PA Preferred™: How Milk Matters

1. Objectives:
Students will utilize their knowledge of Pennsylvania dairy products from local farms to
write a persuasive essay convincing people of the health benefits of drinking milk/chocolate
2. Essential Question:
How can milk and dairy products contribute to a healthy lifestyle?
3. Vocabulary:
 protein
 calcium
 electrolytes
 nutritional value
4. Duration:
Three 45-minute lessons (writing piece should follow the writing process)
5. Materials:
 Writing paper
 Graphic Organizer: Persuasion Map
 Graphic Organizer: Why Drink Milk or Chocolate Milk?
 Graphic Organizer: Persuasive Writing and New Vocabulary
 Vocabulary list of dairy words
 Pennsylvania Agriculture List
 Sample of a persuasive essay
 Large chart paper
 Laptop or tablet with projection system
 Exit Ticket

6. Anticipatory Set:
 Today we will be learning about dairy farms in Pennsylvania by exploring the PA
Preferred website to learn about dairy products produced in Pennsylvania.
 Connect a laptop or tablet to the projection system and project the website
( for the students to view as the teacher takes them to the map of
Pennsylvania to explore the dairy farms in their local area. Ask students, “Who loves
chocolate milk?” Show the options of where chocolate milk is produced.
 Students will then read articles promoting the consumption of milk or chocolate milk and
its health benefits.
7. Instructional Procedure:
 Introduction:
Begin by explaining to the students that they will be writing a persuasive essay trying to
convince their parents to purchase milk or chocolate milk.
8. Modeling:

Share a sample persuasive essay where the author’s purpose of writing is to persuade
their readers to purchase products produced or grown locally in Pennsylvania.

Emphasize to the students the purpose of the essay, the format of the writing (length and
number of paragraphs,) and that this piece of writing will be sent home to share with
their family to encourage all of us to buy Pennsylvania dairy products particularly milk
and chocolate milk.
9. Guided Practice:
 Connect a laptop or tablet to the projection system and project the website for the students to view. Explore each reason and discuss them
with the class. Pass out a copy of any of the Graphic Organizers provided for students to
take notes. These notes will be of assistance to the students as they write their persuasive
 Brainstorm with the students a list of vocabulary words related to nutrition and dairy that
students might need as they write their letters (see vocabulary list).
 If the teacher has gathered resource materials, give students time to look through the
books and gather words that they think might be used as they write. These may be added
to the list after students have had time to share out.
 Post the chart paper with the vocabulary words so that the students are able to refer to
them. While you are writing, direct the students back to the chart when vocabulary words
should be used in their writing assignment.
 Teacher will work to emphasize that a persuasive essay has to state reasons and then
elaborate on the reasons to help people understand the importance of Pennsylvania dairy
products particularly milk or chocolate milk.

To begin writing, the teacher will elicit students’ ideas and students will help to select the
ideas written in the essay.
When the final class essay is composed, the teacher will display it in the room or make
copies for the students.

10. Independent Practice:
 With parental guidance, access to a computer, and the PA Preferred website address,
students share the assignment with their parents and discuss what they think are the most
important reasons for buying milk or chocolate milk.
 Once students have selected their reasons, they should begin composing their own essay
using reasons and elaborations.
 Students will revise and edit their essay with the teacher.
 After revising and editing the assignment with their teacher, students will rewrite their
final essay and take it home.
11. Closure:
 Students will share his or her essay with their peers.
 Students will take their essay home to share with a parent. Parent will sign that they have
seen the essay and send it back into school with his or her child.
12. Assessment:
 Formative: Exit ticket – Ask students to write down at least three reasons to drink milk or
chocolate milk.
 Summative: At the conclusion of the lesson, each student will have successfully
completed a persuasive essay stating reasons with elaborations as to the importance of
buying local. Students’ final edited drafts may be used for the summative assessment.
13. Related Materials and Resources:
 Informational texts about Pennsylvania agriculture and farms.
14. Accommodations and Adaptations:
 Computers at school will be made available if a student has no access at home.
 A copy of a graphic organizer for reasons for buying local will be provided if needed.
 Adaptation of the writing process should be accommodated with possibly using a
partially started essay with lines to complete.
 Assistance may also be given throughout the writing process with buddy writing or oneon-one writing assistance.

Provide a personal word bank for thoughts and correct spelling.

15. Lesson Evaluation and Reflection
16. Grade Levels: 3-5
17. Related Academic Standards
 Common Core Standards:
 CC.1.4.3.H Introduce the topic and state an opinion on the topic.
 CC. 1.4.3.I Support an opinion with reasons.
 CC.1.4.3.D Create an organizational structure that includes information grouped and
connected logically with a concluding statement or section.
 CC.1.4.3.E Choose words and phrases for effect.
 CC.1.4.3.F Demonstrate a grade appropriate command of the conventions of Standard
English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

Pennsylvania State Standards for Environment and Ecology:
 4.4.3.A Identify Pennsylvania crops that provide food for the table and fiber for
 4.4.3.B Explain how agriculture meets the basic needs of humans.

Sample of Persuasive Essay
Next time you go to the grocery store, remember to buy local agricultural products made or
grown in Pennsylvania. Buying local Pennsylvania agricultural products benefits your family,
helps the farmers and growers, and is good for the environment. Purchasing products from within
Pennsylvania also helps the economy of the state continue to grow and provides jobs for a
variety of people.
Most locally produced products come from Pennsylvania farms that have often been around for
several generations. Farmers spend a great deal of time learning how to grow and produce the
best that their farm can offer. There’s nothing quite like having food that’s fresh from the farm.
When stores receive products from across the country or from other countries, the products have
been on trucks, ships, and in containers for a lengthy trip. To preserve products during shipping,
additional chemicals may be added to keep them fresh during transportation. However, when
fruits and vegetables come from a local farm, they are high quality, fresher and taste great. To
enjoy the freshest products possible, remember to look for products from your local growers.
There are also many locally produced products that are not grown on farms. You may be
surprised to learn that there is locally produced milk, jams, snacks, ice cream, and so much more.
Buying these products also supports the state’s economy and creates much needed jobs.
Buying locally produced and grown products benefits our great state of Pennsylvania. When
products produced in Pennsylvania are sold here, the money that is used to purchase those
products remains in Pennsylvania. For example, an apple grower sells his apples to the local
grocery store then is able to use the revenue that he earned from the apples to purchase another
product in the state. That same apple grower might hire additional people to work on the farm,
which helps to create more jobs in the state. Those workers are then able to spend money in
Pennsylvania, creating even more jobs. Keeping revenue in the state and creating additional jobs
are two important ways that buying local helps to strengthen the economy of our state.
Next time you see beautiful red tomatoes for your dinner table, take the time to see where they
are grown. Remember that buying locally grown or produced products helps create jobs, keep
farms strong, and grows the economy. Putting fresh products on the table for your family also
gives you the peace of mind that those products are fresh and high quality. Buy fresh, buy local:
Made in PA. It makes a difference.