Ag in the Classroom Activity Update

Ag in the Classroom Activity Update

September Ag in the Classroom for fourth grade was all about the grains we grow and how they are used to make the things we use in our daily lives.  This is always our first lesson of the year because it sets the tone for what we will be discussing over the course of the school year.  Illinois is either number one or number two each year for both corn and soybeans so of course we need to discuss both those products.  Not only are both those grains used as feed for animals, but they are also used to make things like Band-Aids, batteries, crayons, candles, dog food, makeup, and so much more.  Plus, both corn and soybeans are used as fuel substitutes for our cars, trucks, and tractors.

After we discuss grains, we begin to focus on the goals of the year which are: learning about Agriculture and Farmers, finding out about how important IL is to the rest of the world, and how we can help take care of our environment and natural resources. 

In October, the fourth graders learned all about Pumpkins.  Illinois is the number one producer of pumpkins with Morton, IL being the pumpkin capital of the world.  Pumpkin Ag Mags are handed out to the class and key points are discussed.  The students decide what they think should be shared within their groups.  This is a fun lesson because the fourth graders get to play a game where they spin a wheel to find their topic and then attempt to answer a question pertaining to that topic.  Everybody loves Mrs. Kleiboeker’s game Wheel of Pumpkin.

In November, we celebrate togetherness and being thankful for the harvest with that day called Thanksgiving.  Ag in the Classroom celebrates Thanksgiving by having the classes do an escape room all about Tom Turkey.  This lesson is always challenging and yet fun.  At the end the students always beg to do more.      

December is all about Christmas, and of course our Ag in the Classroom is no different.  Mrs. Kleiboeker started out the lesson by passing out the Seasons Ag Mag that talks about many of the different specialty crops grown in IL.  There are many but one that we focus on is the growth of Horseradish.  Collinsville, IL is the self-proclaimed Horseradish capital of the world because there is so much grown in the area.  Horseradish was brought over to the US by the many Germans who moved to this area.  We discuss how many people in the county are of German ancestry.  Then we move onto the discussion of the Christmas type products grown in this area.  We talk about Poinsettias, the history of growing popcorn, of which IL is number 3 in production and Christmas Trees.  Again, we discuss how the Christmas Trees, and the stringing of Popcorn and Cranberries are German traditions.   Afterwards the students made a Christmas Tree Key chain.

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