This book is designed for youth in grades 6-8 to learn about cover crops. It can be used with 4-H projects and clubs, in schools, or in after-school or other out-of-school programs.
It was designed as a standalone project, but it does not need to be used in that way. It may be combined with other project areas or used as a part of a larger agriculture curriculum.
|Introduction||These pages introduce the book as a whole, including information for 4-H educators or volunteers.|
A Plant Primer
|This set of activities introduces the function of plant structures, with a key activity being a flower dissection.|
Cover Crops in the Rotation
|This set of activities examines what it means to be a cover crop. One activity uses a calendar to show how cover crops fit between cash crop growing seasons.|
Planting & Harvesting
|This module explores engineering, with learners developing methods for harvesting seeds and comparing their methods to those of commercial machines.|
Natural & Artificial Selection
|This set of activities explores how plants change over time. Learners take a close look at modern corn and the many varieties of wild cabbage we eat every day.|
|These hands-on activities to simulate how scientists can use advanced technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 to accelerate the process of artificial selection.|
Reducing Soil Erosion
|Learners work directly with soil to explore the problem of soil erosion and how cover crops help minimize erosion.|
|This set of activities explores another benefit of cover crops: as a source of food for pollinators like bees, bats, birds, and butterflies!|
Cover Crop Products
|This set of activities explores how different products can be made from cover crops, in this case different formulations of ink from vegetable oils.|
Crop Product Supply Chains
|This set of activities includes instructions to make sunflower butter and explores the tasks required to make a jar and get it to a grocery store.|
|References||The vast majority of images used in this book were in the public domain or created by the authors. Images and sources of information are listed here.|
Questions? Contact ISU CeMaST at https://cemast.illinoisstate.edu/about/.