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Pivotal provides middle school teachers and students with a dynamic way to experience Nebraska food, water and agriculture. On this website, teachers have access to curriculum, lesson plans and educational games and activities for students. All curriculum on this site meets Nebraska and national science standards.


Corn in the Classroom

Corn in the Classroom is a curriculum that utilizes examples from corn farming to teach kids mathematics, science, language arts, social studies, music and art. The curriculum is divided into nine different units and based on the real-life experiences of a Minnesota farm family.

Each unit contains a brief story, background for teachers and hands-on lesson plans that are adaptable to all ages. This curriculum provides educators with fresh and different examples for teaching the core subjects and has been rated by the Nebraska Department of Education’s academic standards for mathematics, reading/writing, science and social studies/history.

The first five chapters focus on raising corn. The last four show students the many ways corn is used.

Before beginning the corn curriculum, you can view the Nebraska Department of Education standards for these education tools. You can view them by Grade Level or by Unit. (.pdf files)

To access the corn curriculum, click here.


Kernels of Knowledge

Kernels of Knowledge is a 4-H curriculum funded in part by the Nebraska Corn Board.
Unit 1 of 4-H curriculum, The Facilitator Guide provides an explanation of four activities:
1. Learning Activity One: Uses of Corn
2. Learning Activity Two: Life Cycle of Corn
3. Learning Activity Three: Building a Non-Newtonian Fluid
4. Learning Activity Four: Refining Process of Corn Starch

For the Facilitator Guide, click here.
For the Youth Guide, click here.


Ag in the Classroom

Agriculture in the Classroom is a nationwide educational program to help students develop awareness and understanding that agriculture is the source of our food, clothing, shelter and other life essentials.

In Nebraska, Ag in the Classroom is provided through the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture-providing resources and training for K-12 teachers on ways to use agriculture as the vehicle to teach across existing curriculum. Using an integrated, hands-on approach to learning, all resources are correlated with Nebraska state standards in the basic subject areas. The Ag in the Classroom program also works with the teacher colleges across the state, helping new teachers integrate agriculture into their curriculums as they enter their own classroom.

The Ag Pen Pal Program links classrooms with farm and ranch families across Nebraska. The students and farm/ranch families write each other at least three times per year. The students ask questions about life on the farm or ranch, send samples of their classroom projects and, in some cases, visit the farm or ranch. The farm families answer the students’ questions and send videos, photos and samples of what they grow. Some farmers and ranchers have visited classrooms to talk with the students.

A new computer-based education resource called Ag Skype Chats enables students to take virtual field trips to a farm or ranch without leaving their classroom. Students are able to ride along with a farmer as he or she plants and harvests a cornfield. They are also able to track corn as it becomes livestock feed or one of several co-products. Students are able to ask questions and receive instant feedback.


Additional Resources

– Educational resources and informative ag facts

Ag in the Classroom Kid’s Zone
– Includes projects and virtual tours from the national Ag in the Classroom

Captain Cornelius….Corn Day Celebration (.pdf)
– The Captain takes Bobby on the corny adventure of a lifetime

Corn is aMAIZEing (.pdf)
– 8 page activity booklet

There’s Corn in my Crayons (.pdf)
– An adventure in eight coloring pages with puzzles

USDA For Kids
– A collective resource of ag-related websites

Corny Culture
– A cornucopia of poetry, art, recipes, legends, songs and places to visit