To meet reading and literacy requirements for their students, teachers need to provide least 50% non-fiction or instructional texts. Teachers have a lack of quality, Iowa relevant, resources to use to meet this non-fiction reading requirement. Through this program we would develop another installment of Iowa centric books that are targeted to readers in grade 3. Each book in the series – My Family’s Farm – follows a different agriculture commodity and the real life family that produces the food, fiber, and energy that we need. A book detailing turkey production and one detailing beef cattle production have already been developed. We are currently in the process of developing a book on corn and one on soybeans. Beyond that, the next books in the series are currently planned as: wind, pork/hogs, and eggs all of which Iowa is a top producer.
For this project, we are planning to develop the book – My Family’s Wind Farm – that would address farmers’ role in energy production – specifically wind energy production. The book will detail how wind energy is produced and how farmers might lease their land to energy companies to install wind turbines. Or if a farm family is part of a cooperative that owns the turbines the book will help explain how electricity that is produced is sold back to the grid. The book will explain wind as a clean, renewable fuel. Future book projects may include other energy related topics like biogas and solar.
The My Family’s Wind Farm book would be distributed to all 3rd grade classrooms across Iowa. Each book would be accompanied by two grade appropriate lesson plans that are aligned to state standards. These lesson plans would allow teachers to integrate the book into their regular classroom instruction. We plan to incorporate wind energy production into our summer teacher professional development workshops. We will train the teachers on wind energy so that they are comfortable in teaching the content to their students. With this level of comfort and understanding of how important wind energy is in Iowa, the book and lesson plans will be a natural fit into classroom curriculum.