Curriculum Corner: Website Updates 

Share on

Jennifer Richards, Assistant Professor

Website Updates

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the curriculum office! As you may have seen, the project page on the state 4-H website has a new look! The titles and descriptions have been replaced with images to make the website a little more kid-friendly. The picture will link to a page explaining the project, just as the project title has in the past.

The individual project pages will also be getting a makeover in the near future. As les- son plans, project outcomes, and project curriculum are written and published, they will appear on the project page with links to download resources.  The project page will also have a video explaining the newly written outcomes for that project area. This transition to the new design is expected to be completed by mid-May.

Soon, you will also find an entirely new section on the website related to In-School 4-H Clubs. This page will house lesson plans that will be organized by grade level and subject matter, other resources to use with clubs you meet during school time and information on state content standards that the activities and competitions meet.

In-Service Opportunities

Educational Design

Beginning in late April, there will be an in-service focused on educational design. This session is designed to equip you with the skills to plan for educational events and give you ideas about activities to stimulate learning with your kiddos. The dates and times for each of the in-services are listed below.

  • Western Region (WTREC, Room B) May 2, 2017
    Credit Hours: 6
    Registration Link
  • Central Region (Rutherford County – Community Building) May 1, 2017
    Credit Hours: 6
    Registration Link
  • Eastern Region (Eastern Region Office) April 25, 2017
    Credit Hours: 6
    Registration Link
Lesson Plan Template

Since there are several published lessons in the new lesson plan templates, a short 1.5 hour training on how to use the new lesson plan template will be offered. This session will also address how to read the Tennessee State Content Standards. It will be important for consistency of implementation and usage so consider making this inservice a priority.

Look for registration information on this session in next week’s newsletter.

Lesson Plans Available

Below is a link to each of the lesson plans that are currently available on the Market- ing and Communications Website.

  • Fun with Friction
    Students will complete a hand-son experiment in order to learn about friction and the forces that affect friction. This will be done by creating a ramp and rolling an object on two different types of surfaces. Students will work in small groups to complete the experiment, while recording their findings on a supplemental handout.
  • Let’s Learn about Chickens!
    This hands-on, practical activity will require learners to use critical thinking skills to investigate the source of food and understand the poultry industry. *The presentation to accompany this lesson is available on the poultry project page.
  • What did you say?
    This lesson uses student participation as a means of showing how the skills can make a speech come across very positively — or very negatively. Students get to have fun while helping demonstrate the skills to the group, which makes them more likely to remember. This lesson is a good follow up to the “Talk to Me” lesson, which covers what makes up a speech and how the speech should be structured.

    *If you have previously downloaded or received this by email, please redownload using this link. The first link included an error.
  • Green Life
    This lesson will focus on three broad topics: six basic plant parts, the requirements needed for plant growth, and photosynthesis.
  • Talk to Me
    This lesson begins with an assessment of what the students know about speech structure and what makes a good speech by using Think-Pair-Share as a pre assessment tool. Based on the skill level assessed by the Think-Pair-Share, the lesson can be tailored to focus strictly on the areas that the students are lacking. The lesson concludes with a brainstorming session where students are able to write a strong opening statement for their 4-H speech.

    *The presentation to accompany this lesson is available on the Communications/Public Speaking Project page.
  • Think Like A Scientist
    This activity is designed to teach ideas about the nature of science. It contains no specific science content knowledge. In this activity, students gather information and work toward a closer approximation of a sentence. There is built-in ambiguity and several reasonable answers are possible.
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
    In this lesson, students will learn about physical and chemical changes. Physical changes will be demonstrated with playdough and/or M&M’s Candy. The chemical change will be demonstrated by making “Elephant’s Toothpaste.”
  • To Move or Not to Move
    This lesson uses a hands-on approach to learning. Students will explore the concepts of potential and kinetic energy through completing a lab related to these concepts. Students will then analyze data collected during the lab by graphing and then draw conclusions based on what they have found.

As always, James and I are always available to help you if you need it. I can be reached by email at and James at