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Course Standards

History and Importance

1) Determine the role of plants and soil in maintaining environmental quality. Trace the history of soil conservation in the United States by developing an informational essay or graphic, citing specific historical events that promoted the development of soil conservation methodologies found in academic journals and news media. (TN CCSS Reading 1, 2; TN CCSS Writing 4, 7, 9)

2) Describe current land management practices for rural, suburban, and urban settings to protect and ensure the quality and quantity of freshwater supply. Conduct a review of a specific municipality to identify existing practices governed by local laws and agency policy. Create a narrative to describe the use of a specific practice, citing specific textual evidence from research. (TN CCSS Reading 2; TN CCSS Writing 2, 4, 7, 9; TN Biology I 2; TN Biology II 2; TN Environmental Science 4)

3) Use local news media, organizational websites, and real-time labor market information to investigate occupations in plant and soil sciences. Compare and contrast the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for employment, as well as the typical level of education required. (TN CCSS Reading 2, 9; TN CCSS Writing 4, 7, 9)

4) Review common laboratory safety procedures for tool and equipment operation in plant and soil science laboratories, including but not limited to accident prevention and control procedures. Demonstrate the ability to follow safety and operational procedures in a lab setting and complete a safety test with 100 percent accuracy. (TN CCSS Reading 3)

Soil Science

5) Create a model or illustration that depicts the formation of soil. Differentiate between the biological, geological, chemical, and physical factors and processes involved in soil formation. (TN CCSS Reading 2, 7; TN CCSS Writing 4, 9; TN Environmental Science 1)

6) Communicate understanding of methods for classifying soils by preparing a guide that accurately describes the procedures for each method using domain specific language. Demonstrate the ability to follow methods for sampling and analyzing the following: soil pH, texture, permeability, water holding capacity, slope, chemical analyses, and soil organisms. (TN CCSS Reading 1, 2, 3, 4; TN CCSS Writing 4, 7, 9; TN Environmental Science 1)

7) Conduct soil profiles, soil analysis, and water availability analysis. Synthesize findings in an argumentative essay. Develop a claim justifying appropriate agricultural, recreational, conservational, and/or aesthetic uses of specific land areas using valid reasoning and citing specific evidence gathered in analyses. (TN CCSS Reading 3; TN CCSS Writing 1, 4, 7, 9)

Plant Science and Nutrition

8) Compare and contrast the anatomy and physiology of monocot and dicot plants used for crop production. (TN CCSS Reading 2, 5)

9) Create a model depicting the parts and functions of plant cells. Label the structures and describe the functions of plant cell organelles. (TN CCSS Reading 2, 4, 7; TN CCSS Writing 4; TN Biology I 1; TN Biology II 1, 7)

10) Assess the importance of the 16 (sixteen) nutrients essential to plant growth and development. Identify nutritional deficiencies and disorders, distinguish among signs of nutrient deficiency in plants, make recommendations for appropriate treatments, and prescribe preventative control measures for major agricultural crops, including corn, soybean, cotton, tobacco, hay, pasture, and forest. (TN CCSS Reading 2, 5; TN CCSS Writing 2, 4, 9; TN Biology II 7)

11) Investigate the use of fertilizers as a source of essential plant nutrients. Compare and contrast the use of organic and chemical fertilizers, assessing claims made by producers and consumers of fertilizer products found in promotional materials, news articles, and academic journals. Calculate fertilizer formulations and perform various methods of fertilizer application for crops, such as erosion controlling crops. (TN CCSS Reading 1, 3, 6, 8; TN CCSS Mathematics N-Q, )

Agricultural Practices and Environmental Issues

12) Research, compare and contrast traditional, sustainable, and organic agriculture methods and practices. Describe how each method aligns to a specific goal, including but not limited to the following: soil fertility and texture maintenance, adequate soil moisture maintenance, erosion prevention, pollution prevention, and weed, insect, and disease management. Assess the costs and benefits of specific methods and practices. (TN CCSS Reading 2, 4, 5, 9; TN Environmental Science 2, 4, 6)

13) Identify major agriculture-related pollutants and isolate practices that contribute to the spread of pollution in both urban and traditional agricultural production environments. Develop a list of best practices, citing technical texts to make recommendations for watering procedures, runoff containment, pest control, and chemical use and disposal in both domestic (home) and agricultural production settings. Prepare informational materials emphasizing the importance of using recommended best practices to reduce pollution. (TN CCSS Reading 2, 5; TN CCSS Writing 4, 7, 9; TN Environmental Science 4, 6, 7)

14) Compare and contrast alternative methods for maintaining home landscapes using sustainable and/or organic products that will reduce pollution and soil erosion and conserve water and energy. Develop an argumentative essay that develops a claim about the need for a specific practice to maintain a healthy home landscape, developing claim(s) and counterclaim(s) with reasoning and evidence. (TN CCSS Reading 5, 9; TN CCSS Writing 1, 4, 7, 9; TN Environmental Science 2, 4, 6, 7)

15) Research the use of compost and mulch in improving and rebuilding soils. Create a presentation or resource guide describing various compost methods, including field crop composting, commercial composting, backyard compost piles, vermicomposting, and bokashi. Create a chart that compares the inputs, time investment, quality, and quantity of compost prepared by each method. (TN CCSS Reading 2, 4, 7; TN CCSS Writing 4, 7, 9; TN Ecology 4, 6; TN Environmental Science 4, 6)

16) Determine characteristics important in selecting a site for optimal growth of plants and crops in rural, suburban, and urban settings. Describe the factors that influence the economics of crop production in each setting. (TN CCSS Reading 2; TN CCSS Writing 4, 9; TN Environmental Science 2, 4)


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