Careers in Agriculture

ACP Lesson Plan 

Title: Careers in AgricultureAuthor: Lynn Aprill (original content) and Michigan
Agriculture in the Classroom (OER lessons)
Subject(s): Agriculture, Career Exploration, Social Studies
Grade Level(s): 6Total Time: 7+ class periods

Overview / Description:

This multi-disciplinary career exploration unit builds on lesson plans available through the Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom website. Students will spend a week investigating different aspects of agriculture careers, while incorporating skills from math, English, and social studies. The unit culminates in a "Day in the Life" summative writing assignment.

Learning goals/objectives

After completing this activity, students should be able to . . .

- become aware of many different types of jobs that are agriculture-related

- use technology to investigate and write about ag-related careers

-  locate and label the states on a U.S. map that make up the Corn Belt

- recognize products made from corn used in their daily lives

- learn about the history of the dairy industry

- know what advancements have been made in the dairy industry

- compare old ways of doing jobs on a farm to how they are done today

Workplace Readiness Skill: 

    Social Skills X   Communication 
  X  Teamwork    X    Critical Thinking
   Attitude and Initiative    Planning and Organization
   Professionalism    Media Etiquette

Content Standards:

Common Core State Standards for Literacy in All Subjects:

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.


Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.


Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.


Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.


Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.

Common Core English Language Arts Standards:


Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.


Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.


Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.


Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies

Standard SS.Hist3.C.M

Hypothesize the direction of current events and outcomes based on the past.

Common Core Math Standards


Fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm.


Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.

Wisconsin Common Career Technical Standards


Demonstrate the ability to use technology to retrieve and manage career information that inspires educational achievement.


Demonstrate openness to exploring a wide range of occupations and career pathways.


Use information sources to support an argument, idea, or initiative.


- Careers in Agriculture Teacher's Guide

Download: Careers_in_Agriculture--TG_0CWkuFn.pdf

- Careers in Agriculture Student Handbook

Download: Careers_in_Agriculture--Students_OEYGUNW.pdf

- Vocabulary Squares template for Lesson 4

- Access to career research platform, such as Xello

- Works best in environments where students have one-to-one devices

Learning Activities:

WHO (T=Teacher Focus Lesson; WG=Whole Group\; SM=Small Group; I=Independent)

Learning Activity Task   (All page numbers referenced below are from the STUDENT HANDBOOK, not the Teacher's Guide)                                             WHO is responsible
for this step?
Approximate time
for task
Lesson 1:
*Teacher will introduce the Careers in Agriculture unit by handing out the Student Handbooks for the unit and turning to Page 3.
*When assigning the Newsela article "Students discover high school ag studies are not just for farmers,"  it is possible to differentiate the article with 5 different Lexile levels. Teacher may decide prior to the lesson which Lexile level to use with individual students have have the appropriately leveled article printed for student use.
*After students have read the article, have them complete the assessment and discuss as a class.
*Turn to page 4 and have students Round Robin read the information in the introduction. As students read the different careers under the six employment areas, the teacher  may stop to discuss other additions to each area.
*Exit Ticket - Have students complete the Careers in Agriculture Quiz on page 6.
1 class period
Lesson 2:
*Today's lesson is primarily an ELA lesson.
*Have students do a close reading of the two articles on pages 8 and 9. The teacher may use whatever close reading strategy they'd like, but a great strategy for struggling readers is described in this YouTube video:
*Once students have read the articles, they should answer the questions on page 10 and complete the mapping exercise. This can be collected for formative assessment.
*Students will then create the chart on Page 11 using information from the next two pages. The teacher may have students working in pairs or groups depending on the differentiation needed for each student.
1 class period
Lesson 3:
*Today's lesson is primarily a math lesson.
*Teacher will start the lesson by reading the Introduction on Page 14. Teacher will also introduce the vocabulary strategy Vocabulary Squares, which students will be using to investigate the highlighted and underlined vocabulary words in the text "Dairy Farming." Students may work individually, in pairs, or in groups, depending upon differentiation.
*Once students have read the article and completed their Vocabulary Squares, students will work in groups to complete the Math Discussion Group Questions. Groups are encouraged to discuss how to find the answer to each question.
*Exit Ticket/Homework - Have students complete the "You are the Farmer" worksheet to see how math is used in the world of agriculture. The class may work through some of the beginning problems together to talk through the operations necessary.
1 class period
Lesson 4:
*Teacher will start the lesson by reading the Introduction on Page 20. Teacher will also introduce Xello, an online career research platform available to students in Wisconsin. Teachers without Xello access may choose another platform.
*Follow the steps on Page 20 to lead students through logging in to Xello and taking the Matchmaker quiz.
*Allow students time to investigate the Farmer career, as well as other agriculture careers. Demonstrate how to check for matches between a student's Matchmaker results and different agriculture careers.
*Have each student choose a different agriculture occupation to research, then each student should complete the Notetaking Guide on Page 22 for their chosen career.
*Exit Ticket - Once students are done with the Notetaking Guide, they should write a paragraph of at least 5 sentences about whether or not they think they would enjoy the career they chose to research and why. Students with access to Xello can save these reflections in the "My Notes" section of Xello.
1 class period
Lesson 5:
*Teacher will review the "boxing" close reading strategy used in Lesson 2.
*Students will use the "boxing" strategy to read the article on technology in agriculture and answer the questions on Page 25. 
*The class will then watch "The Future of Farming--A TDC Mini-Documentary" on Youtube.
*The teacher will introduce the skill of Note-taking with the graphic on Page 26.
*On Page 27, students will follow the directions to choose one technological advancement in agriculture which would impact a person with the career they chose in Lesson 4. The teacher should review the need for and assist students in finding quality resources. To differentiate, the teacher may have articles pre-selected for different technologies for students to choose from rather than finding articles on their own.
*Once students have an article to research, they will complete the Note-taking Guide on Page 28.
1-2 class periods (depending on time needed to find resources)
 Summative Assessment:
"A Day in the Life" Writing Assignment
*Student directions are found on Page 29, along with an exemplar. The teacher should emphasize the requirements for the writing assignment, along with the 
Things to Notice" at the bottom of the page. 
*Class time for this final assessment are variable, depending upon whether the teacher would like to use this assessment as an in-class timed writing assignment or as a writing process assessment with rough drafts, peer editing, revising, and final drafts.  The grading rubric for the assessment can be found on Page 28, and students should be encouraged to read through the rubric before drafting for a complete understanding of the components being assessed.
 1 class period (in-class timed writing assignment) to 4 class periods (full writing process)


Formative Assessment: Lesson 1 Careers in Agriculture Quiz, Lesson 2 Crop Farming questions and map, Lesson 2 Crop Farming Corn Belt Chart, Lesson 5 Technology in Agriculture questions

Summative Assessment: Lesson 3 You Are the Farmer Math worksheet, Lesson 4 Agriculture Career Research Notetaking Guide, Lesson 5 Technology in Agriculture Notetaking Guide, "A Day in the Life" final writing assignment


Students could share their final "A Day in the Life" essays by reading them aloud in class. Students are encouraged to upload their essays to the "My Notes" section of Xello.

Extension Activity (for intervention or enrichment):

  • Teacher could arrange for a number of agriculture tours, including to a farm or an agriculture commodity processing facility.
  • Guest speakers on agriculture could include farmers, nutritionists, agronomists, veterinarians, etc.
  • A number of activities contained in the unit allow for differentiation as noted.
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