Harvesting: Crops & Careers

An educational unit, based on the award-winning film The Great American Wheat Harvest, that familiarizes K-12 students with agricultural production, harvesting and careers.


Little Red Hen's Harvest

Students will read the story, “The Little Red Hen,” discuss all the different careers involved in producing a loaf of bread and act out a play based on the story. Students will sprout wheat seeds. Grades K-2

Video: "Wheat"


Enjoying the Harvest

Students will read about the history and science of wheat and learn why wheat varieties are bred for different growing conditions. Students will learn about the anatomy of a wheat plant and a wheat kernel. Students will grind wheat and make tortillas in a bag. Grades 3-5

Video: "Enjoying the Harvest—The North Dakota Mill"


Timing is Everything: The Wheat Crop Depends on the Weather

Students will play a game to determine how much wheat a section of land will yield based upon a series of setbacks caused by weather, insects, etc. Students will read about the impacts of weather on wheat production. Students will use online resources to find statistics about wheat production and annual precipitation in your state. Students will graph the information. Grades 5-7

Video: "The Harvest Depends on the Weather"


Helping the Little Red Hen: Careers in Wheat Production

Students will read about the many careers involved in wheat production. Students will identify careers related to their own interests and research to find more information about those careers. Students will play the role of wheat scientist by conducting an experiment to find the DNA in wheat germ. Grades 5-7

Video: "Helping the Little Red Hen—Careers in Wheat Production"


Who Will Help Me Harvest the Wheat: Combines and Careers in Ag Mechanics

Students will read about the development and operation of a combine harvester and learn about careers in agricultural mechanics. Students will build a model of a Archimedes’ screw, analyze design flaws and improve on the design. Grades 6-12

Video: "Who Will Help Me Harvest the Wheat? Combines and Careers in Ag Mechanics"


Government Work: Agricultural Research, Education and Farm Support

Students will read about the history of government policy and legislation related to wheat research, education, extension and farm support and debate the role of government in these areas. Students will research career opportunities in government agencies that address wheat production and other agricultural issues. Grades 6-12

Video: "Government Work—Agricultural Research, Education and Farm Support"


Sensors and Satellites: Careers and Technology in Agriculture

Students will discuss modern applications of electronics and sensors in wheat production and harvest, conduct an experiment to find infrared light, and interpret satellite images as applied to farming.

Video: "Sensors and Satellites—Careers and Technology in Agriculture"


This educational project was developed by National Ag in the Classroom, with funding provided by U.S. Custom Harvesters and New Holland.

"Harvesting: Crops and Careers" is based on the Emmy Award winning film The Great American Wheat Harvest.

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