One hundred years ago nearly every man, woman and child had to be involved in growing the food and fiber he or she needed simply to survive. Today only about two percent of the American population grows all we need, leaving the rest of us to grow in other areas: in medical advancement, communication and information technology, space exploration, the arts and much more.
Most of us are three or four generations removed from the farm, but all of us depend on agriculture. Tomorrow’s leaders must be agriculturally-literate to protect and preserve the advantages we gain from a strong agriculture. Building that essential literacy is the purpose of Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom.
The Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom curriculum features lessons for grades pre-K-8. The lessons use agricultural topics and ag-related activities to reinforce core skills in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Visual Arts and Music. Most of the lessons are interdisciplinary and teach many of the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Priority Academic Student Skills (P.A.S.S). On top of that, they’re really fun lessons. In some ways, I wish I would have had Ag in the Classroom when I was going to school. It might have made learning more enjoyable.
Now there are even programs designed for teachers so they can learn how to better teach using the curriculum and also demonstrate agricultural practices to their students. Each teacher has her/his own approach to teaching but some are more creative than others and are able to make learning about agriculture fun and exciting every day for their students.
In this week’s video blog, meet Shirley Lettkeman, this year’s “Ag in the Classroom” Teacher of the Year who you can tell is very dedicated about letting her students know where their food comes from.
~ Alisa Hines