National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
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A Walnut Orchard Through the Seasons
K - 2
Students will gain an understanding of the changes that take place in a walnut orchard through the seasons by reading and discussing a story about a walnut farm and learning the meaning of important vocabulary words.
- Story: Walnut Wonderland, 1 per student
- Reading Activity Sheet: Walnut Wonderland, 1 per student
- Enrichment Activity Sheets (optional)
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
- Answer Key-Reading Activity Sheet
- Story: Walnut Wonderland
- Reading Activity Sheet: Walnut Wonderland
- Enrichment Activity Sheets (Optional)
canopy: a shade or shelter that grows over something
consumer: a person who buys and uses goods
deciduous: during the fall every year, the leaves fall off the tree
dormant: a period of time when there is reduced activity or growth
fertile: producing vegetation or crops plentifully
harvest: the gathering of a crop
hull: the outer covering of a fruit or seed
orchard: a place where fruit or tree nuts are grown
pest: a plant or animal that can be harmful to other living things
pollinate: to place pollen on the female part of a flower
Did you know? (Ag Facts)
- Walnuts are the oldest known tree food, dating back to 10,000 BC.1
- There are more than 30 varieties of walnuts.1
- Walnuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamin E. They are a healthy treat.2
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
Inform your students that you will give them a series of "clues." Tell them to use the clues to guess the item you are thinking of.
- It is a type of food.
- It grows on a tree.
- It forms inside a very hard shell.
- They are harvested once per year, usually in the fall.
- They are used mostly in salads and desserts.
- The state of California grows 99% of all that are grown in the United States.
What are they? Walnuts!
In this lesson students will learn about the life cycle of a walnut tree and how farmers grow walnuts.
- Distribute the story, Walnut Wonderland to each student.
- Read the story as a class, pausing during each section to discuss the content.
- Write key vocabulary words on the board and discuss the definition as it pertains to agriculture.
- Pass out student worksheets for reading comprehension and vocabulary. Go through the first two questions together as a class, and then have students complete the rest of the questions on their own.
- After students have completed their activity sheets, instruct them to pair up and compare answers with a partner. Call on groups around the room to check for accuracy.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation:
After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- Walnuts grow on trees.
- California grows almost all of the walnuts grown in the United States.
- Walnut farmers use machines to help them harvest walnuts.
- Walnut trees bloom in the spring. Walnuts are harvested in the fall.
- It's important to have good soil and plenty of water for the walnut trees to be healthy and produce walnuts.
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
Visit a local walnut orchard on a field trip
Ask a walnut farmer to come to class and share what he or she does in the orchard.
Ask students to take a blank piece of construction paper (8” x 12”) and divide the paper into four sections. Ask the students to draw a walnut tree in each section to represent each season of the year.
Suggested Companion Resources
- A Year on the Farm: with Casey & Friends (Book)
- Growing Seasons (Book)
- How Things Grow (Book)
- Sleep Tight Farm (Book)
- The Apple Pie Tree (Book)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Culture, Society, Economy & Geography
- Identify plants and animals grown or raised locally that are used for food, clothing, shelter, and landscapes (T5.K-2.d)
- Trace the sources of agricultural products (plant or animal) used daily (T5.K-2.f)
Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
- Recognize and identify examples of simple tools and machines used in agricultural settings (T4.K-2.b)
Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy
- Explain how farmers work with the lifecycle of plants and animals (planting/breeding) to harvest a crop (T2.K-2.a)
Agriculture and the Environment
- Describe how farmers use land to grow crops and support livestock (T1.K-2.a)
- Describe the importance of soil and water in raising crops and livestock (T1.K-2.b)
- Provide examples of how weather patterns affect plant and animal growth for food (T1.K-2.d)
Education Content Standards
K-4 Geography Standard 11: The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface.
Objective 2Some locations are better suited than others to provide certain goods and services.
K-4 Geography Standard 4: The physical and human characteristics of places.
Objective 1Places are locations having distinctive characteristics that give them meaning and distinguish them from other locations.
Objective 2Places have physical and human characteristics.
K-4 Geography Standard 5: That people create regions to interpret Earth's complexity.
Objective 1Regions are areas of Earth's surface with unifying physical and/or human characteristics.
K-ESS2: Earth's Systems
K-ESS2-1Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.
K-ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
K-ESS3-1Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
K-LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
K-LS1-1Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
Common Core Connections
Reading: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.5Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Writing: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.8Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.