It’s National Ag Week — it’s the time of year where so many of us visit schools and promote agricultural literacy in the classroom.
Unfortunately, National Ag Week may look a little bit different this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Schools are closed; kids are at home; and parents are left scrambling trying to find activities to keep their little ones busy and engaged.
I, myself, was looking forward to reading my children’s books, “Levi’s Lost Calf” and “Can-Do Cowkids” at an elementary school in Ohio for National Ag Week, but now that I’m grounded due to COVID-19 sweeping the nation, I’m looking for creative ways to engage with young people from the safety of my own on the ranch.
If you, too, are social distancing right now with your family, here are some agriculturally-accurate lesson plans and educational materials for your reference:
1. South Dakota Beef Industry Council hosts coloring contest.
The deadline for this coloring contest, which features a sketch of cute baby calf, is open until April 2. Grab some crayons and keep your little ones busy with this fun activity.
2. Agriculture Council of America offers ideas for daily activities.
Each day, the ACA offers some ideas for promoting agricultural literacy all week. While some aren’t relevant this year (volunteering at ta school or throwing a cook-off party with friends), others are perfect to get your older kids engaged.
Consider having your middle and high school students research an agricultural issue that is affecting the region and write an essay on it. Then, teach your kids how to contact their elected officials to discuss these important issues.M ake them pick up the phone or write a letter or email! Get them engaged in policy issues! Share their findings on social media with a coordinating picture or video.
3. Ranch House Designs has free ag fact printables.
The moms at Ranch House Designs have created 15 free printable designed for elementary and preschool-age kids that focus on livestock production, including cattle, horses and pigs.
4. National Ag In The Classroom (NAITC) has a wealth of information available.
You can count on NAITC to bring agricultural education to the next level! With free games, activities and my favorite, virtual farm tours, there’s plenty of resources to keep your kids engaged this week and beyond.
5. American Farm Bureau Foundation has every ag topic covered.
Dive into these agriculturally-accurate materials, endorsed books and more! The lesson plans are pretty great! Choose your topic, grade level, learning scenario and more to customize exactly what you’re looking for.
6. Story-time with Amanda Radke starts this week!
Finally, I will be recording the narration of my children’s books to be posted on social media this week. Follow me on my Facebook page, Speaker Amanda Radke, or check out my YouTube channel here, to tune in, and please, share the videos on your own pages to help spread the word!
What else would you add to this list? Please, email me your best ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll continue to share resources with all of you! Thanks!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.