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Home > Minnesota Ag in the Classroom > Food for Thought Mapping Curriculum

Food for Thought Mapping Curriculum
Connecting Minnesota Geography, Agriculture and Communities

A product of Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) and the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE)

Welcome to Food for Thought, Third Edition. We hope the lessons and maps included in this curriculum will inspire interest in the geography of Minnesota agriculture and enrich your classroom learning experience. These lessons and maps are designed to enable students and others to locate themselves amidst the grand mosaic of fields, processing plants, wind towers, ethanol plants, power lines and roads in Minnesota.

Minnesota Academic Standards for Social Studies/Geography: The geography of agriculture is singled-out as a topic in both the elementary and secondary standards. In addition, students are expected to be able to use maps to understand regions and analyze contemporary lifestyles. The nine unique lessons (several new in this Third Edition) 33 black line master maps (all updated to 2007 census or later), along with the colorful student desk map, have been specifically developed to enable students to master these standards. ENJOY!

The Food for Thought Teacher Guide lessons were written by Dr. David Lanegran and Minnesota classroom educators Mary Crampton, Ann Hoehn and Cindi Patten. Project Coordinator is Al Withers.

Order a printed version of the Food for Thought agriculture mapping curriculum free of charge.

Downloading options:

Note to Educators: As a courtesy, we have included the introduction (which includes the suggestions for layering maps) with each lesson.

Food for Thought cover


  1. How to Read a Map (Intro Lesson K-12) (PDF: 76 KB / 4 pages)
  2. Working with Reference and Thematic Maps (Intro Lesson K-12) (PDF: 78 KB / 4 pages) 
  3. Map Literacy Intro Lesson (K-5) (PDF: 74 KB / 4 pages)
  4. Minnesota Apple Pie (Grades 3-5 with portions appropriate for Grades 1-2) (PDF: 173 KB / 8 pages)
  5. Agricultural Regions in Minnesota (4-8 Middle Grades) (PDF: 191 KB / 9 pages) 
  6. Corn King (4-8 Middle Grades) (PDF: 93 KB / 9 pages)
  7. Impact of Distance on Agribusiness (9-12 Secondary Grades) (PDF: 90 KB / 9 pages)
  8. Organic Farms (9-12 Secondary Grades) (PDF: 76 KB / 7 pages)
  9. Lesson Links:

    1. Minnesota Population Distribution
    2. US Certified Organic Farms by Zip Code
    3. US Total Farms & US Vegetable Farms
    4. US Population Distribution
  10. Harnessing the Wind (9-12 Secondary Grades) (PDF: 89 KB / 8 pages) 
  11. Lesson Links:

    1. Picture Examples of Wind Farms
    2. Resource 1 – US Average Annual Wind Power Map 
    3. Resource 2 – Minnesota Wind Speed Maps - 30, 280 and 100 meters
    4. Resource 3 – Minnesota Average Wind Power
    5. Resource 4 – Minnesota Wind Turbines Map (note that it is from December of 2008) 

Glossary (PDF: 41 KB)

Food For Thought Desk Map (11 x 17) (PDF: 420 KB / 2 pages)

Digital Overlay Transparencies for Smart Boards  

Black Line Maps: 

These master maps are made to overlay each other. Make transparencies as needed. Students can use the information on several different maps to answer questions, observe patterns, and discover connections.