The National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
The National Center for Agricultural Literacy has developed and maintains the content in the National Agricultural Curriculum Matrix.
The National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix is an online collection of educational resources that are relevant, engaging, and designed to meet the educational requirements and agricultural literacy outcomes for formal educators. The Matrix was developed using curriculum mapping procedures. Users may "store" the lesson plans and related companion resources in a personal binder "MyBinder" to be retrieved later with updated content. The National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix is an innovative approach to grow agricultural literacy among K-12 students. Specifically, the Matrix, part of the National Agriculture in the Classroom website, is an online collection of educational resources that are relevant, engaging, and designed to meet the educational requirements and agricultural literacy outcomes for formal educators. The Matrix is essentially a three-dimensional curriculum map. A curriculum map includes standards and objectives, lesson plans, supportive or companion resources, and assessments that help teachers get students from point A to point B in terms of learning.
The Matrix is a Web 2.0 project, meaning the Matrix is a collaborative effort where agriculture literacy professionals submit resources for inclusion to the database. Submissions need to be unique, not to duplicating existing resources. Unique submissions are evaluated using rubrics (available on the submission page) to determine on how well they meet the National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes and associated educational standards.Those materials are reviewed and evaluated based on how well they connect with agriculture literacy outcomes, content standards, and Common Core standards. Teachers at all grade levels can access the Matrix materials through an easy-to-use search engine on the National AITC website. For example, a search of "dairy" reveals two lesson plans—grades K-2 and 3-5—as well as a companion activity (making butter in a baby food jar), three booklets (one downloadable), a companion resource (making cottage cheese in the classroom), and a companion resource website that features a cleverly-produced science fiction tale of an alien race finding much-needed calcium in Earthly cows.
Visually, we are on a journey to agricultural literacy—the National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix is a curriculum map that contextualizes core education standards as waypoints in the context of agriculture to reach our agricultural literacy destination. Debra Spielmaker