New York Agriculture in the Classroom | June 2018
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Important Dates:

June 12,13,15- Meat Your Beef Tour

June 27-29- National AITC Conference in Portland, ME

July 15-17 - 2018 New York State Maple Tour

August 27 -  2018 New York State Maple Tour

May 1- October 31- GrowNYC Governors Island Open Season

National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference Scholarship Winners
Aquaculture, school gardens, oxen, whoopee pies, distilleries, sustainability, biodiversity and more will be the focus of this year's National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine. For the first time, New York Agriculture in the Classroom has dedicated scholarship funding to provide sixty New York teachers the opportunity to attend the premier professional development conference about teaching through a lens of food and agriculture. The scholarship is valued at over $1,200 for each winner.
Fifty-one classroom teachers, eight Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, and one post-secondary administrator were awarded scholarships. The teachers span in grade levels from Pre-K through grade twelve in all subject areas, and range in teaching experience from one to thirty-two years. The organization is most proud that the attendees are representative of each region of New York State. To view the full list of recipients or the press release, visit our website

Schoolyard Sugaring Contest Results 
New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the New York State Maple Foundation are pleased to announce the winners of the second annual Schoolyard Sugaring: Maple Syrup Contest. In this contest, students and teachers were exposed to the time, patience, and science it takes to turn sap into syrup by participating in every step of the maple syrup production process from tapping the trees to bottling the syrup.  Fifty-two entries in three divisions were submitted for judging by a panel of maple producers. 
Congratulations to ER Andrews Elementary with maple partner Orth Farms, Malone Middle School, and Stockbridge Valley on taking first in their divisions. To read the press release and view the rest of the winners, visit our website.

2018 New York State Maple Tour
The 2018 New York State Maple Tour is scheduled for July 15-17. It will be hosted by the Upper Hudson Area Maple Producers Association and centered at the Saratoga Springs Holiday Inn. The tour will include a reception, a trade show, a banquet, and 11 tour stops of maple operations of varying sizes. For more information, including tour stop descriptions, or to register visit, or

Take a Field Trip to GrowNYC Governors Island Teaching Garden
GrowNYC's Governors Island Teaching Garden is a 21,000 square foot urban farm that aims to engage, excite, and educate its visitors in all aspects of urban farming. Field trips are available from April through November for NYC students (K-12), who have the opportunity to plant, water, harvest, and taste the garden's wide array of vegetables, herbs, and fruits.  In addition to scheduled school visits, the garden is open to the public on weekends during the larger Governors Island open season (May 1-October 31, 2018). GrowNYC's weekend public programming includes tours, garden and nutrition related workshops, and more.  For more information or to book a field trip, visit their website

Teacher Resources
June is Dairy Month!
Milk, ice cream, cheese, and more... how do you celebrate dairy daily? Consider bringing dairy into your classrooms this month with some of our dairy-centric lessons available on the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix. From Kindergarten- grade 12, we have lessons available to fit all subjects that range from identifying dairy breeds to churning your own butter. Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of milk while you check out these moo-ving lessons! 
Nepris- Connecting Industry to Classrooms
As the school year is winding down and you begin to plan for next year, consider looking through this website. What you'll find is a porthole to experts who develop and use science and technology everyday to solve "real-world" problems. This free resource connects you virtually to guest speakers adding relevancy to your course content. 
Give Me Five!
Send your students off this summer with a lesson about nutrition and local food so they can make good choices while they soak up the sun. In "Give Me Five!" s tudents will learn about the five food groups and what state-grown foods fit into each group. This lesson makes a local connection to good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
Corn, an A-maizing Plant: Food, Fuel, and Plastic
Celebrate National Corn on the Cob day with your class on June 11th with this sweet lesson for grades 3-5. Students will examine the growth, composition, history, and uses of corn through a close reading activity, discussion of renewable and non-renewable resources, and hands-on exploration of bioplastics made from corn.

Science and Poetry with Almonds
Students will learn about the almond tree life cycle including tree dormancy, pollination, bloom and kernel development of an almond through a plantin activity and acrostic poem. This lesson is a great way to introduce to your students to different types of agriculture they may not be familiar with. 
Middle School/ High School
Overfishing and Aquaculture 
Did you know shrimp is the number one consumed seafood in the United States? In this lesson for grades 6-8, students will discover the sources of various fish and seafood, compare wild-caught and farm-raised aquaculture systems, and use a simulation to learn how overfishing can damage the ocean ecosystem.
Conserving Bumble Bees
This lesson for 9-12 grades introduces the importance of bumble bees and other pollinators. Using a case study approach, students will examine bumble bee population surveys and use the scientific method to discuss possible causes for the decline of pollinators. Students will then determine which land management conservation strategies in agricultural ecosystems are most successful in attracting and supporting bumble bee populations.
Strawberry Breeding and Genetics
Students will learn about DNA by extracting it from strawberries in this 9-12 grade lesson. Students also analyze the similarities and differences of their extraction process to those on Genetic Engineering: The Journey of a Gene. Students learn how genetic testing (including DNA extraction) is useful in breeding new varieties of strawberries. This lesson is surprisingly simple, fun, and can be easily pared down for younger levels to understand. 
June Book Nook
Achoo! Why Pollen Counts
S hennen Bersani created this  picture book teaching children about pollen, the pollination process, and bees. The story follows a baby bear who is allergic to pollen. He learns how pollen is used by other insects and animals such as spiders, butterflies, honey bees, hummingbirds, and more. This book can be added as an extension for lessons about flowers and pollination to help students see additional benefits and uses of pollen.
Diary of a Worm
Written in diary form, students will learn about life from the perspective of a worm.  The book  teaches about the role worms play in our soil and uses fun and comical observations of a worm. Consider pairing this lesson with Color in the Garden, It's a Dirty Job, or the Soil Chain to make the most of this book. 

Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition
Many Native Americans regard corn as a gift, a food with sacred value. The Winnebago, or Hochunk people, tell a story about a clan leader who saw a spirit called Corn Person in a dream. Corn Person showed the man how to plant, grow, and preserve corn so his people would have food to eat all year. In this photographic essay, twelve-year-old Russell learns the traditions of corn from his grandfather, who is from the Winnebago reservation in Nebraska.
New York Agriculture in the Classroom |
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