Scrambled States: Indiana and Iowa – 5/22

Intro

Into the vowels we go! Today, learn about the watermelons of Indiana and the oats of Iowa!

K-3

Watermelons are the perfect snack on a hot summer day!  And we can thank Indiana for them!  With close to 7,000 acres of watermelon fields, Indiana is responsible for producing 6% of the total watermelons grown in the United States! Each acre can produce anywhere from 1,600 to 1,800 watermelons, which take around 80-90 days to ripen before harvesting. 

Find out what happens when our crocodile character accidentally swallows a watermelon seed in today’s read aloud  “The Watermelon Seed” by Greg Pizzoli.

There’s nothing like snacking on juicy, fresh watermelon on a hot summer day!  If that’s not enough to cool you down from the heat, try making a watermelon fan! https://craftsbyamanda.com/paper-plate-watermelon-fan/

Learn more about Indiana here! https://www.agclassroom.org/teacher/stats/indiana.pdf

4-6

Iowa is home to Quaker Oats, the world’s largest cereal production facility!  At one time, Iowa was the U.S. leader in oat production, but livestock operations began to dominate, and small grain fields decreased in size.  But because oats are a “cool-season” crop, farmers are recognizing those benefits and small-grain acreage is on the rise again. In 2009 there were around 10,000 acres of small grain fields and cover crop compared to 600,000 acres in 2017.

First, meet an Iowa oat farmer who’s sharing about planting time!

Oats are a historically used in the dish commonly known as porridge. 

Read more about Oats and the role in Soil Health. https://www.agriculture.com/crops/soil-health/oats-find-a-fit

STEM

Have you ever heard of the Bradford Watermelon? Watch this video and you’ll never forget!

Your activity is to protect your watermelons from thieves! How would you (safely) protect your watermelon? Design your solution. 

Something for Everyone

Commercials in the 1950’s are very different than what we’re used to today!

For all you meme people out there, do you remember this one?

Assessment and Extended Response

K-3

  1. What percent of watermelons grown in the U.S. is Indiana responsible for? (6%)
  2. Around how many watermelons can grow in 1 acre? (1,600-1,800 watermelons)

Why do people use hand fans and when do you think they use them?

4-6

  1. Why did oat and other small grain production decrease? (Livestock management and production operations began increasing, using the space where small grains were once grown)
  2. Why is oat production starting to increase again? (Oats are considered a “cool-season” cover crop that has many benefits for farmers and their fields)

*What are some of the benefits of using cover crops during the off-season of other crops grown?

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