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Agricultural Science

4 Best High School Animal Science Curriculum Options

January 19th, 2023 | 9 min. read

Mike Cescon

Mike Cescon

With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the iCEV curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

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If you teach in a high school agriculture program, you’re probably looking for a solid animal science curriculum to educate your kids. After all, the right curriculum option can teach your students everything they need to know about animal behavior, anatomy, nutrition, and more. The wrong one, however, could leave them far behind others in the field. 

So what animal science resources are out there? How are they structured, and how much do they cost?

In this article, you’ll discover four of the best high school animal science curriculum options:

  1. Scientific Farm Animal Production: An Introduction to Animal Science
  2. Introduction to Animal Science: Global, Biological, Social, and Industry Perspectives
  3. Georgia Agricultural Education’s Animal Science Resources
  4. CASE’s Animal Science Course

By the end of this article, you’ll have a more thorough understanding of each of these resources so that you can choose the right fit for your program.

1. Scientific Farm Animal Production: An Introduction to Animal Science

Authors: Thomas G. Field and Robert W. Taylor

Copyright: Pearson, 2019

Scientific Farm Animal Production: An Introduction to Animal Science, 12th Edition is a comprehensive animal science textbook designed to teach high schoolers the foundational knowledge they need. 

This textbook is split into 16 sections examining eight of the primary livestock industries: 

  • Animal Contributions to Human Needs
  • An Overview of the Livestock and Poultry Industries
  • Red Meat Products
  • Poultry and Egg Products
  • Milk and Milk Products
  • Wool and Mohair
  • By-Products of Meat Animals
  • Market Classes and Grades of Livestock, Poultry, and Eggs
  • Visual Evaluation of Market Animals
  • Reproduction
  • Artificial Insemination, Estrous Synchronization, and Embryo Transfer
  • Genetics
  • Genetic Change Through Selection
  • Mating Systems
  • Nutrients and Their Functions
  • Digestion and Absorption of Feed

These sections include resources like graphics, tables, images, and more. In addition, Scientific Farm Animal Production focuses on the biological principles of animal science and the social issues surrounding livestock production. This helps grant students the context they need to more fully understand the industry. 

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost?

Scientific Farm Animal Production is a good fit for high school teachers looking for a reliable animal science textbook to teach students the fundamentals they need. The breadth and depth of topics it offers should be more than enough to teach a year-long course. 

However, if you’re looking for a more engaging curriculum solution, then Scientific Farm Animal Production may not be the best choice. While textbooks like this are full of useful information, they often leave much to be desired when it comes to grabbing students’ attention. 

Scientific Farm Animal Production costs $154.66 for a single hardback copy.

2. Introduction to Animal Science: Global, Biological, Social, and Industry Perspectives 

Author: W. Stephen Damron

Copyright: Pearson, 2018

Introduction to Animal Science: Global, Biological, Social, and Industry Perspectives, 6th Edition is another animal science textbook dedicated to teaching students the fundamentals of this subject area. 

This textbook is divided into 29 chapters:  

  • Introduction to the Animal Sciences
  • The Value of Animals to Humanity
  • Factors Affecting World Agricultural Structure
  • Worldwide Systems of Agricultural Production
  • Introduction To Nutrition
  • The Gastrointestinal Tract and Nutrition
  • Feedstuffs Classification
  • Genetics
  • Animal Breeding
  • Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
  • Animal Reproduction
  • Lactation
  • Animal Behavior
  • Animal Health
  • Market Coordination in the Beef, Pork, and Poultry Industries
  • Beef Cattle
  • Dairy Cattle
  • Poultry
  • Swine
  • Sheep and Goats
  • Horses
  • Aquaculture
  • Pet and Companion Animals
  • Lamoids
  • Rabbits
  • Careers and Career Preparation in the Animal Sciences
  • Food Safety and Consumer Concerns
  • Animal Welfare and Animal Rights
  • Animals in Sustainable Agriculture

These chapters include figures, graphics, tables, vocab terms, and more, designed with an approachable, student-friendly feel. Moreover, the textbook also offers images of some of the most common animal diseases, as well as niche information concerning animals like llamas and companion species.

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost?

Introduction to Animal Science will work well for teachers looking for a well-rounded, flexible textbook, one that can be applied in either high school or college classes. It serves well to introduce students to animal science, while also helping them gain a greater perspective on the value that animals bring to human society. 

However, one drawback is that this animal science textbook has a copyright of 2018, making it one of the older resources on this list. If you’re looking for the most up-to-date resource out there, Introduction to Animal Science probably won’t be the best fit. 

Introduction to Animal Science costs $191.99 for a physical copy. Alternatively, you can buy eTextbook versions for $44.99 each

3. Georgia Agricultural Education’s Animal Science Resources

Georgia FFA & Ag Ed Home

Georgia Agricultural Education is an organization dedicated to providing agriculture teachers in Georgia with the resources and services they need to teach essential topics. To this end, they offer free lesson plans and activities to give teachers an alternative to pricey curriculum options.

One of the clusters this organization offers is the Animal Science cluster, which covers almost two dozen courses split across these seven pathways: 

  • Ag Leadership in Animal Production
  • Animal Production & Processing
  • Animal/Mechanical Systems
  • Companion Animal Systems
  • Equine Science
  • Food Animal Systems
  • Veterinary Science

Each pathway consists of three courses and dozens of lesson plans and activities. Typically, a lesson plan consists of essential questions, primary learning goals, discussion questions, activities, and graded assignments. 

Who Is This Curriculum Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost?

This high school animal science curriculum would be a good fit for teachers looking for supplemental materials to quickly incorporate into an animal science course. The sheer amount of free accessible material makes it a valuable resource for those looking for a fast lesson plan, assignment, or activity. 

However, for teachers who want a comprehensive, singular curriculum option, this likely wouldn’t be the best choice. Many of the resources in this collection are older, and relying on them alone for your course might leave too many holes in the student experience. 

4. CASE’s Animal Science Course

CASE LogoCurriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) is a curriculum provider that focuses on resources for teaching agriculture. They make it their mission to offer quality materials and training for high school ag teachers, so they can better nurture the next generation of professionals.

One of the courses CASE offers is called Principles of Agricultural Science: Animal (ASA), a year-long animal science curriculum covering eight areas of study: 

  • History and Use of Animals
  • Animal Handling and Safety
  • Cells and Tissues
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Animal Reproduction
  • Genetics
  • Animal Health
  • Animal Products, Selection, and Marketing

This is a foundational course where students conduct lab experiments, complete activities, and learn the overall basics of animal anatomy, physiology, behavior, nutrition, and health. Along the way, students develop a Producer’s Management Guide for a chosen animal as a capstone project for the course. 

Who Is This Curriculum Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost?

CASE is a strong choice for high school teachers looking for an in-depth animal science course that exists as part of a larger agricultural curriculum. If you’re looking not just for an animal science course, but several other courses that you can incorporate into your agriculture program, then CASE may be right for you. 

However, CASE may not be a good fit for teachers who want a curriculum they can quickly use in the classroom. Implementing CASE is a lengthy process, as CASE requires that teachers attend multiple-day training events to ensure they use the curriculum correctly. 

The price of CASE will vary depending on the kind of training event you attend. One- to two-day training events will cost districts anywhere from $250-$1000, while 5-10 day events will cost $2500-$3500. After training is completed, you gain full access to the curriculum you were taught how to use.

Teach High School Animal Science Today!

In this article, you’ve discovered some of the best curriculum options out there for teaching your animal science course. These options cover an array of teacher needs and niches, so it’s more than likely one of them will suit your classroom well. 

However, if none of these options seem like the right fit for your class, and you want a curriculum that will combine the strengths of all of them, then take a look into iCEV’s Animal Science course!

iCEV’s Animal Science course is a well-rounded, year-long curriculum you can easily implement in your high school animal science class. It comes with dozens of lessons, activities, videos, and more, each designed to grant your students career-level knowledge of animal science:

Discover the Animal Science Course