Elementary Education

Professional Development with MAEF

Registration is now closed for Fall 2020 course.

Our fall 2020 course has reached capacity and enrollment is now closed. For information on future courses, please email Shannon Brown at sbrown@maefonline.com.

Course Information:

Our 6-week virtual course, “Infusing Agriculture in the Elementary Classroom” begins Saturday, October 10th online and runs through Monday, November 23rd.

Our course features 2 Saturday virtual workshop sessions (Saturday, October 17th & Saturday, November 7th) with the remaining contact hours as 6 weeks of flexible, online learning.

Teachers who successfully complete the course will earn 3 MSDE CPD credits!

For more information, please contact Shannon Brown, Elementary Education Director, at sbrown@maefonline.com. 

Check out what teachers are saying about our course!

“This class has really opened up my eyes to the simple ways we can incorporate agriculture into our classrooms every day. Not to mention, each time I’ve brought back one the books or lesson ideas to the classroom, my kiddos were super engaged and ready to learn!” 

– Fall 2019 course participant


The course was great. I learned so much about Maryland and agriculture in general. I liked being able to incorporate the information into the existing curriculum and create hands-on, engaging activities for my students. I highly recommend teachers signing up for this course.

– BR, Prince George’s County Public Schools, MD (Spring 2020 participant)

“I would absolutely recommend my colleagues to take this course if they can. The benefits I have gotten from this course have been worth all the time and effort I have invested into it. To motivate students’ learning, it is important to connect the curriculum to real life, and agriculture is highly related to us in many aspects. Before taking the course, I simply thought that integrating agriculture in the classroom is a good idea. I did not know much how agriculture impacts us. I had no idea about how to implement it. This course opened a big door to me.”

-Ms. Yang, Baltimore City Public Schools (Spring 2020 participant)


“I have a new interest in Maryland agriculture and look forward to sharing it with my team and my students! I hope there is another course soon!”

-Fall 2019 Course Participant

See what Maryland teachers are saying about past Ag in the Classroom workshops!

“This is an amazing experience for any teacher!  I cannot believe how many resources – books, supplies, field trips – the workshop was able to provide.”


“This workshop was by far the best professional learning opportunity I have experienced in 20 years of teaching…fun, informative, applicable and amazing resources that I will use to benefit my students, colleagues and my school.”


“Ag in the Classroom goes above and beyond the usual teacher workshop.  The amount of useful information, projects, experiments, resources and supplies was astounding!  I can walk into my classroom right now and have many lessons that I can do now.  No other workshop comes close to what I gained from Ag in the Classroom!”


“What an amazing – jam packed week!  I was able to learn through touching, creating and collaborating.  The resources are invaluable.  All done in 5 days, too!”

Mobile Science Labs

The Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation’s Mobile Science Lab Program teaches elementary students in Maryland the importance of agriculture in their everyday lives.  

Each of our three themed labs feature a wide variety of 50-minute experiments and investigations as well as 25-minute mini-lessons based in agriculture.  These are all aligned with NGSS, Environmental Literacy Standards, Science & Engineering Practices, and CCSS. 

Grants may be available to your school; please ask when booking. They are typically first-come, first-served, so book now!

Contact Diana Tyler at dtyler@maefonline.com or 410-939-9030 for more information or to reserve a lab for your school.
** The Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF) recognizes the importance of good sanitation practices in protecting the health of students in our mobile labs and guests in our showcases.
Per the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control, MAEF attendants and teachers use bleach-based disposable wipes and cleaners to sanitize our showcases and labs. When possible, teachers wipe down high-touch areas in labs between classes. Labs are cleaned daily and deep cleaned at the end of every week to deliver a fresh lab to the next school.
Showcases are wiped down daily and thoroughly cleaned between events.
MAEF regularly reminds our staff to follow our cleaning protocols closely, wash their hands often, stay home when sick, and dispense hand sanitizer to students when they arrive at the lab and before they leave.
We work closely with our schools and school districts as well as the events we attend to maintain a safe and healthy environment within our labs and showcases for our employees and guests.

For schools booking the mobile science labs:

Vocabulary for All Full-Length Lab Lessons

How Does the Mobile Science Lab Work?


Schools choose one of our three mobile science labs:

–  Our Ag Products lab with investigations featuring the products and processes that come from agriculture

–  Our Food, Fiber and You lab with investigations of the food we eat and what goes into growing it

–  Our Aquatic lab with investigations on the relationship between water and agriculture

Ahead of the visit, hands-on investigations are selected by the school’s teachers from one of our three themed labs above.  Up to five classes in grades 3-5 can visit each day for a 50 minute hands-on investigation. Other classes (grades K-5) can visit for a 25 minute mini-lesson. Scheduling is flexible depending on the needs and size of the school.

Consider us an in-school field trip for the whole school!  Our lab will visit schools for an entire week and one of our qualified MAEF teachers will lead students in hands-on investigations. 

Don’t forget to ask about available grants!

Contact Diana Tyler at dtyler@maefonline.com or 410-939-9030 for more information or to reserve a lab for your school.

What Teachers Are Saying About Our Labs…

·   “This is something that we would not have been able to do in the classroom. It’s relevant to their real-world experiences. Both enriching and interesting.”

·   “Students were interested and engaged.  Wish it could be here longer.”

·   “Students loved being scientists, offering higher-level thinking.”

·   “Encourages collaboration with peers and required close examination of a problem to find a solution.”

MAEF’s Ag Literacy Program

How Does the Ag Literacy Program Work?

This is the 10th year for Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation’s annual Ag Literacy Program. This Ag in the Classroom program seeks to instill in Maryland students the importance of agriculture in their daily lives.

We plan to celebrate Ag Literacy week March 22 – 28, 2020 in support of National Ag Week although you may celebrate any time!

Any group or individual wishing to promote agriculture is invited to participate as a Literacy Volunteer – Farm Bureau members, FFA students, Young Farmers, Commodity group leaders, retirees, or any interested individuals!

Literacy Volunteers order a book through MAEF, set up a time to visit in a nearby school and read to students in grades K-3. Following the reading of the book, volunteers may conduct an activity with the students using any of MAEF’s accompanying lessons and/or share their experiences in agriculture. The book is then left with the class or in the media center.

How to Order a Copy of Our 2020 Book:

Our 2020 book, PB&J Hooray is currently available for anyone wanting a little ag literature in their life!  Scroll down to see our accompanying classroom lessons and activities as well as past titles and lessons.

For more information, see our Program Overview below or contact Shannon Brown at sbrown@maefonline.com or (410) 939-9030, ext. 105.

To order a copy of the book, choose from the options below:

Ag Lit Volunteer Info:

PB&J Hooray – Ag Literacy 2020

by Janet Nolan

PB&J Hooray! is a children’s book that explores the process of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from plant to stomach! In this selection, students learn about all the hard work that goes into making the ingredients of the beloved PB&J.  This book will have you cheering hooray for agriculture! 

See above for ordering information.

Accompanying Lessons & Activities:

  • All Grades – Before, During, and After Reading Lesson Suggestions (PDF)*
  • All Grades – Making Connections to Text (Google Doc Copy) (PowerPoint) – perfect for distance learning!
  • 1-3 Writing – Design Your Own Silly Sandwich (Word Doc) – perfect for distance learning!
  • K-1 Math – Food Sources Match & Graph (PDF / Word Doc)*
  • 2-3 Math – Food Sources Match & Graph (PDF / Word Doc)*
  • K-3 Science – Sort & Design a Healthy, Local Plate (PDF / Word Doc)*
  • Fun Activity – PB&J Coloring Page (PDF)*
  • Fun Activity (K-3) – Label a Peanut Plant – from NAITC (PDF)*
  • Fun Activity (K-3) – Label Peanut Plant (Answer Key) (PDF)
  • Wheat Grinding Local History & Activity (PDF / Word Doc)

*Most of our lessons and activities can be used during distance learning with digital “write-on” programs (like KamiApp.com).

Right This Very Minute – Ag Literacy 2019

by Lisl H. Detlefsen

Right This Very Minute is a table-to-farm book that explains how farmers are always busy producing the food that makes its way to our plates!
(American Farm Bureau book of the year)


See What We Eat follows a group of children touring a local farm as they learn where their food comes from and touches on our main food groups.


Follow a classroom of kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity – hatching chicks in an incubator in the classroom.

The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen – AG LITERACY 2016

The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen is an entertaining tale about Patrick’s securing essential ingredients to help his father make his favorite French toast for breakfast. The essential ingredients (milk, eggs, and maple syrup) come to life before his very eyes.

Ag-Mazing News! (Updated 2020)

What is Ag-Mazing News?

MAEF’s Ag-Mazing News are the PERFECT school to home newspaper! Topics below feature agricultural-based mini-lessons which can be integrated into skills taught in language arts, math, science and social studies. They can also be used as an introduction for students to complete independent research on a particular agricultural topic.


Each document includes:

  • a non-fiction article
  • comprehension questions
  • an extension activity/experiment/project
  • exciting ag facts!

and can be printed on legal (8.5 x 14) paper (print 2-sided and fold to create a booklet) or shared digitally with students. (8.5 x 11 versions coming soon!

Click on any of our Ag topics below!


MAEF’s Annual Calendar Contest

Now accepting entries for our 2021-2022 calendar!

Scroll down for more information and to download your entry form.

Congratulations to our 2020/2021 Calendar Contest winners!

  • Ashley T., 12th grade, Middletown HS, Frederick County
  • Khloe S., 3rd grade, Linton Springs ES, Carroll County
  • Aubrey R., 3rd grade, Freedom ES, Carroll County
  • Cora B., 3rd grade, Runnymede ES, Carroll County
  • Owen H. 3rd grade, Friendship Valley ES, Carroll County
  • Catrina H., 7th grade, Boonsboro MS, Washington County
  • Lilian K., 5th grade, Arnold ES, Anne Arundel County
  • Maggie B., 4th grade, Mount Harmony ES, Calvert County
  • Gabriela C., 3rd grade, Beltsville Academy, Prince George’s County
  • Aura A., 7th grade, St. Mark Catholic School, Baltimore County
  • Dinah C., 11th grade, Homeschool
  • Olive S., 4th grade, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon ES, Charles County
  • Leah S., 5th grade, Piney Ridge ES, Carroll County
  • Chloe Ann T., 2nd grade, St. Michael – St. Clement School, Baltimore County
  • Sara L., 12th grade, Middletown HS, Frederick County
  • Brianna P., 6th grade, Clear Spring MS, Washington County
  • Gus S., Kindergarten, Freedom ES, Carroll County
  • Marcus S., 6th grade, Highlandtown ES/MS #215, Baltimore City
Their incredible artwork will be featured in the 2020/2021 MAEF Calendar, Ag Tag edition (named in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Maryland Ag Tag license plate!)
An extra thank you to the over 200 student artists who participated!
CLICK HERE to check out this year's Annual Calendar!

How can I get my hands on the newest calendar?

For a donation of $10, you can receive a copy of MAEF’s  newest calendar featuring agricultural artwork from students around the state. Please call our office at 410-939-9030 for more information.

To Download the Calendar Contest Rules, Please Click the Image Below

Ag in 10 Minutes a Day!

Ag in 10 Minutes a Day consists of an informational text followed by multiple choice questions and an extended response – all focused on agricultural concepts!


Teachers are free to use just the article but additional ideas for science, social studies, and math are provided.

Take Me Out to the Cornfield

“For it’s one…two…three strikes you’re out at the old  …. cornfield??”


Come with us as we visit Camden Yards and learn about what makes Maryland Agriculture so special!  This video resource features Maryland’s top 9 agricultural commodities.  Take a swing and check them out!


Video password: MAEF


Video may also be viewed directly on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/368594413

(Video password: MAEF)

Ag Resources 

(Last updated 9/15/2020)


UMD Extension AgSploration Curriculum  

Sign-up to download the entire interactive AgSploration curriculum from UMD Extension. Excellent hands-on lesson plans!  

MPT’s Farm & Harvest Videos  

MPT highlights local farms and ag-based endeavors in this engaging series.  

MPT Ag-Based Video Clips  

Perfect for use in the classroom! These clips are searchable by grade level and subject area.  

National Ag in the Classroom eLearning Lessons

NAITC has updated some of their BEST lessons for eLearning!

American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s Recommended Publications  

A comprehensive list of agriculture literature searchable by grade level, publication type, and topic.  

American Dairy Association North East – Virtual Farm Tours  

Connect with local dairy farms through these live, interactive farm tours!  Connect with a real modern dairy farm and chat with a farmer without leaving your classroom!  Sign up for the next virtual tour!  

360 degree Virtual Farm Visits  

Interact virtually with farms as never before! Click around each video to see 360 degree views of each farm.  

Ag Lesson Plans – Virginia AITC  

Lesson plans at every grade level developed so that you can bring agriculture to your students!  

NGSS- Quality Examples of Science Lessons & Units  

The following lessons on agriculture have been peer reviewed and evaluated as examples of high quality NGSS design.   

National Ag in the Classroom PBL lessons  

A collection of Project/Problem-Based Learning Plans centered around agricultural topics at every grade level!  

Minnesota AgMag & AgMag Jr.  

Online ag activities for learners at all grade levels!  

California Ag in the Classroom  

California’s Ag in the Classroom site has teacher lessons, links, and a kids’ corner.  

Illinois Ag in the Classroom 

This Illinois AITC site contains teacher materials such as the AG Mag, lessons, and resources. Students can explore virtual farm tours, quizzes, and a kid’s zone. 

Moo Milk 

Fun and educational website about cows and milk with facts, contests, games, and recipes. 


Highlights the development of American agriculture. Targeting students in grades 4-8, the site provides online material related to corn, pioneer farming, farming today and tomorrow, and the prairie.