Include Ag in Your Summer Reading

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Librarians’ thoughts are turning to summer reading for youngsters who recently ended the school year. Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) offers lessons and activities to ensure agriculture is part of the 2018 statewide “Reading Takes You Everywhere” summer program.

IAITC hopes students take agriculture, especially commodities, on their summer reading journeys, according to Illinois Farm Bureau Education Specialist Laura Vollmer.

“We focus our lesson booklet on different commodities in Illinois, and we also focus on looking at different commodities nationwide,” Vollmer said.

Since 1981, iREAD has developed statewide summer reading programs for local libraries and is supported by librarians and the Illinois Library Association.

Vollmer noted young readers can use existing IAITC resources to take journeys across Illinois, the United States and the world.

Using a statewide commodity map, students can learn about individual counties and find facts “not easily found even by Googling,” Vollmer explained. “With this activity, they can navigate all throughout Illinois.”

Another activity encourages readers to find the locations of every ingredient used to make an apple pie, tracking items across the world.

Librarians and county ag literacy coordinators have received the booklet that includes related resources and books. All the lessons and activities align with common core standards. Home-school families and others also use the materials, according to Vollmer.

IAITC’s summer reading materials are geared primarily for students in third through sixth grades, but may be adjusted for younger or older students, Vollmer said.

To view or download the free booklet and lessons, visit agintheclassroom.org and click on Teacher Resources on the left side of the page. Scroll down to Lesson Booklets and then scroll down to summer reading themes at the bottom.

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