Ag in the Classroom is a partnership between University of Illinois Extension and Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau. Many other agriculture organizations and businesses help support this important program. The goal is to educate youth and adults about the importance of agriculture to our society and to show that agriculture is more than cows and plows.
This program provides educators with access to educational resources, specialized events, grant opportunities, and more. One of the core education tools are the ag literacy kits, which provide educators with comprehensive lesson plans to teach about various agriculture topics.
To get information on programs, upcoming events or to schedule your presentations contact Larry today!
Illinois Ag in the Classroom: Visit the Illinois Ag in the Classroom page for more resource and materials.
Schools Online: Great websites from University of Illinois Extension on a variety of topics including weather, trees, gardening and more!
All kits contain a binder of lesson plans that are linked to Illinois Learning Standards and Assessment Framework. We are also working on Common Core with our kits.
Adventures Around the Farm: The lessons and materials in this kit will help students understand what a farm is, what farmers do, and what comes from farms. They will also learn that there are many different kinds of farms. Students will follow food from farm to the store. Through this kit, students discover that we all depend on agriculture every day of our lives. Grade Level: PreK – 4th Grade
Seasons on the Farm: Study the seasons with this kit. Learn what activities farmers do each season. Also study foods and learn about fun activities for different seasons. Activities in this kit include glyphs, cloze activities, moon phases with Oreo cookies, and much more. Grade Level – PreK – 4th Grade
Poultry mAGic Kit/Chick It Out: Students will uncover interesting facts about U.S. poultry production through exercises and hands-on experiments. Older youth will learn about the anatomy, nutritional value of an egg, and the history of egg production. Younger youth will learn about the basic developmental stages of a fertilized egg into the emergence of a chick. All grades have the opportunity to hatch chicks in their classroom. All the equipment to complete this project is furnished to you free of charge. The kit includes the incubator, chicken eggs, egg turner, distilled water, feed and feeder, water container. Grade Level: PreK – 8th Grade
Soybean Science: Polymers & Oil: The soybean kit shows that science can be fun and educational. It is full of hands-on experiments. Students will perform experiments such as making adhesives from soybean protein, and candles, crayons, ink and hand cream from soybean oil. This is a fun filled kit that includes letters for parents and worksheets related to the lessons. Grade Level: K-5th Grade
Talking Trash: Responding, Recycling, Reusing and Reducing (the four R's) are emphasized in this unit. Students will learn the facts about solid waste, composting, packaging, and much more. Make a sample landfill and eat it with our landfill pie activity. Try your hand making paper with used paper. Compare packaging of different items such as bags of chips and see what has more waste. Most materials are included in this kit. Grade Level: 2nd – 5th Grade
Illinois Trees: The Illinois Tree curriculum was created by the Illinois Department of Conservation. This is a fun curriculum to use around Arbor Day. Learn all about identifying trees, growth of trees and what trees are used for. Included in the kit are cross sections of trees, leaf press, and coloring books/activity books for kids from the Illinois Department of Conservation. Starting a leaf collection, figuring the age of trees or identifying trees around your school/community are things that a group can do with this curriculum. This curriculum is designed for grades K-3.
Disappearing Earth: Tackles the one priority problem of soil--erosion. The Disappearing Earth weaves science into the storyline.In the story Napoleon Soil and Jane Blonde work for the top-secret, underground spy organization known as E.A.R.T.H. or Espionage Agents with Really Terrific Hair. Their mission is to find out why our soil is disappearing, but leave it to Napoleon and Jane to make this mission an impossible one. By the end of this story, the reader will understand the soil erosion process and ways to control it. A variety of lessons and experiments are used in the curriculum. Your students will learn about the different soil particles and types, what causes erosion, how to prevent erosion, and how to analyze how soil is layered. Grade Level: 2nd – 6th Grade
Insect mAGic: Students will learn about the impact of insects on crop production through a variety of lessons and activities. Mapping exercises let students follow butterflies on migration patterns. Students tract a day in the life of an insect and learn about wingspan, life cycles, anatomy, and social hierarchy patterns of common insects. Grade level – 4th – 8th Grade
Dairy mAGic: Hands-on exercises let students explore the processes of using milk, acids, enzymes, and bacteria to make cottage cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Students will find out how much milk one cow produces in its lifetime. They'll also dive into history, and they'll learn about issues of supply and demand in the dairy industry. Grade Level: 4th – 8th Grade
Illinois mAGic Kit: The kit is a multidisciplinary, all-inclusive curriculum that is designed to teach students about agriculture through active discovery. Students learn about a variety of topics ranging from the prairie landscape to the Chicago stockyards, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and the forests of Southern Illinois. The kit includes 8 math, 10 English language arts, 11 social studies, and 7 science lessons focused on the state of Illinois .Grade Level: 4th – 8th Grade
Plant mAGic Kit: This kit offers problem-solving activities in plant propagation, production, and processing. Students will conduct experiments to learn about plant differences and plant ecosystems. They'll also sequence plant products, research the discoveries of George Washington Carver, and look at the impact of crops on the national economy. Grade Level: 4th – 8th Grade
Soil mAGic Kit: The soils kit includes lessons in the areas of math, English, Social Studies, and Science. Topics include soil profile layers; geometric shapes and patterns; erosion; importance and characteristics of soil; The Dust Bowl; crop rotation; Illinois soils; soil pH; and much more. Grade Level: 4th-8th Grade
Machines mAGic Kit: The machines kit includes lessons in the areas of math, English, Social Studies, and Science. Some of the topics include simple and complex machines; estimating machinery costs; precision farming; machine safety; evolution of machines; John Deere's life; and much more. Grade Level: 4th-8th Grade (could be adapted up)
The Wheat We Eat: Teach your students how wheat is grown, milled and then made into foods worldwide using science, math, reading, and social studies lessons included. Craft projects, songs, poetry, and books are also included. Grind your own wheat into flour and make a tortilla with this great kit. Grade level – PreK-4th Grade
Pigs on the Farm: The lessons and materials in this kit will help students to understand what pigs are, what farmers do to take care of pigs and how pigs benefit us. Students will also learn that we go to the store to purchase our food, but it begins with the plants and animals raised on a farm. This kit contains many books for reading. Grade Level: PreK – 4th Grade
Top 40 Hits of Planet Earth: This kit is a compilation of 40 great environmental activities and lessons that celebrate the planet Earth. These activities include lessons on soil, water, recycling, trees, renewable energy, habitats and more. Each "hit" will have book suggestions, as well as any videos, website, or other resources that will compliment that "hit". Grade Level: PreK – 12 Grades
Illinois Birds: What is the Illinois State Bird? This and many other questions can be answered if you check out the Illinois Birds kit. Help youth explore the characteristics and classifications of different birds. You can also learn migration habits and hazards birds come in contact with. What do birds eat and how do they eat it? You can learn by watching them with the kit's included bird feeder. This unit was developed by the Illinois Department of Conservation Education Program. Grade level – 3rd-6th Grade
Agriculture Measures Up: Using Math in Agriculture: The material in this kit focuses on three areas of agricultural business that involve applications of biological and math principles. Lessons include a fencing decision problems, figuring square feet to determine the correct amount of fertilizer, and using geometry in crop storage. The kit includes 3 lessons. Grade Level: 4th – 8th Grade
Biotechnology: The Biotechnology curriculum is geared toward middle school and early high school. In the biotechnology kit students learn about cells, DNA, Inherited Traits, Gene Splicing, Extracting DNA, and careers in Biotechnology. There are many fun, hands-on activities included in this curriculum like making cell pudding, designing a rebop with specific traits, solving a case of an eaten shoe. There is even an activity where students extract DNA from fruit and actually see a DNA strand. This is great for teaching or reviewing science concepts. Most materials are included in the kit. Grade Level: 5th – 9th Grade
Horticulture Careers Kit: This kit introduces students to the different areas of the horticulture field. Through hands-on exercises and activities, students learn about a variety of careers in horticulture, including landscape design, turf management, retail industry, marketing, and new product development. Activities and lessons are developed to help students understand how they can apply skills and interests they already have into today's horticulture industry. Grade Level: 7th-12th Grade
Horticulture Science Kit: The materials in this kit are designed to teach students about science and how it impacts today's horticulture industry. The curriculum covers the major aspects of horticultural science. Students will become familiar with plant taxonomy, plant pests and control, growing plants in different mixes, plant breeding, and genetics. This kit comes with lab exercises, lessons, and quizzes.Grade Level: 7th – 12th Grade
OTHER KITS AVAILABLE FOR USE
Kids Get Fit: This kit contains materials to supplement schools who are encouraging their youth to live a healthy lifestyle. Included in this kit are 150 pedometers, a digital scale, tape measure, fat loss monitor, Playstation 2 and Dance Dance Revolution game system, various exercise and yoga DVDs as well as jump ropes, and double dutch jump ropes, walking incentives, black rubber run mat, Bucket Blast game, fitness dice and Frisbees. There is a charge for this kit. Grade Level: Any
Polite is Right: Children are taught manners at a young age. The Polite is Right kit helps you do just that. It is designed to teach children social skills and encourage the use of considerate behavior in social settings. Teach and help children practice telephone manners, table etiquette, and basic manners such as "please" and "thank you". The curriculum also helps teach rules and why we have them, respecting others and good sportsmanship. Included in this kit are play telephones to practice telephone manners, snack cakes and pretzels to help practice table manners. Grade Level: K-5th Grades
Walk In My Shoes: Walk In My Shoes is an aging awareness kit/program that helps youth learn to understand people by sharing their experiences and learning what it might be like for older people who are no longer able to see, hear, or get around as well as when they were younger. Activities and simulations allow youth to learn what is true and not true about aging and older people. Grade Level: Any