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Melinda Charbonneau
Program Coordinator, Ag in the Classroom
University of Illinois Extension
421 W Pines Rd, Ste 10
Oregon, IL 61061
Phone: 815-732-2191
FAX: 815-732-4007
charbm@illinois.edu

Ag In The Classroom

Ag In The Classroom

Ag in the Classroom Programs (Grades 4-8)

Ag in the Classroom

Programs for 4th through 8th grades

The following programs are offered throughout the school year. If you are interested in any of them, please contact Melinda at (815) 732-2191 or charbm@illinois.edu.

GEOGRAPHY/SOCIAL STUDIES

Navigating Illinois
Students will gain a better understanding of reading maps as we learn about specialty crops in Illinois. They will be drawing in the rivers that transport products, locating the Pumpkin Capital of the World, and much more. Time: 60 minutes

Untouched by Glaciers: The Driftless Zone
Students will look at glaciers and how they affected Illinois. Students will discover how topography affects farming. As part of the program students will create their own three-dimensional relief map of Illinois. Time: 60 minutes.

Prairie Passages
This program will introduce students to prairies. After learning about prairies, students will read a collection of journal entries from pioneers and travelers of early Illinois to learn more about the relationship between the prairie and pioneers. Time: 30 minutes.

Moving Illinois by Rail, Road, and River
Students will learn why Illinois is an ideal center of agriculture and how the history of Illinois is tied to its waterways. Time: 30 minutes.

Supply and Demand
Students will determine how changes in supply and demand affect prices. They will discover how this relates to agriculture. Time: 30 minutes.

Additional Programs

Exploring Types of Seeds: Monocots & Dicots
Students will identify the parts of a seed as well as compare the growth and development of two types of seeds-monocots & dicots. Time: 45 minutes.

Chicken Wings
Students will dissect a chicken wing in a systematic manner in order to compare and contrast a chicken wing and a human arm. Time: 30 minutes.

The Great Fence Crisis
The invention of barbed wire facilitated the expansion of farming on the Great Plains. By calculating two household budgets; one for a homesteading family using wood fencing and the other for a family using barbed-wire fencing. Students will learn how barbed wire helped solve the fence crisis. Time: 50 minutes.

MACHINES

Simple & Complex Machines
Students will watch "Simple & Complex Machines on the Farm". The movie will lead into a discussion of simple machines. Then students will examine toy farm equipment to find the simple machines that make up the complex farm equipment. Time: 45 minutes

Lubricants, Viscosity, and Machines
Through experiments students will be able to define friction and explain its effects. They will also learn about viscosity and explore what affects it. Time: 50 minutes.

On the Technology Trail
Using basic GPS skills, students will track down clues to solve a puzzle during a race against the clock. Session #1 covers GPS basics and provides instruction about using simple hand-held units. Session #2 includes a quick review and the race itself.
Time: Two 45 minute sessions are ideal but other arrangements can be made.

Estimating Farm Machinery Costs
Students will determine the costs involved in owning and operating farm machinery. They will use tables to calculate answers to math problems. Concepts such as depreciation and interest will be discussed. Time: 30 minutes.

Machine Safety Specialists
Students will take part in a game to identify safety hazards associated with farm machines and structures. Time: 30 minutes.

INSECTS & INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

Field of Potato Dreams
In this simulation students will inherit a 100-acre potato farm. They will need to make decisions regarding land preparation, fertilizer, planting, beetles, and harvesting. Each decision has a consequence. Students will see if their decisions were profitable. Time: 60 minutes.

The Great Rootwoorm Tragedy
In this interactive tale students will learn about crop production, protection, and integrated pest management. Time: 30 minutes.

Examination of the Body of a Grasshopper
Students will identify basic characteristics of a typical insect and then discuss how what they learned relates to agriculture. Students will get to look at real grasshoppers. (There will be no dissecting.) Time: 30 minutes.

A Bee's Life
Students will look at the various types of bees and their role in the colony,stages of growth, how honey is made and much more. Time: 60 minutes.

FOOD PRODUCTION

Extra Cheese, Please!
Students will learn about dairy cows, how cheese is made and will get to make cottage cheese. Time: 30 minutes.

Milk: Protein & Fat
Through an activity using milk, food coloring, and soap students will gain an understanding of how sensitive fats and proteins are to new substances and how this sensitivity helps control the molecules in milk. Time: 30 minutes

Peanut Production
Students will learn about George Washington Carver and peanut production. They will find states as well as countries that grow peanuts. We will also look at the countries that import peanuts from the United States. Time: 45 minutes.

Hungry Planet
This program will be based on the book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. Students will work in groups to see how people in other parts of the world eat. They will share what they found. Time: 45 minutes.

Where Does It Come From?
Students will interpret data to discover where the agricultural commodities used in some common snacks were grown. Time: 45 minutes.

Food Safety: From Farm to Fork
Students will learn the basic science of food safety and the importance of safe food practices while playing a board game. Time: 45 minutes.

SEASONAL PROGRAMS

Lincoln's Birthday
Students will hear about Illinois history by listening to "L is for Lincoln". After reading the story students will make an Illinois charm representing our state symbols. Time: 30 minutes.

George Washington, Visionary Farmer
Students will participate in an activity that uses images of Mount Vernon and quotations from George Washington to emphasize ways he modified the natural environment to become a visionary farmer. Time: 30 minutes.

Earth Day: Renewable Energy
Students will increase their understanding of the eventual depletion of nonrenewable resources, the effect of changing rates of use on the future, the role of conservation, and the need to develop renewable resources. Time: 45 minutes.

Garden in a Glove
This lesson will teach students about seed germination using plastic gloves and cotton balls. Students will also use mapping skills to sort seeds by physical characteristics. Time: 45 minutes.

SOILS

Saving Illinois Soil from Going Downhill
Students will gain a better understanding of soil erosion and soil conservation through experiments they conduct. Time: 1 hour.

What is Soil?
Students will learn the specific components of soil, including mineral matter, water, air and organic matter. Then they will take a hands-on look at the mineral matter (sand, silt, and clay) to learn more about their properties. Time: 30 minutes.

Soil Sensation
Student will learn about the importance of protecting soil and the effects of erosion. They will identify the three layers of a soil profile by preparing a tasty, fun dessert. Time: 30 minutes.

GEOGRAPHY/SOCIAL STUDIES

Navigating Illinois
Students will gain a better understanding of reading maps as we learn about specialty crops in Illinois. They will be drawing in the rivers that transport products, locating the Pumpkin Capital of the World, and much more. Time: 60 minutes

Untouched by Glaciers: The Driftless Zone
Students will look at glaciers and how they affected Illinois. Students will discover how topography affects farming. As part of the program students will create their own three-dimensional relief map of Illinois. Time: 60 minutes.

Prairie Passages
This program will introduce students to prairies. After learning about prairies, students will read a collection of journal entries from pioneers and travelers of early Illinois to learn more about the relationship between the prairie and pioneers. Time: 30 minutes.

Moving Illinois by Rail, Road, and River
Students will learn why Illinois is an ideal center of agriculture and how the history of Illinois is tied to its waterways. Time: 30 minutes.

Supply and Demand
Students will determine how changes in supply and demand affect prices. They will discover how this relates to agriculture. Time: 30 minutes.

Additional Programs

Exploring Types of Seeds: Monocots & Dicots
Students will identify the parts of a seed as well as compare the growth and development of two types of seeds-monocots & dicots. Time: 45 minutes.

Chicken Wings
Students will dissect a chicken wing in a systematic manner in order to compare and contrast a chicken wing and a human arm. Time: 30 minutes.

The Great Fence Crisis
The invention of barbed wire facilitated the expansion of farming on the Great Plains. By calculating two household budgets; one for a homesteading family using wood fencing and the other for a family using barbed-wire fencing. Students will learn how barbed wire helped solve the fence crisis. Time: 50 minutes.