Lesson One: Stewardship

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Grade Level:

4th Grade


30-45 minutes


  • Word Splash Blackline Master (one copy per student)
  • Photographs included for optional differentiation and thought-provoking discussion topics (included as images and PowerPoint file)
  • Bumper sticker template (one for each student)
  • Exit ticket (one copy per student – note: there are 6 per page)

Suggested Teacher Preparation:

  • Have the definition of “stewardship” ready to share
  • Print and display photographs of examples of stewardship

Activity Type

Vocabulary development

Purpose Statement (content Focus & Enduring Understanding/Knowledge/Skills and connection to the unit and preceding lessons):

Students will gain an understanding of the term “stewardship” and of their role in being stewards.

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

By better understanding the meaning of the word “stewardship,” students will be better equipped to be stewards.

Essential Question:

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

Supporting Question:

What is a steward? How can you be a better steward to your community?

Content Focus:

Language Arts (vocabulary)


ELA – L.4.6 (explicitly taught)
ELA – L.4.5.c (practiced/encountered)


(use as a reference as needed)

  • Stewardship – As Wyoming citizens, we are stewards entrusted with the responsible development, care, and use of our resources to benefit current and future generations.
  • Steward – an individual who manages areas or resources
  • Conservation – the careful utilization of a resource in order to prevent waste and leave some for future generations
  • Entrust – to give somebody the responsibility of doing something or of caring for someone or something.
  • Resource – a place or thing that provides something useful
  • Benefit – an advantage or profit gained for something
  • Generation – a group of individuals, most of whom are the same approximate age

Instructional Procedure/Steps:

  1. Show students the definition of “stewardship” from the Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom Stewardship Project: As Wyoming citizens, we are stewards entrusted with the responsible development, care, and use of our resources to benefit current and future generations.
  2. Referring to the stewardship photographs, students will do a quick pair share to discuss how each photograph displays stewardship. Have a few partners share out their thinking. If students are unsure about how individual images display stewardship you may refer to the image guide and talking points included at the end of the PowerPoint.
  3. TEACHER NOTE: The included talking points are examples to help start conversations. Students may have their own ideas and suggestions of how the images show stewardship depending on their background.

  4. Show students the Word Splash document with the words associated with stewardship and pass out a copy to each student. Ask students to choose two or more of the words that connects with stewardship. Give them 5-10 minutes to choose and circle their word. At the bottom of their paper, students write a brief explanation of how the words relate to stewardship.
  5. Working in small groups, students will define or create synonyms or examples for the following key terms then share out their ideas. As students share out their work, be sure that they understand each of these key terms:
    • stewards – possible suggestions- caretaker, managers
    • conservation – possible suggestions-care, protection
    • entrusted – possible suggestions- responsible, commit
    • resources – possible suggestions- Wyoming resources; wildlife, people, land, minerals & energy, water, agriculture
    • benefit – possible suggestions- advantage, profit
    • generation – possible suggestions- age group, grandparents, parents
  6. Students will create a stewardship bumper sticker using words or pictures from the lesson. The students can share out their bumper stickers and display them in the classroom.
  7. TEACHER NOTE: You may also want to keep the bumper stickers for future reference if students participate in the Wyoming Ag in the Classroom bookmark contest. They can use their same idea and transfer it to the bookmark template from the contest.

  8. Pass out paper for students to respond to the following prompt as an exit ticket: how they are/can be stewards in their everyday lives (in the classroom, on school grounds, their neighborhoods, parks, etc.)


Check students’ bumper stickers and informal exit tickets to see if they have various aspects of stewardship (conservation, preservation, education, advocacy) represented. If not, be sure to draw some of those concepts forward in the upcoming lessons.