Book giveaway for teachers

Bring soy to your classroom

August 22, 2023 | Jeff Hutton

There was more to Henry Ford than just the manufacturing of automobiles. And like Ford, there is much more to soybeans than just animal feed and food.

That’s the message in the children’s book “Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car” and the accompanying educator’s guide, which helps young people learn more about the Ford and the versatile crop that he believed in.

In celebration of Soybean Month in Iowa, the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is giving away three soybean-focused lesson plans for educators who want to incorporate agriculture within their curriculum. These lesson plans meet Common Core Standards and Net Generation Standards for grade levels 3-5, while also addressing the Ag Literacy Pillars.  

Most everyone knows Ford as an automobile maker. But that wasn't his only accomplishment. Ford also revolutionized farming by finding new uses for soybeans - including a car that was "full of beans."

Even in farm-rich Iowa, many young people as well as many adults, do not have a basic understanding of where their food, fiber and fuel comes from. Agriculture, they contend, is not part of their world.

Within the lessons plans that ISA is sharing with educators, there are activities that incorporate The Pillars of Agricultural Literacy ( which offer a framework for lifelong learning. The goal is to build a strong foundational understanding of the relationship between agriculture and the environment, food, fiber, energy, animals, lifestyle, the economy and technology.

Among the activities outlined in the educator’s guide:

  1. Sorting Soybean – Students will identify products that do and do not contain soybeans; students will compare these products and how they are used in their daily lives.
  2. Bean Seed Necklaces – Students will determine the resources needed for a soybean plant to grow; students will also identify the signs of germination within a seed.
  3. Inside the Soybean – Students will examine the various layers of material found in a soybean; they will also connect the material layers to the real-world products they are processed into.
  4. Seeing Soybean States – Students will compare the climates of the U.S. states which grow the most soybeans; students will also deduce what resources and similarities contribute to the success of soybeans in those states.
  5. That’s a Lot of Soybeans! – Students will explain the term yield means in the agriculture industry
  6. Harvesting Technology – Students will brainstorm technology’s role and impact on the ag industry.
  7. Soybean Crackers – Students will identify what crops common household baking items come from.
  8. Soybean Plastic – Students will test how the amount of soybean oil affects a product; they will connect products they use daily with the soybean industry. 

Once online, participants will be asked to complete a brief form, which must be submitted no later than Aug. 31. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by Sept. 1.

Additional questions may be directed to Devin Benish at