Bringing the farm to the classroom

Bonnie Agriesti of J C Sommer Elementary grew up on a family farm in York Center, Ohio. “Getting to experience life in the country and all the unique things it offers was something that kids in my classroom needed to know more about,” she said. She’s used several GrowNextGen resources to provide that knowledge for her students.  

Her favorite Ohio History unit to teach is the area of agriculture then and now. Agriesti said, “I am able to help the kids with unfamiliar terms such as bushels of beans, acre, sows, or calves.” Her class watched the harvesting virtual field trip, available here, and were inspired to create some farm machinery models with K-Nex. 

Agriesti also views the Ohio Pork Council’s virtual field trip each year with her class. “Before we do the pig farm tour, I read Gail Gibbons’ book Pigs and Welcome to Our Farm. The books, provided free to the classroom, engage the students. A fun part of the pig farm tour is collecting the kids’ questions beforehand. The things my 4th graders are interested in is amazing. The best year was when we actually saw the sow giving birth… the kids were thrilled!”

Agriesti said her students are learning a lot about Ohio agriculture today. This meets the State of Ohio learning standard in Geography: Places and regions—”The economic development of the United States continues to influence and be influenced by agriculture, industry and natural resources in Ohio.”

“We also talk about how you must rotate crops yearly, which connects with “People have modified the environment since prehistoric times. They have both positive and negative consequences for modifying the environment in Ohio and the United States.”“