In the midst of the back-to-school season, the Almond Board of California (ABC) wants to remind educators of its recently developed lesson plans.
These plans are available to all educators at elementary schools in California’s Central Valley through Ag in the Classroom, and include a video and an activity book. The lesson plans, “California Almonds: An Almond Story,” offer a unit outline for educators to teach students about the history and applications of almonds.
As the No. 1 agricultural-producing state, with 80 percent of the world’s almonds grown in California, ABC has always had an interest in furthering educational options in the classroom.
Over the last six years, ABC has worked with Ag in the Classroom to offer the popular “An Almond Story” video and accompanying activity book, which insert the teaching of agriculture - specifically almonds - into the classroom.
Since almond orchards cover much of California, it’s important to ABC to provide educators with the tools they need to teach students about almonds in a fun and engaging way.
For Third-to-Fifth Graders
The lesson plans are built with grades three to five in mind, and include five lessons in the almond unit. Lessons include Fact or Opinion, Science and Poetry with Almonds, Fun with Almond Math, Almond History and Cultural Significance, and Nutritious Almonds.
The entire unit aligns with the education standards for California schools, along with the country’s Common Core standards for math, science, and English.
Many students don’t realize that California is a major agricultural state, growing more than 400 crops. A goal of the lesson plans is to teach children to be aware of what’s grown around them, and to instill a sense of responsibility for the land.
Additionally, forging a personal connection with the people who grow the food on their plates makes students excited to eat more nutrient-rich foods. And many California students are personally tied in some way to the almond industry, making almonds more than just a snack.
Not only is “California Almonds: An Almond Story” educational, it’s also a fun and hands-on way to bring agriculture into the classroom.
Through its lesson plans, kids learn about almonds with some traditional teaching methods, but the plans also build in options for interactive activities which include learning how to make almond-focused recipe books, poetry books, or travel brochures.
Leadership Program Origination
The idea for the lesson plans came from ABC’s yearlong Almond Leadership Program, during which participants learn about the almond industry by attending monthly seminars. The participants work on a presentation throughout the duration of the program which they unveil in their final month.
In 2013, two participants of the Almond Leadership Program presented the lesson plans as their project. These participants realized the potential to create a more complete offering around the activity book and video that ABC had already been offering to educators. The Almond Board’s Industry Services Committee quickly realized that the lesson plans would be an asset to their educator package.
As the 2016–2017 school year has begun, the Almond Board of California hopes to find the lesson plans in schools throughout the school year. The lesson plans, including the video and activity book, are available to download at http://bit.ly/AnAlmondStory.
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