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Engaging Holiday Lessons

Hello everyone! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It is Friday, only a couple of days until family gatherings and stuffed tummies. I am wrapping up the work week by sitting in my cozy office while holiday tunes play in the background. Students have gone home for holiday break and we concluded our last lesson for the semester earlier this week. Evaluations were sent to all participating teachers and I plan to take time before the first of the year to set goals and develop new lessons with all of your suggestions in mind. I have enjoyed the variety of lessons this month. Here are just a few of my favorite.

Time for Cranberries: 2nd-4th grade

Students worked together to discover how cranberries are produced. From farm to plate, the class explored geography, problem solving, and diversity in farming.

Did you know? Cranberries are native to the United States? Today, majority of cranberries sold are consumed between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Media commercials portray cranberry farms flooded with water but contrary to this belief they do not grow in water. They grow on low vines in beds called bogs. Cranberries thrive in sandy soil and it takes 16 months to grow the perennial plant.

Holiday Tree Farms: PreK-1st grade

Students discovered tree farming as a sector of agriculture through exploring the life cycle of a conifer tree.

We read an interactive story, "Once upon a time, a farmer planted a nursery full of young trees. And in a field full of seedlings stood a small conifer (trees that never lose their leaves) tree. Smaller than all of the other seedlings. She stood up very straight in her row, planted in dark, rich soil among the other little trees. This little tree wanted to grow tall enough to be picked by families during the holiday season."

Each grade had a different activity to accompany the interactive life cycle story.

Pre-school: Math lesson "Cover that number."

Kindergarten: Science lesson "Life Cycle in a Bag."

First Grade: Nutrition Lesson "Mr. Grinch." Where do grapes, bananas, strawberries and marshmallows come from?

GMO Decisions: High School

The purpose was to expose high school students to modern agriculture issues, scientific solutions and the outcomes of those decisions, while discussing the sciences of biology and biotechnology.

Did you know? GMO stands for genetically modified organism. GMO is not a thing but rather a process. There are only 9 GMO crops currently on our grocery shelves. Arctic Apples (non-browning) have been approved but they are not commercially available yet.

Students engaged in a levels of life organization activity, genetics review worksheet, GMO decision card game and a presentation.

Supreme Seeds: 2nd Grade

In this lesson students observed various types of seeds, was introduced to many uses of seeds, used their 5 senses to identify seeds, and made a seed mosaic.

Did you know? Seeds provide us with new plants, oil, food, and fuel?

Very festive and educational! Keep Linn County Farm Bureau Education Outreach in mind for next year. Be sure to connect with us via our website and through Facebook and Twitter.

Merry Christmas!

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