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Ag in the Classroom Harvest Crops & Careers

Harvesting Crops & Careers

An educational unit, based on the award-winning film   The Great American Wheat Harvest   , that familiarizes K-12 students with agricultural production, harvesting and careers. Click on the lesson titles below to download individual lesson plans (in PDF format), and refer to the videos for more.


Lesson 1: Little Red Hen's Harvest

Students will read the story, “The Little Red Hen,” discuss all the different careers involved in producing a loaf of bread and act out a play based on the story. Students will sprout wheat seeds.   Grades K-2

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Lesson 2: Enjoying the Harvest

Download Lesson Plan 2

Students will read about the history and science of wheat and learn why wheat varieties are bred for different growing conditions. Students will learn about the anatomy of a wheat plant and a wheat kernel. Students will grind wheat and make tortillas in a bag.   Grades 3-5

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Lesson 3: Timing is Everything - The Wheat Crop Depends on the Weather

Download Lesson Plan 3

Students will play a game to determine how much wheat a section of land will yield based upon a series of setbacks caused by weather, insects, etc. Students will read about the impacts of weather on wheat production. Students will use online resources to find statistics about wheat production and annual precipitation in your state. Students will graph the information.   Grades 5-7

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Lesson 4: Helping the Little Red Hen - Careers in Wheat Production

Download Lesson Plan 4

Students will read about the many careers involved in wheat production. Students will identify careers related to their own interests and research to find more information about those careers. Students will play the role of wheat scientist by conducting an experiment to find the DNA in wheat germ.   Grades 5-7

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Lesson 5: Who Will Help Me Harvest the Wheat - Combines and Careers in Ag Mechanics

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Students will read about the development and operation of a combine harvester and learn about careers in agricultural mechanics. Students will build a model of a Archimedes’ screw, analyze design flaws and improve on the design.   Grades 6-12

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Lesson 6: Government Work - Agricultural Research, Education and Farm Support

Download Lesson Plan 6

Students will read about the history of government policy and legislation related to wheat research, education, extension and farm support and debate the role of government in these areas. Students will research career opportunities in government agencies that address wheat production and other agricultural issues.   Grades 6-12

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Lesson 7: Sensors and Satellites - Careers and Technology in Agriculture

Download Lesson Plan 7

Students will discuss modern applications of electronics and sensors in wheat production and harvest, conduct an experiment to find infrared light, and interpret satellite images as applied to farming.

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This educational project was developed by National Ag in the Classroom, with funding provided by U.S. Custom Harvesters and New Holland. "Harvesting: Crops and Careers" is based on the Emmy Award winning film   The Great American Wheat Harvest.

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