Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
English Language Arts, Social Studies
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Upper Primary
Grade:
4
Tags:
  • GEDB
  • Global Education
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    GEDB Feeding the World: American Commodity Investigator (Lesson 6 of 12)

    GEDB Feeding the World: American Commodity Investigator (Lesson 6 of 12)

    Overview

    In this lesson, students will investigate the term commodity and its relationship to agriculture. From previous work, students know that agriculture includes food, fiber, natural resources and that farmers produce different items. Students have learned that depending on where people live, there are different crops and foods consumed. Note: This lesson was created in accordance with the VIF Global Competence Indicators for Grade 4. For more information about VIF and these indicators, please visit https://www.vifprogram.com/. This lesson was developed by Brenda Todd as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.

    Lesson Plan

    Description

    In this lesson, students will investigate the term commodity and its relationship to agriculture. From previous work, students know that agriculture includes food, fiber, natural resources and that farmers produce different items. Students have learned that depending on where people live, there are different crops and foods consumed. Note: This lesson was created in accordance with the VIF Global Competence Indicators for Grade 4. For more information about VIF and these indicators, please visit https://www.vifprogram.com/.


    Content

    Student Engagement/Motivation

    Review previous lessons on agriculture and its history. Review a few pictures of foods eaten around the world and how different families have more or less of certain foods.

    Share information from the Goodness Grows in North Carolina site and the page “About Ag’s Cool” NC agriculture along with the logo found on foods grown here.

    Ask Questions:

    1. What is a “commodity”?
    2. Why are commodities important to us?
    3. What are the top ten commodities in NC?
    4. What are the top ten commodities in another state?

    Learning Targets and Criteria for Success

    Learning Targets:

    I can define “commodity” and understand that different commodities are produced in different places depending on soil, weather, and climate.

    I can explain how commodities give us food and income.

    Criteria for Success:

    I will compare commodities in 2 states using a Venn diagram.

    I will create a brochure comparing commodities in two states.


    Supplies/Resources

    1. Computers / internet-accessible devices for student use
    2. SMARTBoard™ or other Interactive Whiteboard or Projector
    3. Websites
    4. Pencil/Paper
    5. Colored pencils, crayons, or markers
    6. Document camera (optional)

    Learning Tasks and Practice

    Guiding questions:

    1. What things are grown in North Carolina and the USA?
    2. What are the top commodities in NC? How are they used?
    3. Where do our commodities in the USA go? Do other places use any of our agricultural products?

    Investigate and Analyze

    Break students into small cooperative groups. Have students research a commodity or product. Students can do clustering (listing, idea organizing, and brainstorming) to aid in their projects. Have groups present information to the class via a video, skit, pantomime, report, etc.

    Have students visit the websites listed below to read and investigate about different commodities in NC. As students gather information, they can begin organizing it in a way to keep track of their learning.

    http://www.ncagr.gov/agscool/ - Click on Commodities tab in the house to read about different commodities in NC.

    http://www.ncagr.gov/stats/general/commodities.htm

    http://www.ncagr.gov/stats/codata/ - Click on counties of interest in local area to compare and investigate.

    http://www.stuffaboutstates.com/north.carolina/agriculture.htm

    Teachers may want to save and/or print off some of the resources.

    Have students analyze the following charts about production of commodities. (This can be an additional math activity if time permits or during math time.)

    2015 Crop Summary

    What’s in Season?

    Ask students: What can you determine about commodities in NC from these charts? What can charts show you?

    Have students create a graph using the information. It can be a bar graph, a pie graph, or another of their choice that will tell illustrate what they have learned.

    Have students investigate state commodities. Students will pick an index card with a state listed on it and research commodities in that state using the website map found at:

    State Agriculture Facts- Ag Classroom

    Students will click on the site, then click a state to learn more about the state on their card. They should take good notes related to the following information:

    1. Climate
    2. Weather
    3. Soils
    4. Crops
    5. Livestock (animals)
    6. Size of farm (acres)
    7. Economic impact
    8. Number of farms in state
    9. Where state is located within the U.S. – North, South, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, West, etc. (Since different books and resources list different names for areas in the US pick the ones that your students are used to seeing.)

    Synthesize and Create

    Break students into small cooperative groups or pairs and have them use their research and notes to aid in projects. Students will learn about the top 10 commodities in NC and another state (picked from cards) and make a Venn diagram comparing the commodities from each state with a small group or partner.

    Students will also create a brochure comparing the 2 states including the following information:

    1. Climate
    2. Weather
    3. Soils
    4. Crops
    5. Livestock (animals)
    6. Size of farm (acres)
    7. Economic impact
    8. Number of farms in state
    9. Where state is located within the U.S.? North, South, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, West, etc.

    Students could also make a video or do a skit sharing the information about their 2 states as an alternate activity or for extra.


    Technological Engagement

    Students will be presented with content via various technological media.

    Students may use technology tools to gather information and/or present information for the final product.


    Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning

    Formative assessment

    1. Monitoring of student discussions
    2. Checklist to track student participation and responses to questions posed throughout the lesson
    3. Commodities Quizzes

    Summative assessment

    1. Venn Diagram
    2. Brochures/Presentations (Rubric – Lesson 6 provided as an attached resource file)

    Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps

    Ask students questions like the following: When you researched did you notice some of the same commodities in different states?   What can you infer about the growing conditions in the two states compared?   What did you learn about commodities and how they can be produced? (Students “Stop & Jot” after questions and a class discussion would follow after independent thinking/jotting.)

    1. What did you learn? Did you enjoy the activity? What did you like least? Would you recommend the activity to a friend-Why?
    2. What would you change about this lesson for future students?
    3. Self-reflection sheet or thumbs up and thumbs down.
    4. What went well doing my research?
    5. How did I work with my partner/s?
    6. Did I use my time wisely?

    Feedback/Instructional Adjustments

    The gradual release model is suggested for use with this unit. In this model, the teacher demonstrates the work/skill, then the teachers and the students work together, then the students work together, then the students work independently. Because students have many opportunities to practice the skill/concept, the teacher has ample time to assess understanding and address student misconceptions.

    A variety of instructional activities are also used in order to meet the learning needs of diverse students.

    Remediation, if needed, would be through ongoing discussions (both teacher-student and student-student) and extending or repeating during a new lesson as some lessons build on others.


    Extended Learning Opportunities

    Break the class into groups and have them create a jingle and/or advertising slogan for a GGINC product or GGINC commodity. Have groups then present their campaign to the class via skits. Before the groups actually write the slogan have them research the advertising field. Look at various propaganda techniques (ex. famous person, bandwagon) in class and see what works and what doesn’t. After the groups present their ads, discuss as a group the ad’s finer points along with whether they feel it would actually sell the product. Have students write about the experience in their learning logs.


    Teacher Reflection of Learning

    During this lesson students were engaged in learning about North Carolina agricultural products. They have previously learned about the 3 sisters during Social Studies in their classroom so they were excited to notice it being mentioned again in a different context. Many were amazed how many different things came from NC and compare it to other places. Everyone noticed California had a lot more fruits and vegetables. They found it unusual that the Christmas tree is an agricultural product that can’t be eaten.