Today we’re traveling to North Dakota and Ohio. In North Dakota, we’ll learn about durum wheat, the wheat typically used to make pasta. North Dakota actually grows about 50% of all the durum wheat grown in the U.S.! And in Ohio we’ll look at an agricultural product that is often overlooked: trees! So many products that are important to our daily lives are made from wood. Ohio harvests between 300 and 400 million board feet of wood every year!
Let’s start our journey of learning more about wheat by watching this aerial video of combining wheat in North Dakota:
To learn more about the wheat plant and how farmers grow wheat, here are the North Dakota Wheat Ag Mag. https://www.nd.gov/ndda/sites/default/files/AITC/wheat.pdf And here is the link to the Illinois Wheat Ag Mag. http://agintheclassroom.org/TeacherResources/AgMags/Wheat_Smartboard.pdf
We don’t grow much durum wheat here in Illinois, but what is the wheat we grow typically used for? With all this talk about wheat, let’s learn more about the history of pasta with this fun video:
What kinds of pasta do you have in your pantry? Check out all the different types and then try one of these fun pasta craft ideas:
How to Dye Pasta for Crafts: https://inspiremyplay.com/how-to-dye-pasta-for-play-craft-activities/
Learn more about North Dakota agriculture here. https://agclassroom.org/teacher/stats/northdakota.pdf
The hills of Ohio’s eastern and southern regions are blanketed in hardwood forests. Ohio woodcarries an international reputation for its tight pattern and shape. Red and white oak and walnut are primarily exported as the world’s finest logs, lumber, chips, and dimension pieces for use in the
veneer, furniture, and paper industries.
Here in Illinois you might be used to seeing big farm machinery used to harvest corn and soybeans, but have you ever seen harvesting equipment for wood? Check out these amazing machines designed specifically to operate in forests.
Once trees are harvested, they still have a long journey before they show up in stores as lumber, boards, or even paper and cardboard. WAtch this cool video that shows how wood travels through a sawmill.
One of the many products we get from trees is cardboard. Find an old shoebox in your house and make one of these fun projects with it! https://intheplayroom.co.uk/2015/11/13/creative-ideas-to-make-with-cardboard-shoe-boxes/
You can also use a paper plate to learn more about tree rings. Try this fun activity if you missed it on one of our previous Everyday Agriculture activities
Check out more Ohio agriculture facts here: https://agclassroom.org/teacher/stats/ohio.pdf
Use a piece of wood, some nails or screws, and some string or rubber bands to make your own “Geoboard.” See what shapes and designs you can create with these simple materials!
Something for Everyone
Does all this talk about pasta have you hungry? Learn how to make a simple two-ingredient pasta tonight with no special equipment.
Assessment and Extended Response
- What is durum wheat used to make? (pasta)
- What are the three parts of the wheat kernel? (germ, bran, endosperm)
- What is the process called that turns wheat into flour? (milling)
*Wheat is in so many of the foods we eat every day. Try to make a list of all the things you eat that contain wheat.
- What types of simple machines did you notice on the wood harvesting equipment? (lever and wheel)
- Based on the video, what do you think are some challenges facing people who harvest trees from forests?
- What surprised you about how trees are turned into wood products at the sawmill?
*Wood is all around us. Try to make a list of all the things you use in your daily life that contain wood.