We know that teachers are always looking for new ways to engage students, but funding for classroom resources is limited. We have a solution!
This week we kicked off another year of the Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Supplement Program. Since 2003, teachers have utilized these grants to fund innovative lessons, classroom resources, outreach programs, field trips and more!
With funding from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation offers $200 grants to support the integration of agriculture into preschool-12th grade in-school and afterschool programs. The subject-area focus of the grant changes each year to allow a variety of projects to receive funding and encourage teachers to consider incorporate agriculture across the curriculum. This year’s focus areas are agriculture in literacy/language arts OR agriculture in social studies.
Not convinced yet, here’s a few reasons to apply:
1. Agriculture is a topic students can easily connect with because it is all around us! Nearly everything we eat, wear, use — even the fuel that powers cars and buses — comes from plants and animals grown on farms.
2. Agriculture provides real-world connections to Iowa Core Standards. Teaching about agriculture in Iowa is an ideal way for students to learn what their state is all about and provide real-life connections to all subjects.
- Tip: On the application, be sure to specifically describe what your students will learn about agriculture through your project– not just how a topic, like Iowa history or technology, relates to agriculture.
3. Social Studies, Social Studies, Social Studies! Iowa recently adopted new social studies standards, and many have strong connections to agriculture! Here’s just few examples:
-1st Grade: Describe the diverse cultural makeup of Iowa’s past and present in the local community, including indigenous and agricultural communities. (SS.1.23)
-2nd Grade: Identify how people use natural resources to produce goods and services. (SS.2.12)
-4th Grade: Explain how Iowa’s agriculture has changed over time. (SS.4.26)
-6th Grade: Explain how changes in transportation, communication, and technology influence the movement of people, goods, and ideas in various countries. (SS.6.18)
-7th Grade: Analyze the role that Iowa plays in contemporary global issues. (SS.7.27)
- Tip: Take a look at the National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes for more ideas about what students should know about agriculture as it relates to the study of culture, society, economy and geography. Social Studies content is in orange print.
4. It’s a great way to build your classroom library. Books are a perfect way for students to learn about agriculture! Incorporate books with an agricultural theme into a language arts or social studies lesson described in the application. Then add them to your classroom library to be enjoyed by students for years to come.
- Tip: Take a look at the books in the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation’s Lending Library for ideas. We have over 200 titles, and you can even check them out to review before buying your own.
5. Funding for field trips is hard to come by. Take students to learn about agriculture first-hand at a farm, museum or historic site. Iowa’s many agriculture museums and historic sites offer tours and self-guided opportunities to learn about Iowa’s agricultural history.
- Tip: Be sure to include what you will do in the classroom before and after the field trip to make the most of the learning experience. If you are learning about agriculture long-ago during the field trip, describe ways your students will compare and contrast that to farming today once they return.
6. It’s easy! Many grant applications take hours to complete and require long essays, spreadsheets with details budgets, administrator approval, and more. Not this one! It only has 10 questions, and most have short answers. Head on over to the application page, create a log-in, and get started.
- Tip: Take a look at the application questions now, think about project ideas, and return later to finish. Once you start the application, you can save and return as often as necessary before January 10, 2018.