Lesson One: The Roots of Agriculture
Grade Level: 4th Grade
Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Essential Question: How can we be stewards of Wyoming’s agriculture to benefit current and future generations?
Objectives: Students will:
- Learn the definition of stewardship.
- Understand the history of agriculture in Wyoming and how it (positively or negatively) impacts the state today.
Purpose: Students learn about stewardship through the history of agriculture in Wyoming.
- “The Roots of Agriculture” text (one per student) – (sources: 1- 10)
- Stewardship poster
- Sticky notes (two per student)
- Chart paper
Suggested Teacher Preparation:
- Read “The Roots of Agriculture” text
- Display the Stewardship poster
- Prepare the T-chart (see example included at end of lesson)
Social Studies: SS5.5.3 (Explicit)
ELA: 4.RI.1, 4.RI.4, 4.SL.2, 4.SL.4 (Practiced/Encountered)
CVE: CV5.2.2, CV5.2.3 (Practiced/Encountered)
- Acre – a unit of land area (about the size of a football field) – unit of measure to describe areas of land, 66’ x 660’ or 1/640 mi2
- Agriculture – cultivating of the soil, producing of crops, and raising of livestock
- Census – the official process of counting the number of people in a country, city, or town, and collecting information about them
- Commercial – buying and selling of goods and services
- Commodities – something of use, advantage, or value
- Export – to send a product to be sold
- Farmer – a person who cultivates land for crops and may also raise livestock
- Harvest – (1) gather a crop (2) process an animal for consumption
- Inhabitant – a person or animal that lives in a particular place
- Modernization – to make something modern and more suited to present styles or needs
- Process (animals) – to turn a live animal into products that can be easily used by humans
- Processing Plant – a facility where live animals are turned into food products that can be easily used by the consumer
- Rancher – a person who raises livestock and may also cultivate the land for crops
- Rangeland – land used for livestock and/or wildlife grazing
- Rural – living outside of a city
- Stewardship – As Wyoming citizens, we are stewards entrusted with the responsible development, care, and use of our resources to benefit current and future generations.
- Surpassed – to be better or greater than someone or something
- Sutler – a person who followed an army or maintained a store on an army post to sell to soldiers
- Urban – living in a city
- Display the definition of stewardship and review/discuss what it means as a class.
- Have students read “The Roots of Agriculture” text by choosing a strategy that works best for your students. Review the “Terms to Know” before reading if necessary.
- Have students mark their texts for the following facts:
AnalysisIn this task, students will be engaged in the higher order thinking skill of analysis.
- UNDERLINE a fact that you thought was interesting
- CIRCLE a fact that you would like to know more about
- Label with a ‘?’ a fact that you have a question about
- Label with a ‘+’ a fact about something that was positive in our history
- Label with a ‘-’ a fact about something that was a challenge in our history After students finish marking their texts, have them discuss in small groups the facts they marked and why.
- Give each student two sticky notes. One is to record a fact about something positive in our history; the other is to record a fact about a challenge in our history. When finished, have students place their sticky notes on the T-chart’s corresponding column.
SynthesisIn this task, students will be engaged in the higher order thinking skill of synthesis.
- At the end of the lesson, have each small group share the facts they posted and one or two interesting ideas that came out of their discussion and how they tie to stewardship. Have students explain their rationale for why it is a positive or negative fact. Since opinions about whether a fact is positive or negative may vary, students should be allowed to defend their thinking. The teacher should bring forth information highlighting some positive facts such as: cattle were initially brought to Wyoming, and now they make up one of the state’s biggest industries. The Homestead Act brought many people to Wyoming who farmed and ranched. Many of the descendants of those people continue to farm and ranch today. In addition, the teacher should also highlight negative facts that impact us today such as the fact that cattlemen, sheepmen, settlers, and Native Americans were in great conflict over land use.
Assessment: Examine responses on the T-Chart to ensure that students have an understanding of the history of agriculture as taken from the reading.
- Wyoming Stock Growers Association. Mantha Phillips. Region III Vice President.
- Savages and Scoundrels. (2012). 1830 – Fur Trade nearing peak. Retrieved August 4, 2017, from http://savagesandscoundrels.org/events-landmarks/1830-fur-trade-nearing-peak/
- Zimmer, Vickie. WyoHistory.org. (n.d.) Goshen County, Wyoming. Retrieved August 4, 2017, from http://wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/goshen-county-wyoming
- National Archives. (2016, October 3). The Homestead Act of 1862. Retrieved August 4, 2017, from http://archives.gov/education/lessons/homestead-act
- Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, State Parks and Cultural Resources. (2010). Timeline of Ranching, Homesteading, and Farming in Wyoming, 1860-1960. Retrieved August 4, 2017, from http://wyoshpo.state.wy.us/homestead/timeline.html
- United States Department of Agriculture, National Agriculture Statistics Service. (2016). Wyoming Annual Bulletin, 2016. Retrieved September 18, 2018 from http://nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Wyoming/Publications/Annual_Statistical_Bulletin/WY_2016_Bulletin.pdf
- Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary. (2001-2018).Agriculture. Retrieved August 5, 2018, from http://etymonline.com/word/agriculture
- FarmCentric. (2018, June 28). Cattle Inventory vs Human Population by State. Retrieved August 2, 2018, from http://beef2live.com/story-cattle-inventory-vs-human-population-state-0-114255
- FarmCentric. (2018, July 12). Top 10 States with the Most Sheep & Lambs. Retrieved August 2, 2018, from http://beef2live.com/story-top-10-states-sheep-lambs-0-117992
- NSTATE,LLC. (2017, December 19). Wyoming Economy. Retrieved August 2, 2018, from http://netstate.com/economy/wy_economy.htm