Lesson One: History of Agriculture in Wyoming

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Grade Level:

2nd Grade


Students will understand the definitions of stewardship and agriculture.


30 minutes


  • Pictures (one picture per pair of students)
  • 4 Ways Farmers Steward the Land text (one copy per student or display website listed in source 1)
  • Shared reading protocol

Suggested Teacher Preparation:

  • Print pictures
  • Preview text and decide on how it will be shared with the students
  • The resource that this lesson’s text is taken from (http://www.agfoundation.org/news/4-ways-farmers-steward-the-land) has some video links that may be helpful to teachers as you move into other lessons. They are not specifically embedded in the lessons, but may be useful:

Activity Type:

Introductory Activity

Explanation of how the activity enables students to answer the essential question:

Through a quick explanation of “stewardship”, students begin to understand what being a steward is in Wyoming. Throughout the course of the unit, students will develop this idea of stewardship.

Essential Question:

How can we be stewards of Wyoming’s agriculture to benefit current and future generations?


  • Steward – an individual who manages areas or resources
  • Stewardship – As Wyoming citizens, we are stewards entrusted with the responsible development, care, and use of our resources to benefit current and future generations
  • Agriculture – cultivating of the soil, producing of crops, and raising of livestockInstructional


  1. Introduce the term “steward” by having students discover how they are stewards of their classroom and school. The teacher gives examples of stewardship in the classroom by providing real examples such as: “(Name) is a steward of the classroom, because he always makes sure that we have enough sharpened pencils to get us through the day. (Name) is a steward, because she put her empty water bottle in the bin so it can be recycled, and I noticed great stewardship of our class space from (Name) when he hung up a coat that fell off the hook.”
  2. Students work with a partner to complete this sentence stem: “I am a steward of our school by _________________________.” Partners will Grade 2 – Agriculture – Lesson 1 share their sentence with the class.TEACHER NOTE:It is important for the teacher to listen for misconceptions
    while students are discussing stewardship and guide them to the correct
    meaning of stewardship as it pertains to the unit.
  3. Discuss the definition of “agriculture” with students using the guiding information below: Agriculture is the cultivating of the soil, producing of crops, and raising of livestock.
    • Cultivate – prepare and use land for crops or gardening
    • A farm – an area of land where crops are grown.
    • A ranch – an area where livestock are raised on open rangeland and graze on native grasses.

    The three major agricultural products produced in Wyoming are:

    • Crops – a cultivated plant that is grown for food, fiber, or live stock feed. Common crops in Wyoming are alfalfa, sugar beets, hay, and wheat.
    • Livestock – animals kept for use and profit, such as cattle and sheep.
    • Timber – wood prepared for use in building and carpentry. It also includes wood pellets and animal bedding.

    Say: “These are all renewable resources for our state. This means they can be used repeatedly because they can be replaced through care and maintenance.”
    TEACHER NOTE: The discussion may also include the points that a farm can also raise livestock and ranches can grow some crops, even though the main purpose of a farm is to grow crops and the main purpose of a ranch is to raise livestock. Crops can also be grown for other purposes, such as fuel or aesthetics.

  4. Arrange students into partnerships. Distribute one picture to each group
    and have the students describe their picture by using this sentence stem:

    • This picture is an example of agriculture because _________________________________.

    While students share out, we suggest the teacher uses an anchor chart to note student ideas.

  5. Next, students will read a short text helping them to connect the ideas of stewardship and agriculture. Display/pass out the text, and use the shared reading strategy (http://www.stanswartz.com/Shared%20Rdg%20excerpt.pdf) to read and discuss the text. Be sure to highlight the specific agricultural stewardshi
    p practices that are described in the text.


  1. American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. (2015, August 3). 4 Ways Farmers Steward the Land. Retrieved July 5,2017, from http://www.agfoundation.org/news/4-ways-farmers-steward-the-land
  2. America’s Heartland. (2012, September 26). What is crop rotation? “Agriculture 101: America’s Heartland. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9YDlcKG4rA
  3. Missouri & Mississippi Divide RC&D. (2014, July 23). “Nabbing Nitrates Before Water Leaves the Farm: Riparian Forest Buffers”. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxZlAw-SUP4