading background information and census data about the agricultural commodities beef, potatoes, apples, wheat, corn, and milk.
Companion Resources (37)
Lose a Million Bacteria The Game
Based on the popular TV game show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, this activity allows students to put their food safety knowledge to the test. It reinforces safe food handling practices, promotes cooperative learning, encourages class participation, and reviews food safety in a fun, interactive way. On Day 1, students create their own evaluation questions based on what they’ve learned from the Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety video, activities, and labs. Then, on Day 2, they play the game, using the questions as an evaluation exercise.
The Very Hungry Western Caterpillar
Beef Cattle in the Story of Agriculture
Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest
Levi's Lost Calf
My Family's Farm Book Series
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
Ranch Starter Kit
Need a great way to connect students to rangeland? Have them start their own ranch! This kit includes 35 jiffy peat pellet pots and enough grass seed to fill each pot. As your class learns about cattle grazing throughout our history, each student will be able to see how grazing can help - or hurt - rangeland, and will understand the importance of keeping our lands healthy. Order this kit online from agclassroomstore.com.