AgMag Spring 2017-2018 Lesson And Activity Ideas

AgMag Lesson & Activity Ideas

Lesson Ideas

Increasing Food Production with Precision Agriculture

This hands-on lesson teaches students how precision agriculture uses geographic information systems (GIS) to help farmers and manufacturers make smart, efficient, and responsible decisions about how and when they plant, grow, irrigate, harvest, and transport crops.

How Much Is Dirt Worth? (Grades 3-5)

Students will understand that topsoil is a limited resource with economic value. Activities include slicing up an apple to demonstrate the distribution of Earth'€™s soil resources and exploring scenarios involving the dollar valuation of soil.

Keeping Soil in Its Place

Students will be able to demonstrate rain drop splash (splash erosion) and determine its impact on bare soil, ultimately being able to visually identify types of erosion.


Students will be able to understand the basic geography of a watershed, how water flows through the system, and how people can impact the quality of our water.

Water Supply

Students will observe and understand that water changes states as it moves through the water cycle.

Fertilizers and the Environment

In this lesson students will recognize that fertile soil is a limited resource to produce food for a growing population, describe the role fertilizer plays to increase food productivity, distinguish between organic and commercial fertilizers, and recognize how excess nutrients are harmful to the environment.

FoodMASTER: Vegetables

Students will measure the weight and length or circumference of various vegetables. After studying the vegetables, students will classify the vegetables based on plant parts and explore chemical reactions from cooking colored vegetables in acidic and basic water. Students will also use a variety of vegetables to prepare soup.

Natures Partners: Pollinators, Plants and You

This is an inquiry based learning curriculum for 3rd-6th grade students from the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. Inquiry activities and hands-on investigations allow students to see the important role pollinators play and how they can help create and protect pollinator habitat.

Activity Ideas

  • Take a field trip around your school grounds and/or community. Have students make observations about the natural resources present and how they are being protected as well as polluted.
  • Investigate how farmers and agriculturalists are working to protect and conserve water and soil on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture'€™s Conservation Practices website. Lead students in discussing the benefits and challenges to some of these techniques.
  • Use the data collected through the USDA Farm to School Census to discover how your district, schools in Minnesota, and schools across the U.S. are connecting local farmers to their cafeteria. Look for trends in areas of the state and/or country that have the most farm to school connections. Investigate which farm to school foods (apples, squash, lettuce, etc.) are the most popular.

Additional MAITC Resources

AgMag Jr. Lesson & Activity Ideas

Lesson Ideas

Animal Life Cycles

This lesson introduces students to six major livestock species, teaches that animals need air, space, food, water, and shelter to survive, and introduces students to the life cycle of a farm animal.

Go to the Animal Life Cycles page.

I'€™m a MOO-stery

Students will be introduced to the dairy industry and will make observations about how historic tools such as a butter paddle, cheese press, and milk tester can be used to process milk on a dairy farm.

Go to the I'm a MOO-stery Page.

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.

Go to the Milk or Meat? Beef or Dairy? Page.

Plant Tops and Bottoms

Students will describe the major parts of plants- €“roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds. Students will also discover that we eat many of these plant parts every day.

Gardening in a Glove

Students investigate and observe how a seed sprouts and the conditions necessary for this germination process to happen by planting 5 seeds in the fingers of a clear plastic glove.

Go to the Gardening in a Glove page.

Bean Seed Cycle

This lesson introduces students to soybeans grown by farmers, teaches seed anatomy through a seed dissection activity, and illustrates the germination of the soybean plant.

Go to the Bean Seed Cycle page.

Activity Ideas

  • Investigate your school lunch menu for a specific day or week. Challenge students to identify the foods and ingredients that are from plants and the foods and ingredients that are from animals. Discuss which plants and animals would be grown in Minnesota and which items might be grown in another part of the United States or world.
  • Have a Dairy Product Party! Sample various dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) and have students use their senses to describe the taste, texture, smell, appearance, etc. of all the products. You could even make your own ice cream: Ice Cream-in-a-Bag Activity
  • Create a salad or healthy snack that involves eating one or several plant parts. (Roots = carrots, Stems, asparagus, Leaves = lettuce, Flowers = broccoli or cauliflower, Fruit = tomatoes, peppers, Seeds = corn, peas, beans, sunflower seeds)

Additional MAITC Resources

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MN AgMag1 day agoMinnesota Agriculture in the Classroom added 3 new photos.We were excited to spend some time with Wayzata School District Bright Start and Home Base program educators today during their workshop week!
MN AgMag4 days agoWheat is a pretty cool grain, and can grow to be 2-3 feet tall! #FarmFactFriday
MN AgMag6 days agoMinnesota Agriculture in the Classroom added 8 new photos.We stopped by Farm Camp Minnesota at WOLF CREEK DAIRY today. Campers were learning a lot about agriculture!
MN AgMag6 days agoMinnesota Agriculture in the Classroom shared American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture's video.The new Purple Plow challenge is up at!
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