Hands-on learning to be part of ag education at State Fair

state-fairStudents visiting the State Fair of Virginia as part of its Educational Exposition field trip program will have the opportunity to make a connection between wheat and bread, corn and cereal, cotton and jeans and much more.

It’s all part of an Agriculture in the Classroom hands-on display at which children can choose agricultural commodities and then match them with related end products. That activity will take place near a giant map showing agricultural commodities raised in different regions of the state.

“It’s kind of a quick, abbreviated approach to teaching about agricultural commodities, but it’s effective,” said Angelette Pryor, student outreach program coordinator for Virginia’s AITC program.

The annual Ed Expo draws more than 10,000 students from across the state.

“Many children don’t know what’s grown in Virginia, and they don’t know what the end products are from those commodities,” Pryor said. She noted that some students are hard-pressed to match trees with Jenga game pieces, or even hogs with bacon.

Teachers, she said, will appreciate that the AITC station and others in the Ed Expo are aligned with Virginia’s Standards of Learning. Students visiting the AITC booth, for example, will learn lessons that coincide with the following SOLs: Science: 3.10, 3.11, 4.9; Social Studies: 2.7. They will learn to identify plants and the crops they produce; to correlate plants and animals with their byproducts; and to use Virginia maps.

A complete teacher’s guide to the Ed Expo can be found at StateFairVa.org. The Interactive Virginia Resources Map can be accessed at AgInTheClass.org.

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