Middle School Food and Agricultural Literacy Curriculum | National FFA Organization
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Middle School Food and Agricultural Literacy Curriculum

Middle School Food and Agricultural Literacy Curriculum

This curriculum was designed to engage today’s emerging and intermediate agriculture student in a collaborative, fun and savvy way.

This middle school curriculum includes more than 150 free lesson plans—that’s a year’s worth of introductory agriculture content bundled into one location. These lessons are great for building your students’ agricultural literacy and awareness and their appreciation for it.

Students who are agriculturally literate know

  • Where their food comes from
  • The technical foundation in the science of food, agriculture and natural resources fields.
  • The building blocks to prepare for the food, agricultural, natural resource and science-based working environments

Each lesson plan is...

  • Aligned to AFNR and the national core standards
  • Equipped with worksheets, answer sheets, rubrics and collaborative activities
  • Scripted, to guide discussion and follow-up questions

Built for your convenience.

  • Use the entire curriculum, a unit, a few lessons or a single lesson
  • Choose any lesson to supplement your existing instruction without having to teach neighboring lessons
  • Pick any activity, game, worksheet or rubric to add to your current instruction

Introduction to Agricultural Science

This unit, consisting of 28 lessons, plants the seed of discovery by giving an overview of agriculture. Watch your students grow into confident speakers, team builders, and learners as they examine their perceptions of agriculture, their role as consumers and stewards and the science behind it all.

Human Safety:

Unit Objective: Create a safe learning environment in the classroom, laboratory, and virtual environment.

 

Lesson 1.1: Safety First Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.2: Safe Time Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Defining Agriculture:

Unit Objective: Evaluate how agriculture supports all life (i.e. agriculture is an “everything industry”)

 

Lesson 2.1: Where would we be without Agriculture? (PDF)

Lesson 2.2: A Tent off the Pathway Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.3: Don’t Touch That Dial: Agriculture’s Economic Impact (PDF)

Lesson 2.4: Agriculture Then and Now (PDF)

Foundational Life Skills:

Unit Objective: Apply foundational and life skills learned through agriculture in the school and community setting.

 

Lesson 3.1: Meeting Communication Survival Guide (PDF)

Lesson 3.2: Consensus Building, Compromise, and Community Building Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.3: Getting the Message Across: Written and Oral Communication Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.4: Experiential Learning Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.5: The Final Four: Ag Leadership Opportunities Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.6: If You’re Ripe, You’ll Rot! – Personal Growth Plans (PDF)

Agriculture Products:

Unit Objective: Analyze common agriculture perceptions

 

Lesson 4.1: Our Nation's Commodities Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.2: Are You Coming In or Out Lesson Plan (PDF)

Agriculture Perceptions:

Unit Objective: Recognize local, state, national, global scope of agriculture

 

Lesson 5.1: Perceptions vs. Reality (PDF)

Lesson 5.2: Characteristics of Agriculturalists (PDF)

Lesson 5.3: Myths about food production (PDF)

Consumer Knowledge:

Unit Objective: Create informed, educated, and confident consumers of agricultural products

 

Lesson 6.1: Reading Between the Lines Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 6.2: "Role" With It! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Stewardship:

Unit Objective: Explore practices, procedures, and methods of environmental stewardship

 

Lesson 7.1: Stewardship and Accountability (PDF)

Lesson 7.2: Production Agriculture and Environment Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Overview:

Unit Objective: Examine the components of the Food and Agricultural Literacy: Applying Mathematics and Science Concepts Curriculum

 

Lesson 8.1: The Process of Producing Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson8.2: Plants Have Issues Too - Issues Related to Plant Production Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 8.3: Prime Rib Please! - Issues Related to Animal Production Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 8.4: Natural Resources in the Agriculture Industry Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 8.5: Advancing Through Time Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 8.6: Issues Beware! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 8.7: Exploring Careers in Agriculture Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Animal Science

Consisting of 21 lessons, this unit focuses on the animal industry through the lens of awareness and consumerism. Watch the learning curve fly off the charts when you study the vocabulary used in the animal industry. Then move into why and how the animal industry functions the way it does, and conclude with empowering students' decision-making skills.

Terminology:

Unit Objective: Recognize basic terminology used in the animal industry.

 

Lesson 1.1: What Do You Call It? - An Introduction To Livestock Terminology Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.2: Fishing Trip Into The Aquaculture Industry Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Production Systems

Unit Objective: Recognize common production systems used in the United States.

 

Lesson 2.1: Livestock Reproduction Method Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.2: Niche Products, What Do They Really Mean? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

2.3: How Are Pigs Raised? Swine Production Systems Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.4: Livestock Management Practices Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.5: How Are Sheep And Goats Raised? Sheet and Goat Production Systems Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.6: Where Do They Come From? The Chicken And the Egg Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.7: Where's The Beef Come From? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.8: Where Your Milk Comes From...Dairy Production Systems Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

By-Products

Unit Objective: Identify by-products generated from the animal industry

 

Lesson 3.1: Species Specific By-Products Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.2: Specialty Animal Production Systems Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Consumer Awareness

Unit Objective: Recognize the importance of animal product uses and consumer product awareness.

 

Lesson 4.1: Animal Agricultural Myths Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson4.2: Who Is Watching Out For Us? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Animal Welfare and Care:

Unit Objective: Describe responsible animal welfare and care practices.

 

Lesson 5.1: Care And HandlingOnline Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 5.2: We Are All In This Together! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 5.3: Proceed With Caution! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 5.4: Welcome To Ethics Court! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Environmental Sustainability:

Unit Objective: Identify environmental impacts related to animal production.

 

Lesson 6.1: The Impact Of A Good Steward Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 6.2: The Impact Of A Good Practices Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 6.3: Reducing Animal Effects On The Environment Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Agricultural Science and Technology

A crucial step towards appreciating agriculture is understanding how much it has evolved. Take a walk through time as you explore the role of research and technology in agriculture. This unit, consisting of 17 lessons, forms a pathway of understanding the impact that progress has on the way we feed ourselves, our family, our country and our world.

History of Ag Innovations

Unit Objective: Identify key developments in the progression of agriculture

 

Lesson 1.1: Important Agriculture Inventions Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson1.2: The Impact Of Progress Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Research

Unit Objective: Discuss agricultural research

 

Lesson 2.1: Who Helps Agriculture? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.2: Agriculture Research Goals Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.3: Consumer Benefits From Research Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.4: Practicing The Scientific Method Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.5: Research In Agriculture Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.6: Germination Research Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.7: Researching Plant Growth Conditions Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.8: Drawing Conclusions Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.9: Research Marketing; To Buy Or Not To Buy Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Biotechnology:

Unit Objective: Discuss concepts and issues related to biotechnology

 

Lesson 3.1: Identifying Biotechnology Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.2: The Pros And Cons Of Biotechnology Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.3: Extra! Extra! Biotechnology In Agriculture Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Emerging Technology:

Unit Objective: Recognize the significance of emerging technology in agriculture.

 

Lesson 4.1: Emerging Technologies In Agriculture Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.2: Robotics In Agriculture Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.3: Let's Research Technology In Agriculture! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Plant Science

Use these 12 lessons as a platform for emphasizing how plants are more than just food. Explore the anatomy, the by-products and the innovative growing methods that define a plant’s life cycle.

Plant Science and Anatomy

Unit Objective: Utilize plant science concepts in the agriculture industry

 

Lesson1.1: The Functions Of A Plant Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.2: Plant Needs Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson1.3: Salad Investigation Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Consumer Awareness:

Unit Objective: Recognize the importance of plant uses and consumer product awareness.

 

Lesson 2.1: Exploring Plants: They Are More Than Just Food!Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.2: Reading Plant Produce Labels Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Fiber:

Unit Objective: Unit Objective: Discuss the impact of plant science on fiber production.

 

Lesson 3.1: Fibers And Agriculture Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson3.2: From Farm To Fork: Plant Product Pathways Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Environmental Impact:

Unit Objective: Identify environmental impacts related to plant production

 

Lesson 4.1: Plants And The Environment - A Delicate Balance Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.2: Responsible Agriculture: Plants And Environmental Stewardship Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Technology:

Unit Objective: Discuss technologies and methods related to plant production.

 

Lesson 5.1: Innovation For The Future Of Agriculture Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 5.2: Franken Foods? - Genetically Modified Crops Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 5.3: Plant Doctor - Challenges With Growing Plants Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Agricultural Issues

Help your students fine tune their awareness about the issues that impact agriculture. In 18 lessons you’ll explore the instruments that can cause unnecessary frenzy. From exploring the role of the media to the effects of the economy, your students will orchestrate the know-how to become informed advocates for agriculture.

Evaluating Issues:

Unit Objective: Evaluate current agriculture issues.

 

Lesson 1.1: Identifying Agriculture Issues Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.2: Evaluating Sources Of Agriculture Issues Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.3: Evaluate Current Agriculture Issues Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.4: Agriculture Issues In Animal Agriculture Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.5: Issues In Conserving Natural Resources Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.6: Presenting On Agricultural Issues Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Economic Impacts

Unit Objective: Discuss the economic impacts of agriculture.

 

Lesson 2.1: Economic Impact of Agriculture Issues (PDF)

Lesson 2.2: Economic Impact Of Agriculture Issues Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.3: Using Math To Understand The Economic Impact Of Agricultural Issues Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.4: Breaking Away From The Frenzy Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Agriculture Advocacy:

Unit Objective: Recognize the significance that advocacy has in agriculture.

 

Lesson 3.1: The Role Of An Advocate Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.2: Advocacy In Agriculture Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Animal Welfare vs. Rights:

Unit Objective: Discuss animal issues.

 

Lesson 4.1: Rights vs. Welfare Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson4.2: Who Is Taking A Stand? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.3: Get The Facts Straight Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.4: Ensuring Animal Welfare Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.5: Controversy In Showing And Raising Livestock Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.6: You Decide Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Natural Resources

Foster an appreciation for conservation and preservation of the world’s assets through this unit. Twenty-five lessons teach about air, water, soil, forestry and alternative energy and the best practices used to maintain their integrity.

Renewable vs. Non-Renewable:

Unit Objective: Compare renewable versus non-renewable resources.

 

Lesson 1.1: Renewable vs. Non-Renewable Resources Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.2: Are Natural Resources Really That Important? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Air:

Unit Objective: Explain the role of clean air in sustaining life.

 

Lesson2.1: Types of Air Pollution Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Water

Unit Objective: Explain the role of clean water in sustaining life.

 

Lesson 3.1: Not A Drop To Drink? Understanding The Impact Water Quality Has In Sustaining Life Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.2: My Water's Been Where? Understanding The Water Cycle Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.3: When Water Becomes Un-Useable Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.4: Understanding Point vs. Non-Point Source Water Pollution Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Soil:

Unit Objective: Explain the importance of maintaining soil quality.

 

Lesson 4.1: The Effects Of Soil Erosion On Soil Profiles Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.2: The Effects Of Soil Quality On Animal Life Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.3: The Affects Of Soil Quality On Animal Life Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.4: You Are The Scientist! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Forestry:

Unit Objective: Explain the basic concepts of the forestry industry.

 

Lesson 5.1: You Are Barking Up The Right Tree! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 5.2: Would You Believe It's From A Tree? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 5.3: The Amazing Race In The Forest! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson5.4: How About Taking A Bird's Eye View Of The Forest? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Alternative Energy:

Unit Objective: Describe alternative energy sources utilized in the United States.

 

Lesson 6.1: Energize Me...The Alternative Way! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 6.2: Solar, Wind or Biomass: Who Will Be The Next Alternative Energy Star For Agriculture? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 6.3: Back To The Future...Agriculture Style! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 6.4: Plants In Your Gas Tank...Farmers Fueling Our Future! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 6.5: Alternative Energy Jeopardy Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Natural Resource Stewardship:

Unit Objective: Identify best practices to be utilized in Natural Resources Stewardship.

 

Lesson 7.1: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 7.2: Conservation Strategies Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 7.3: Person Product Choices Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 7.4: Reducing Negative Environmental Impact Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 7.5: Mathematical Concepts In Natural Resource Stewardship Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Food Science

Do your students know where their food comes from? This unit is sure to clear up any misconceptions they might have! Trace the pathway from processing to the global food chain in 26 lessons to illustrate its impact on consumers.

Consumer Awareness - Field to Fork

Unit Objective: Recognize how food product pathways affect consumers.

 

Lesson 1.1: Mapping My Food Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.2: Tomato Travels Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.3: Planes, Trains And Automobiles: A Transportation Tour Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.4: Fact Or Foe: Consumer Perceptions Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.5: Safety First - Responsibilities For A Safe Food Supply Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.6: Government Agency Karaoke Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.7: Stop The Spread - A Look At Human And Animal Health Issues Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.8: Disaster Reactor Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Processing Safety:

Unit Objective: Examine processes involved in food science.

 

Lesson 2.1: Processing Our Foods Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.2: How To Avoid The Danger Zone Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.3: From Farm To Fork Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.4: An Apple Of An Adventure! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.5: Moooving Milk From The Farm To The Fridge Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.6: Something's Fishy About Processing! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.7: The Importance Of Processing Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 2.8: Let's Supply A Little Demand For Food! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Production / Marketing:

Unit Objective: Recognize the importance of food marketing and economics on the local, state, national, and global scope of the agriculture industry.

 

Lesson 3.1: Food Is What Makes The World Go Round! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.2: It's A Global Food Chain! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.3: This Little Student Went To Market Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.4: Crunching Numbers Food Science Style! Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 3.5: Embarking On Food Marketing Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Food Nutrition and Labeling:

Unit Objective: Critique food labels and claims.

 

Lesson 4.1: It's All In A Label Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.2: Weighing Your Options (PDF)

Lesson 4.3: The Truth Behind The Label Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.4: Teamwork! - The USDA's Food Pyramid And The FDA's Nutrition Facts Labels Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 4.5: Trail Mix Math Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Careers in Agricultural Sciences

Explore what Confucius meant when he said, “Find a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” in this unit consisting of 11 lessons. Through independent research students will learn about the eight pathways of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource (AFNR) career cluster and learn how to turn passion into profit.

Career Exploration:

Unit Objective: Explore the 8 pathways of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource (AFNR) career clusters..

 

Lesson 1.1: Job vs. Career Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.2: Animal System Careers Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.3: Biotechnology, Who Knew? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.4: Careers In Environmental Systems Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.5: Who Works In Food Processing? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson1.6: Where Will Natural Resources Take You? Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.7: Plant Systems Careers Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.8: Power, Structural and Technical System Careers Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.9: Exploring Agribusiness Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.10: Career Goals And Priorities Online Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson 1.11: Components Of A Resume Online Lesson Plan (PDF)