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  • California Agriculture in the Classroom
    Items Programs Events Story Writing Contest CA Conference University Student Teacher Program Seed Survivor Mobile Unit National Ag Week Summer Ag Institute Ag Literacy Calendar Budding Artists Grants Scholarships Literacy for Life Grants CA Conference Scholarships Look at Agriculture Organically Grants Other Grants Ways to Help Donate Thank You Sponsors In Kind Donations Volunteer 30 Year Events Student Center Students Imagine this Learn by Playing About Us Contact Us Meet the Staff Board Members E newsletter Media Reports Teaching Resources Lesson Plans What s Growin On Ag Bites Fact Sheets School Gardens California Grows Map Teacher Resource Guide Learn About Ag Partnering Organizations Request Free Materials Purchase AITC Items Programs Events Story Writing Contest CA Conference University Student Teacher Program Seed Survivor Mobile Unit National Ag Week Summer Ag Institute Ag Literacy Calendar Budding Artists Grants Scholarships Literacy for Life Grants CA Conference Scholarships Look at Agriculture Organically Grants Other Grants Ways to Help Donate Thank You Sponsors In Kind Donations Volunteer 30 Year Events Student Center Students Imagine this Learn by Playing Teaching Resources National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix MyBinder Login to MyBinder Email Username Password Don t have a MyBinder Account Create one now Consider submitting a lesson

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  • California Agriculture in the Classroom
    carbon dioxide present in the air are important for photosynthesis and plant respiration the process through which the plant exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide with its environment Plants appear to be constantly exposed to air but it is important to understand that plant roots also need air If too much water is present in the soil for an extended period of time the roots cannot get enough air Being aware of the type of soil and how quickly water moves through the soil is important for ensuring that the roots are getting the appropriate amount of air Interest Approach Engagement Ask students Why are plants important Allow students to offer their answers to the question Direct a class discussion with follow up questions as needed to help students recognize that plants are very important Many plants provide healthy food for us to eat Other plants provide food for animals which provide milk dairy products meat and eggs to our diet Read one of the following books with your class A Seed in Need A First Look at the Plant Cycle A Seed is Sleepy The Tiny Seed Procedures Activity 1 Observing and Dissecting Seeds Ask students what seeds are used for Explain that seeds are used to grow new plants and sometimes to eat Allow students to observe a variety of different types of seeds Explain that seeds come in different sizes and colors but they are all used to grow new plants Some seeds are even eaten by humans and other animals Ask the students if they have ever eaten a seed What kind of a seed was it Ask the students what is inside a seed Show the Bean Seed diagram Point out that inside a seed there is an embryo what will become a new plant and food for the embryo On the outside of the seed is a seed coat Its purpose is to protect the seed Tell the students that they are going to have the chance to look carefully at a lima bean seed that has been soaked overnight in water They will observe the seed coat embryo and cotyledon of the seed Give each student one lima bean seed Show them how to rub the seed between their fingers to remove the seed coat Ask the students why the seed coat is important it protects the seed Show the students how to split the seed in half Give each student a hand lens to observe the inside of the seed Point out the embryo and cotyledons Explain that the embryo is the beginning of a new plant When the seed receives warmth and moisture it will begin to germinate which means it becomes active and sprouts The cotyledons provide food for the embryo until it grows leaves The leaves will then use energy from sunlight to carry out photosynthesis making food for the plant Activity 2 Germinating Seeds Explain that dormant means to be inactive like in a deep sleep Active is the opposite of dormant Most seeds are dormant until they receive warmth and moisture When a seed receives the correct amount of moisture and the proper temperature it will begin to germinate which means it becomes active and sprouts Ask each student to pretend they are a dormant seed in the soil Tell them that it is spring and the soil has become moist from rain showers and warm from the sun They are now ready to germinate Ask students to pretend to be germinating seeds sprouting into seedlings Explain to the students that they are going to germinate seeds through a process called ragdoll germination Gardeners farmers and scientists use this process to test germination rates of seeds Arrange students into ten small groups Supply each group with a paper towel plastic wrap ten lima bean seeds and two rubber bands Have each group moisten a paper towel and squeeze out the excess water Lay the plastic wrap out flat on a desk with the paper towel laid flat on top Line ten seeds in the middle of the paper towel Larger seeds work best for younger students Fold the plastic wrap and paper towel in half and roll them into a round tube Use rubber bands to cinch each end of the tube Leave the ragdoll undisturbed in a warm place After about one week have each group open their ragdoll and count the seeds that germinated Add each group s count together and determine the percentage of seeds that germinated This is the germination rate for the seed batch Allow the students to observe the seedlings Ask them what the seeds needed in order to germinate warmth and moisture Ask the students if the seedlings have everything they need to continue to grow into healthy plants Explain that plants need water light nutrients and air to grow Read the poem The Little Plant twice Before rereading ask the students to listen carefully to the poem and pretend to be a dormant seed or a germinating seed at the appropriate parts of the poem Ask the students In the poem where did the warmth that helped the seed germinate come from The warmth came from the sun Where did the moisture come from The moisture came from the rain Activity 3 Egghead Plant Starters Ask the students what plants need to grow Explain that plants need water light nutrients and air to grow Explain to the students that they will be planting alfalfa seeds Alfalfa is a flowering plant that is most commonly harvested as hay to be used as livestock feed Show the egghead plant starter example to the students Explain that they will be creating eggheads to start their alfalfa Give each student an empty rinsed eggshell They will use the permanent markers to draw a face on the shell and write their name on the opposite side Show the students how to spoon soil into the eggshell Use a water spray bottle to moisten the soil

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  • California Agriculture in the Classroom
    recessional recession etc Discuss the difference between dominating a situation and receding from a situation and provide examples For instance if two people wanted to climb up the ladder of a slide at the same time one person might dominate the situation by yelling or pushing the other person out of the way Another person might recede by walking away and playing somewhere else The receding person may play at the slide later when there is less competition similar to recessive genes Role play a few situations such as lining up after recess or participating in class discussions Ask students if they can think of a connection between these two words dominant and recessive and genetics Allow students to guess and to offer their ideas using their prior knowledge Explain that in genetics that are some traits that are dominant over others Today they will be learning about these traits Procedures Activity 1 Rock Paper Scissors Describe the game Rock Paper Scissors using the words dominant and recessive Explain that rock dominates scissors scissors dominate paper and paper dominates rock Divide students into pairs and provide each pair with a copy of the Rock Paper Scissors Recording Char t Instruct the students to play Rock Paper Scissors ten times and record the outcome of each round on the chart Discuss the outcomes that students observed Are there ways of making certain one person will always dominate win Discuss dominant and recessive in terms of genes and heredity Provide each pair of students with a copy of the Plant Features activity sheet to color and cut out When finished ask students to place the features into the prepared gene pool containers boxes envelopes etc labeled Leaves Fruit Flowers Roots and Stems Place the five gene pool containers in different locations throughout the room Hand out a copy of the What Does It Look Like activity sheet to each pair of students Next have each individual student randomly select one feature from each of the gene pool containers Returning to their pairs have the students fill in the activity sheet with the features chosen The partners then need to determine what their plant looks like For example if one partner chooses a dominant round fruit and the other partner chooses a recessive oval fruit the plant will have round fruit Finally ask students to draw their plants showing the appropriate features Have the students display their plants Compare the number of dominant traits expressed to the number of recessive traits expressed Discuss the wide variety of plants produced from the same gene pool and how this activity shows that it is highly unlikely for two brothers or sisters to have exactly the same genetic makeup Discuss how knowledge of dominant and recessive traits is important to agriculture Ask students to think of all the different types of apples or lettuce onions potatoes etc they can buy at the grocery store Each of these different types was developed by plant breeders who cross

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  • California Agriculture in the Classroom
    the Bureau of Land Management to allow grazing on public lands Federal rangeland managers and private livestock owners work cooperatively to ensure that public rangelands are well cared for Well managed grazing can be both economically and ecologically beneficial Compared with harvested feeds like corn and wheat range and pasture provide a relatively inexpensive feed source for livestock Sales of livestock and other ranching activities contribute to the strength of local economies Properly managed livestock grazing can also help keep grasslands healthy Rangeland management begins with grass We tend to take grass for granted because there seems to be so much of it In fact there is a lot of grass It is one of our most important and available renewable resources Grass plays a number of environmentally important roles Grass covers the soil and holds it in place slowing runoff of rain preventing erosion and reducing the potential for floods Grass traps and filters sediments and nutrients from runoff and helps water percolate through the soil and back into streams and ground water Cattle and sheep are like rangeland lawn mowers that can help care for grassland ecosystems Imagine what your lawn would look like if you didn t mow it At first glance when we see animals grazing it seems like the animal wins all However there are more winners here than first meets the eye The moment grass is shorn it seeks to restore a balance between its roots and leaves When the tops of the grass leaves are eaten by grazing livestock the same amount of root is lost When the roots die the soil s population of bacteria fungi and earthworms gets to work breaking down the dying roots This creates fertile organic matter that enriches the soil Rich soils in turn support more grass growth Grasses regrow from the bottom up Because their growing point is low to the ground grasses can usually recover well after grazing However repeated heavy grazing can kill grass When a grass plant is grazed very low to the ground a large portion of its roots die and it has little leaf area left to make energy through photosynthesis Because the plant can t generate much energy it takes a long time for the roots to regrow and the plant is very susceptible to drought Proper management of grazing involves moving livestock to a new area before grasses are grazed too low and allowing grasses a period of rest to regrow leaves and roots before grazing them again With proper management grazing can be a tool for keeping rangelands healthy In well managed grasslands decaying roots are the biggest source of new organic matter and grazing animals actually build new soil from the bottom up In the absence of grazers the soil building process would be nowhere near as swift or productive Grazing cattle aerate the soil with their hooves scatter seeds and trim wild grasses Wildfires have a harder time taking hold on shorter cropped grass than on longer vegetation Properly grazed or mowed grass can help create healthy green grass Interest Approach Engagement Show your students the picture located in the Background Agricultural Connections section of the lesson This picture shows a cow grazing Ask your students if they see anything in the picture that looks tasty to eat Then ask them if a sheep or cattle could find anything that is both tasty and nutritious to eat No humans do not have an adequate digestive system to obtain sufficient nutrients from grasses and other similar plants However cattle and sheep thrive grazing rangelands In this lesson students will learn how grazing can be managed to be a benefit to ranchers and to improve and maintain the health of the land Procedures Activity 1 Trail Blazing Review with your students the background information concerning rangelands grazing and the nature of grass Divide your class into 6 groups Each group will be taking a different trail and on their way they will start their own ranch with a small planting of grass Provide each student with a peat pellet and a plastic cup to hold it Provide each group with a permanent marker 2 3 teaspoons of grass seed in a small bowl a plastic spoon one of the Trail activity sheets and a transparency marker Ask students to place the peat pellet into the cup Explain that you will be pouring 1 2 cup of water into each person s cup while each group reads their Trail activity sheet completes the activity and then starts their ranch plants their grass seed by following the instructions in the sidebar of the Trail activity sheet Instruct the students to begin working on the activity but to also observe their peat pellets When they finish the activity the water should be absorbed and the peat pellet completely hydrated It takes about 15 minutes for the peat pellet to hydrate and expand into a pot in which seeds can be planted When each group has completed their activity and all students have planted their grass seed ask each group to share what they learned on their trail Activity 2 Grass and Grazing Once the seeds germinate keep the peat pots moist and allow the grass to grow until it has reached 2 3 inches in height Students will be applying two different grazing treatments and will leave some of the grass untreated When the grass is 2 3 inches tall ask the students to use scissors to cut half of the grass blades short 1 inch above the soil to simulate a cow grazing They should clip another quarter of the grass down to the crown where the blades meet the roots this part of the blade is white in color To simulate overgrazing ask students to clip this quarter area to the crown every couple of days The last quarter section of the grass should remain unclipped Observe the grass for a few weeks and then make comparisons What are

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  • California Agriculture in the Classroom
    people had plowed up the drought resistant native grasses to grow grain With prolonged drought the grain withered and died and the ground lay barren exposing nutrient rich topsoil to the elements The lack of vegetation meant that no roots were left to stabilize the soil and the result of these conditions was what we now call the Dust Bowl Topsoil was carried by the wind in dust storms deemed black blizzards because the dust was so thick it would blot out the sun The wind carried off an estimated total of 350 million tons of soil a volume that would fill enough dump trucks to circle the earth twice When the worst black blizzard on record hit in 1934 towers of dust 10 000 feet high moved soil from Colorado Texas New Mexico Kansas and Oklahoma 1 500 miles east to the Atlantic Ocean An estimated twelve million pounds of soil or dust hit Chicago four pounds of soil per citizen during this one storm Some ships out at sea in the Atlantic Ocean were left with a quarter inch of dust on their decks Topsoil was not the only thing leaving the Dust Bowl Continual black blizzards contributed to the poverty of the people in the affected states and more than 2 5 million people fled the region most taking Route 66 west Nearly 10 of people fleeing the Dust Bowl relocated to California Franklin D Roosevelt FDR was aware of farmers suffering 30 of the population at that time were farmers and the country s struggle When he took office in 1933 FDR had already assembled the brain trust responsible for formulating the new policies that became known as the New Deal The New Deal included work relief programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps CCC that provided jobs to the unemployed poverty relief programs like the Social Security Act that provided income to retired workers and programs like the National Industrial Recovery Act that provided funding to fight soil erosion and more The goal of these New Deal programs was to ensure that the country recovered economically as well as environmentally In 1935 the Soil Conservation Service SCS was formed specifically to reduce soil erosion and promote soil conservation to prevent the formation of any more dust bowls In 1994 the SCS was renamed the Natural Resource Conservation Service NRCS The goal of the NRCS today is to help farmers provide a sustainable nutritious abundant food supply and protect healthy ecosystems that support a diversity of life The NRCS continues to work to protect healthy soil and clean water while also tackling rising issues such as clean air clean energy and climate change and exploring new conservation technologies Interest Approach Engagement Ask students to raise their hand if they have ever heard of the domino effect If possible demonstrate by setting up a series of domino blocks in a visible place in your classroom Explain that when the dominos are set up they are all stable Ask

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  • California Agriculture in the Classroom
    University Student Teacher Program Seed Survivor Mobile Unit National Ag Week Summer Ag Institute Ag Literacy Calendar Budding Artists Grants Scholarships Literacy for Life Grants CA Conference Scholarships Look at Agriculture Organically Grants Other Grants Ways to Help Donate Thank You Sponsors In Kind Donations Volunteer 30 Year Events Student Center Students Imagine this Learn by Playing Teaching Resources National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix Search Lesson Plans Search Lesson Plans Grade Level Early Elementary Grades K 2 Upper Elementary Grades 3 5 Middle School Grades 6 8 High School Grades 9 12 Content Area Health Nutrition Science Social Studies Economics Geography History Agricultural Literacy Outcomes Agriculture and the Environment Culture Society Economy Geography Food Health and Lifestyle Plants and Animals for Food Fiber Energy Science Technology Engineering Math Common Core Connections Anchor Standards Reading Writing Speaking and Listening Language Practice Standards Mathematics State Specific Content for All States Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming NAITC NAITCO Submitted by a Specific State All States Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming NAITC NAITCO Specific to the AITC Regions All Regions Eastern Western Central Southern Companion Resources Type of

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  • California Agriculture in the Classroom
    Calendar Budding Artists Grants Scholarships Literacy for Life Grants CA Conference Scholarships Look at Agriculture Organically Grants Other Grants Ways to Help Donate Thank You Sponsors In Kind Donations Volunteer 30 Year Events Student Center Students Imagine this Learn by Playing Teaching Resources National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix Search Lesson Plans Search Lesson Plans Grade Level Early Elementary Grades K 2 Upper Elementary Grades 3 5 Middle School Grades 6 8 High School Grades 9 12 Content Area Health Nutrition Science Social Studies Economics Geography History Agricultural Literacy Outcomes Agriculture and the Environment Culture Society Economy Geography Food Health and Lifestyle Plants and Animals for Food Fiber Energy Science Technology Engineering Math Common Core Connections Anchor Standards Reading Writing Speaking and Listening Language Practice Standards Mathematics State Specific Content for All States Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming NAITC NAITCO Submitted by a Specific State All States Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming NAITC NAITCO Specific to the AITC Regions All Regions Eastern Western Central Southern Companion Resources Type of Resource Activity Book Booklets Readers Kit Poster Map Infographic Multimedia Website Other Companion Resource Dust Bowl

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  • California Agriculture in the Classroom
    Us Contact Us Meet the Staff Board Members E newsletter Media Reports Teaching Resources Lesson Plans What s Growin On Ag Bites Fact Sheets School Gardens California Grows Map Teacher Resource Guide Learn About Ag Partnering Organizations Request Free Materials Purchase AITC Items Programs Events Story Writing Contest CA Conference University Student Teacher Program Seed Survivor Mobile Unit National Ag Week Summer Ag Institute Ag Literacy Calendar Budding Artists Grants Scholarships Literacy for Life Grants CA Conference Scholarships Look at Agriculture Organically Grants Other Grants Ways to Help Donate Thank You Sponsors In Kind Donations Volunteer 30 Year Events Student Center Students Imagine this Learn by Playing Teaching Resources National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix MyBinder MyBinder Sign up Store your favorite lesson plans in a personal binder for future access in MyBinder If a lesson you have in MyBinder gets updated your binder will be updated automatically If you have already created a MyBinder profile please login First Name Last Name Email Password State Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New

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