Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back to School: Discover Dairy

August means it's time to head back to school. Teachers are scurrying to get their classrooms back in order. Moms are scurrying to finish their back to school shopping. And kids are scurrying to scrape up the last bits of enjoyment they can from summer. In honor of this oh-so-busy time of year, we're spending August highlighting some great educational resources to help you get ready  for the new school year.
Now back when I was in school, math was math and reading was reading and the two never seemed to mix. But educators today seem to be much more organized and creative when it comes to creating meaningful and memorable lessons that cut across traditional subject boundaries.

Such is the case with the new (and free) Discover Dairy curriculum with four new comprehensive designed specifically for middle school students. This hands-on program teaches students where their milk comes from and how dairy farmers contribute to our world all while applying science concepts to real-life situations. But it's not "just" science: the Discover Dairy program (which includes videos, reading guides and lab-based instruction) also meets educational science standards in math, science and reading. The curriculum was developed as a joint initiative of the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, the Center for Dairy Excellence and the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and is funded by the Dairy Checkoff program.

These new lessons build on the existing Discover Dairy lessons that were launched in 2008 and designed for upper elementary students. Since it's launch, the series has been used in more that 300 Pennsylvania classrooms and more than 15 states. The Discover Dairy website also draws about 1,000 visitors each month and includes farm tour resources for farmers and interactive games for kids, such as Operation Dairy where kids put on their detective hats and join Cammie the Cow in discovering how cows are cared for on today's dairy farms.

Five different lessons are available for upper elementary students. Each lesson features multi-leveled activities to address different cognitive levels. Topics include:

  • Animal Health
  • Milk Safety
  • Environment
  • Community
  • Nutrition
Middle school educators can use the four new lessons, each of which includes two lab activities, for students on:
  • Animal Health
  • Milk Safety & Quality
  • Dairy's Role in the Environment
  • Dairy's Role in the Community
So as you gear up to head back to school, don't forget: dairy and milk are not just for lunch time! They make great lessons, too. Interested in learning more about dairy? Be sure to check out these great dairy blogs to learn more about dairy production! 

And don't forget, teachers: Make sure your school is taking advantages of the resources available through the NFL's Fuel Up to Play 60 in-school initiative program to fight childhood obesity!

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