Table of contents

Five teenage girl under a clear tarp with young seedlings

Introduction

Agriculture education works to foster awareness and understanding of Alberta’s agriculture industry so that students have a basic level of agricultural literacy – the ability to apply a basic understanding of agriculture to make informed decisions.

Agriculture Education staff:

  • work with the agriculture industry and education system
  • connect teachers to ag programs and resources that help them integrate agriculture in the curriculum
  • provide consulting to the ag industry, enabling industry members to understand the Alberta Education curriculum, work effectively with teachers and choose meaningful evaluation methods

Resources

  • Classroom resources

    Elementary

    The Ag A-Z Colouring Book (PDF, 846 KB) is a great introduction to agriculture for students in kindergarten or Grade 1.

    Alberta Community Bat Program offers an Alberta Bats colouring and activity book and other educational resources.

    Alberta Beef Producers have a Beef in the Classroom program which focuses on nutrition education.

    Alberta Pulse Growers and a PULSE café program that provides student activity booklets along with teachers' resources to integrate pulses (peas, beans and lentils) into the classroom.

    Agriculture in the Classroom – Canada is a national organization that promotes the integration of agriculture into the curriculum. They have a variety of resources and agriculture information for elementary students and teachers.

    Agriculture for Life is Alberta’s Ag in the Classroom representative and you can contact them to access their resources.

    Canola Learning Centre: LearnCanola has resources and lessons plans for every level.

    The Classroom Agriculture Program runs each spring and matches agriculture producer volunteers with classrooms across the province. Producers come to the classroom and provide an interactive presentation about agriculture. Targeted mainly to grade 4 students.

    Project Agriculture is an inquiry-based agriculture resource for elementary students and teachers that explores how agriculture has changed over time, innovation in agriculture, chemistry in agriculture and other topics.

    Wonderville is an online destination where kids can explore science. Operated by Mindfuel (formerly Science Alberta Foundation), they offer resources to support the Science curriculum, including careers and technology in Science.

    Secondary

    Agriculture in the Classroom – Canada is a national organization that promotes the integration of agriculture into the curriculum. They have a variety of resources for secondary students and teachers.

    Alberta Beef Producers have a Beef in the Classroom program which focuses on nutrition education.

    Alberta Soil Information Centre has information and interactive maps that are useful in supporting Grade 7 Science curriculum. Their Soil Group Map is a great teaching tool for the unit and can be downloaded.

    The Alberta Water Portal offers resources, videos and teachers guides on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, a model for the interaction between water, growing food, energy and people.

    The Canola Learning Centre has learning resources and lessons plans for every level. All lessons are based on the Alberta curriculum.

    Growing Careers is a website that provides information on the career possibilities in agriculture. The site has 75 career profile videos and other career resources for teachers and students.

    Journey 2050 is a virtual simulation for Grade 7 to 9 students that explores world food sustainability and seeks to answer the question, "How will we sustainably feed over 9 billion people by the year 2050." Calgary teachers can book a field trip at Calgary's Stampede Park or anyone can access the simulation through the free Journey 2050 iPad app.

    Ontario's Agscape has a variety of free electronic resources, print resources and video resources that are available either for free, or for a nominal fee. They focus on current issues in agriculture including local and global food issues, modern agriculture production, science and technology and the environment.

    Project Agriculture is an inquiry-based agriculture resource for junior/senior high students and teachers that explores the topics of food democracy, agriculture technology and sustainability in agriculture.

    SnapAg is a series of resources that invite students to explore the hot topics affecting the agriculture industry today. Topics range from organics, biotechnology, GMOs, livestock and more.

    Soil Monoliths Collections at the University of Alberta has soil samples from across Alberta, with samples dating back to before the land was cultivated. They have photos of the collection available online.

    French resources

    Agriculture en classe Canada (AEC-C) (Agriculture in the Classroom Canada)

    The following resources are available in French through the AEC-C website:

    Carrières (Careers): pensezAGRI: Career profiles to interest students in ag careers

    Ressources (Resources) – not curricular linked

    snapAG: one-page information sheets on a variety of hot topics in agriculture including: animal health, biotechnology, pesticides, fertilizers, invasive species, water consumption

    la véritée au sujet de l’agriculture: Information booklet on a variety of agriculture issues developed by Farm & Food Care. There is also a teacher’s guide available in French for the resource

    Livres (Books)

    La terre sur le dos d’une tortue

    L’aventure technologique de Reggie

    Le mission de Bouton d’or

    Les aventures de Michel et Mia : des cultivateurs responsables

    Activités (Activities)

    Planète X: Students learn about all the ag careers involved in making the ingredients for a basic pizza. Using that information, they decide what ag professionals they would choose if they went to live on the hypothetical ‘Planet X’.

    Vidéos (Videos)

    Before the Plate: English video, with French subtitles, that dives into the divide between urban and rural consumer perceptions in Canada.

  • Curriculum

    Information on Alberta’s current curriculum is available online and provides links to the full programs of study or overviews for each grade and subject.

    These 2 Alberta Agriculture resources help educators identify where agriculture fits in the curriculum:

    Connecting Agriculture to Alberta Junior High School Curriculum

    Connecting Agriculture to Alberta Senior High School Curriculum

  • Events

    Agriculture for Life’s Agriculture Education Symposium is an opportunity for teachers to learn about agriculture and experience activities that they can easily integrate into their classroom.

    Calgary Stampede Aggie Days. Calgary Stampede hosts Aggie Days each spring with educational activities and exhibits for elementary students.

    Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week occurs each year in early March. Agriculture comes alive in Canadian classrooms as students participate in activities to learn about, connect to and understand this important industry. Events and resources are available to support teachers who want their students to understand how food gets from the farm to their plate.

    The Rural Education Symposium is held each March in Banff. The symposium offers rural educators the chance to explore the social, political, and economic supports, practices and policies that create vibrant, sustainable schools and communities throughout rural Alberta.

  • Lesson plans

    Grade 1 lesson plans

    Grade 1 Science Topic B: Seasonal Change

    Grade 1 Science Topic D: Senses

    • Guess the animal (PDF, 80 KB) encourages students to use their powers of observation to help them describe an animal.
    • Sounds of farming (PDF, 776 KB) helps students focus on their senses of smell and hearing.
    • What am I? (PDF, 199 KB) gives students riddles to solve using a variety of senses.

    Grade 1 Science Topic E: Needs of Plants and Animals

    • Animal health care (PDF, 47 KB) helps children identify principles of health care for farm animals.
    • Animal workers (PDF, 1 MB) Students explore the work that domesticated animals can do.
    • Country fair (PDF, 50 KB) helps students understand proper care of animals and appreciate the importance of providing necessary care for living things.
    • Farm cat, city cat-A very special cat (PDF, 239 KB) introduces children to the differences and similarities between an animal that is a pet and one that is a worker.
    • Farming for favourite foods (PDF, 58 KB) explores the favourite foods of students and uses these foods to build a greater understanding of growing conditions for plants.
    • Germinating seeds (PDF, 310 KB) will introduce students to the process of seed germination.
    • Grow a snack (PDF, 71 KB) introduces students to the process of data recording as they observe plant growth.
    • Is it living or non-living? (PDF, 158 KB) Students explore the differences between living and non-living things in this lesson.
    • Natural packaging (PDF, 90 KB) helps students compare the function of skin and peels of food products.
    • Stocking the cupboard and the fridge (PDF, 22 KB) gives students the opportunity to classify familiar plants on the basis of similar characteristics.
    • Classroom pet (PDF, 60 KB) provides students with the opportunity to scientifically examine the care of a classroom pet.
    • What is this animal? (PDF, 223 KB) Children develop a way of classifying animals that they have not seen before.
    • Udderly amazing milkers (PDF, 172 KB) provides instructions to help students construct a model cow and rubber glove udder.

    Grade 2 lesson plans

    Grade 2 Science Topic D: Hot and Cold Temperature

    • Natural insulators (PDF, 122 KB) helps students observe, identify and describe the natural fibre from sheep.
    • Grade 2 Science Topic E: Small Crawling & Flying Animals
      Undercover friends (PDF, 63 KB) introduces students to the wonder of earthworms.

    Grade 2 Social Studies Topic 2.1: Canada's Dynamic Communities

    • Natural insulators (PDF, 122 KB) helps students observe, identify and describe the natural fibre from sheep.
    • Field to table (PDF, 206 KB) investigates how food production connects Canadian communities.

    Grade 2 Social Studies Topic 2.2: A Community of the Past

    • Let's be pioneers (PDF, 54 KB) helps students use skits to explore community identity.
    • Making bread (PDF, 162 KB) is a lesson designed to help students explore how food production connects community members.

    Grade 4 lesson plans

    Grade 4 Social Studies Topic 4.1 Alberta: A Sense of the Land

    Grade 4 Social Studies Topic 4.2 Alberta: The Stories, Histories and Peoples of Alberta

    Grade 5 lesson plans

    Grade 5 Science Topic D: Weather Watch

    • Weather or not game (PDF, 103 KB) helps students understand the impact of weather on growing conditions for plants.

    Grade 5 Science Topic E: Wetland Ecosystems

    • Water a thirsty topic (PDF, 52 KB) helps students examine the sources of their water and understand the importance of water.

    Grade 6 lesson plans

    Grade 6 Science Topic D: Evidence and Investigation

    Grade 6 Science Topic E: Trees and Forests

    • Saskatoon pie (PDF, 456 KB) helps students explore the concept of domestication of wild plants with edible fruits.

    Grade 7 lesson plans

    Grade 7 Science Topic B: Plants for Food and Fibre

    • Eat like a Brazilian (PDF, 71 KB) explores the important connection between food and culture
    • How does your garden grow (PDF, 143 KB) and Take a walk on the weed side (PDF, 513 KB) outline experiments students can perform on factors affecting weed growth and how applying nutrients affects plant growth.
    • It's my turn to claim the land (PDF, 618 KB), using land claims for initial settlements, students define, compose and illustrate a sustainable community.
    • The payback game (PDF, 519 KB) demonstrates how food production takes nutrients from the soil and how soil is regenerated with nutrients.

    Grade 8 lesson plans

    Grade 8 Science Topic B: Cells and Systems

    • Biological warfare (PDF, 247 KB) is an extension activity in which students develop a natural pest control spray and test its effectiveness.
    • Don't bug me (PDF, 455 KB) helps students identify insects and relate structure to function in terms of insect feeding habits.
  • Programs

    There are many different programs and field-trips available across Alberta that help teachers meet curricular outcomes while integrating agriculture into the curriculum. Contact these organizations directly for more information or to book their programs.

    Elementary programs

    Bee My Honey offers class field trips to teach kids about bees. Suits, veils, gloves and hive tools are available for visitors to use while inspecting the hives.

    Classroom Agriculture Program (CAP) is an Alberta-wide program for Grade 4 students that pairs classes with a producer or other ag education professional who will come to the classroom to give a presentation on agriculture.

    The Jungle Farm, located just off highway 2 in Red Deer County, offers curricular-based programs on-site at their farm.

    Neubauer Farms Growing Minds. The Neubauer family in Medicine Hat offers an inquiry-based, on-farm program based on the Growing Minds/Beyond the Classroom philosophy.

    Nutrients for Life is a science-based program that provides teachers with funding, resources and support to start a learning garden in their school.

    Alberta Pork's Pig Science Centre in Edmonton is a unique learning facility that demonstrates what happens in a modern pig barn. Students learn about production practices, animal care, environmental sustainability, food safety and pig by-products.

    Prairie Gardens, a farm located in Bon Accord, 25 km north of Edmonton, offers a variety of school programs for students; including a junior farm naturalist program and self-directed programs that teachers can adapt to their specific needs.

    The Reynolds Museum, located in Wetaskiwin, offers a variety of curricular-linked education programs and several video-conference programs as well. The museum interprets the impact of technological change in transportation, aviation, agriculture and industry from the 1890s to the present. Some examples of curricular topics include simple machines, mechanical systems, electricity and magnetism, and flight.

    Salisbury Greenhouse in Sherwood Park offers spring school tours for preschool to Grade 4 students. They also have teacher resources for school gardens.

    Stampede School in Calgary is a two-day program for Grade 3 to 12 students. The school provides an engaging, first-hand experience that immerses students in exploration, observation and rich hands-on learning experiences focusing on history, agriculture and western heritage.

    Secondary programs

    Ag for Life offers an Agriculture 101 program for grades 7 to 12 which provides a broad overview of Agriculture through hands-on learning and industry presentations.

    Bee My Honey offers class field trips to teach kids about bees. Suits, veils, gloves and hive tools are available for visitors to use while inspecting the hives.

    The Green Certificate Program provides trainees with opportunities to enter a variety of agriculture-related, structured learning pathways as a part of their senior high school program and to earn up to 16 Grade 12 diploma credits and a credential leading to a career in agribusiness.

    Journey 2050 is a virtual simulation for Grade 7 to 9 students that explores world food sustainability and seeks to answer the question, "How will we sustainably feed over 9 billion people by the year 2050." Calgary teachers can book a field trip at Calgary's Stampede Park or anyone can access the simulation through the free Journey 2050 iPad app.

    The Jungle Farm, located just off highway 2 in Red Deer County, offers curricular-based programs on-site at their farm. Secondary school teachers can contact the farm about the possibility of developing a program for their class' needs.

    Neubauer Farms Growing Minds. The Neubauer family in Medicine Hat offers school programs on their farm. Secondary school teachers can contact the farm about the possibility of developing a program for their class' needs.

    Nutrients for Life is a science-based program that provides teachers with funding, resources and support to start a learning garden in their school.

    Alberta Pork's Pig Science Centre in Edmonton is a unique learning facility that demonstrates what happens in a modern pig barn. Secondary school teachers can contact the Centre about the possibility of developing a program for their class' needs.

    The Reynolds Museum, located in Wetaskiwin, offers a variety of curricular-linked education programs and several video-conference programs as well. The museum interprets the impact of technological change in transportation, aviation, agriculture and industry from the 1890s to the present. Some examples of curricular topics include simple machines, mechanical systems, electricity and magnetism, and flight.

  • School gardens

    Food is one of life's basic needs. School gardens are being used across Alberta at all grade levels to help young people understand and appreciate the industry that grows, processes, and delivers safe, abundant food to Albertans every day. The gardening process also encourages students to make healthy food choices. These resources help Alberta teachers plan and fund a school garden.

    A Guide to Growing School Gardens in Alberta is a reference document for teachers wanting to start a school garden. It has curricular links, lesson ideas, planning tools and timing charts to support teachers of all grade levels as they implement gardening in their classroom.

    Earth Boxes are a great way to get started with gardening in the classroom. The kits contain everything you need to start your own garden. They can also be ordered through Boreal Science.

    Farm to Cafeteria Canada's School Food Map has a "living map of activities underway to get more healthy local foods in the minds and on the plates of students." Teachers can find out what other schools are doing to grow vegetables for their schools and can add their school to the list.

    Building Your Own Home Garden is a helpful online gardening resource.

    The Guide to Gardening at Home is a resource recommended to us by a student here in Alberta. It has some great tips for beginning gardeners.

    Got Dirt is a garden tool kit, provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, for implementing school gardens.

    Got Veggies from the Wisconsin Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program, is filled with practical and very effective suggestions for connecting children with gardening and nutrition.

    Wonderville is a cutting-edge, online destination where kids can explore science. Operated by Mindfuel (formerly Science Alberta Foundation), they offer resources for all grade levels that support the Science curriculum, including careers and technology in Science. Their Living Things section of the site has 79 resources with 19 devoted specifically to plants.

    Nutrients for Life is a science-based program that provides teachers with funding, resources and support to start a learning garden in their school.

    There are many organizations that provide funding for school and community gardens. The garden funding sources list (PDF, 23 KB) is a starting point for teachers but all information should be confirmed with each funding organization.

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