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California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom

Learn About Ag...Plant Nutrients

Just like people, plants need nutrients in order to grow! This page serves as a collection of materials explaining the relationship between plants, chemistry, fertilizer, the environment, and food and fiber production. Materials are tailored to age groups ranging from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Explore this variety of materials to help students discover the fundamental plant nutrients and the science of growing crops. All lessons and activities are aligned to the current California Education Standards, including Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

California Educator's Guide

Plant Nutrients

Fun with the Plant Nutrient Team

This booklet is a support piece to the activity book for grades K-3 from the Nutrients for Life Foundation and the International Plant Nutrition Institute. The extension lessons build upon topics in the Fun With the Plant Nutrient Team activity book, which was written to help children better understand what the soil needs to be healthy in order to provide us with healthy foods.

What Do Plants Need to Grow?

What Do Plants Need to Grow?

In this comprehensive science unit for grades 2-4, students learn what plants need to survive and reproduce. Twelve interrelated hands-on lessons and activities allow students to experiment with plants and relate what they learn to the food they eat.

Too Much? Too Little?

Too Much? Too Little?

This eleven-lesson unit for grades 5-8, introduces students to the connection between soil nutrients and the food they eat. The lessons consist of a series of demonstrations and hands-on experiments that show that plants require nutrients in certain quantities. Students will investigate soil properties, learn how to properly prepare fertilizer nutrient solutions, identify deficiencies in plant nutrients using a key, and much more.

Chemistry, Fertilizer, and the Environment

Chemistry, Fertilizer, and the Environment

This five-lesson unit for grades 8-12 uses agriculture to introduce chemistry and environmental science concepts in a way that is relevant to students' lives. Students will learn about plant nutrients, soil, chemical compounds, solutions and dilutions, and water quality as they explore different agricultural situations that farmers encounter each day in providing our food, fiber, flowers, fuel, and forest resources.

Plant Nutrients Fact and Activity Sheets

Plant Nutrients Fact and Activity Sheets

These plant nutrient fact sheets include information about plant utilization, production, chemical forms, history, top-producing regions and economic value. The activity sheets provide lesson ideas and fun facts for each of the nutrients. Activities are aligned to current California State Standards for grades 6-12.

What's Growin' On?

What's Growin' On?

Elements for Life

The What's Growin' On? student newspaper highlights California's vibrant and diverse agricultural industry with current and accurate information, along with activities for students in grades 3-8. The 11th edition includes two pages about plant nutrients, including a model of the nitrogen cycle and a letter to a farmer.