1 2 First Previous 28 Replies Latest reply on Jan 26, 2016 2:03 PM by Nicole Abel

    Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed

    Alissa Smith Top CoP


      I was having a discussion with a colleague the other day about how ag teachers use the FFA Creed in their classes.  I was just wondering what are some ways that you expand on the Creed in your classes, instead of just the recitation part.  And maybe how you handle the whole process of reciting the Creed in class so that you don't spend a whole semester on it. 



      We were also discussing one option of having students develop their own Creed.  I think this would be a neat thing to do so that students will actually have to understand the meaning of the FFA Creed, reflect on it, and then develop their own.  It makes it real to them.  I guess I think that this would work better in a leadership or communications class because students are older and more mature, but I'm not for certain.  Has anyone done something like this in their class?  If so, how did you go about it? 






        • 1. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed


          When I teach the FFA Creed with my eighth graders, I include a public speaking unit, specifically about how to correctly use a podium.  To give them practice using the podium, we recite the creed, verse by verse.   I have attached a powerpoint that I use for paragraph #1.   I break them into groups of 8-9 students or less.  They draw a number and have to line up in order.  Then I start the powerpoint.  The first verse of the creed is the first slide.  Standing behind the podium, student #1 recites the verse by reading the slide.  Then student  #2 steps up to the podium.  The second slide shows, but some of the words are missing.  If they get stuck, then they can ask student #1.  Words  continue to disappear, until you get to student  #9 and then the slide is blank.  By this time, they have heard it recited many times and hopefully they can recite the entire paragraph, but if they need help, they  receive help from the other students.  This can get very competitive among the groups and students.  It's also a lot of fun to do it this way and students really enjoy it, even the shy ones because they can get help from the other students!



          • 2. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
            Melanie Bloom Top CoP


            A few years ago, I took a sustainable ag class and our group of teachers asked the class (mainly graduate students and farmer-types) what we can do as teachers that would be of value.   One comment we received (and were really surprised by) was, "learning the Creed is a waste of time and students really don't need to understand that #$@*".  Needless to say, we didn't agree and came up with many arguments in favor of teaching the Creed that that person probably didn't understand.  Our final conclusion was that somewhere along the way, some ag teacher really turned some kids off by spending too much time on the Creed.  



            SO....when I "teach" the Creed, I start out by emphasizing the skills I think are most important (and use a few LifeKnowlege lessons as we go along to reinforce them).  My own opinion is that the Creed is a good tool to start giving kids some confidence in their speaking skills and it also is a good lead-in to some ag lessons later in the year. 



            To teach For my Ag Ed I students, I introduce the creed over a five-week period - each week we do a new paragraph - the first day we discuss it and the students have to re-write the paragraph in their own words.  Each day of the week, the class practices reciting it in unison and by Friday each student has to (or at least attempt to) say that paragraph - I sometimes give extra credit if they can do more than one paragraph or if they try it before Friday.  That's just how I do the Creed - I don't focus as much on speaking skills, but we talk about it and by the end, most of them have enough confidence to hold their heads up, stand up straight, etc.  By the fifth paragraph, I also have a good idea of who might be interested in the Creed Speaking CDE.  But I am open to suggestions. 



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            • 3. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
              Melanie Bloom Top CoP

              I forgot to mention - using the five-week method, I really am spending no more than 5-10 minutes per day on the Creed.  Then I can get many other lessons and curriculum covered more quickly.  It allows more integration and also for students to find more meaning in the Creed, I think.

              • 4. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
                Jennifer Wherley Neighbor

                I do something similar to the 5-week method too and along with the public speaking encouragement, etc.  When I discuss each paragraph with the students and what the creed means to us, I also show popular scenes from movies for an interest approach.  For example, for the first paragraph, I show the excerpt from Remeber the Titans, when Denzel Washington has the team at the battlefield of Gettysburg and he asks them to take a lesson from the dead here...you would be surprised how many ways kids can relate that scene to the first paragraph.  It is neat to see how the interpret things!  Very fun!

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                • 5. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
                  Alissa Smith Top CoP





                  I like your idea of video clips.  Would you mind sharing what video clips you use for the other 4 paragraphs?






                  • 6. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed


                    National FFA has a DVD available from the Core catalog called 'Figures of Speech'.  The four finalist from the 2006 National Creed Speaking Contest are featured presenting the creed with questions.  There are even coaches commentaries.  This is a great way to show students Creed presentation.  Definitely worth the purchase!  Also included on the DVD are the finalist from the Prepared and Extemporaneous Contest.



                    • 7. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
                      Heidi Davis Hero

                      Try the attached podcast for kids to practice with their IPods and mp3 players and I am also attaching a set of compiled creed questions. If you want to download the mp3 from our podcast site go to


                      http://www.mhsitrt.podomatic.com/ or just search in Itunes.



                      I am also trying blogging this year.  I take 1 paragraph a week and blog about it on the classroom website and then have the kids answer a question about it on an interactive message board.



                      Example paragraph 1:



                      The future of agriculture:

                      Every year I am greeted by more than a hundred new faces that may or may not have any connection to the term agriculture.  I try to start simple and explain that agriculture is the industry concerned with raising food and fiber.  I try to get the point across that this industry encompasses a massive variety of skills and that we need SKILLED, TRAINED, and EFFICIENT youth in order to meet our future needs.  Unfortunately, I ever quite feel that I have really made an impact on about 95% of these students. I still feel that they leave my classroom with only a vague insight into the urgency of the current situation within the agricultural community.  This year, I am examining the FFA Creed paragraph by paragraph with all of my students. I need to know where they are and are not connecting.  I need to know their needs as well as the needs of an ever expanding and increasingly technological industry (agriculture).  It is my hope that by reflecting and thinking about what your peers are saying.....we can make the connections.

                      The first Chapter of the FFA Creed by E.M. Tiffany follows:


                      "I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years."


                      Please answer the following:

                      1. What do you believe is the future of agriculture and why?

                      2. What does it mean to live life by the motto "with a faith born not of words but of deeds"?

                      3. Who are some of the past and present generations of agriculturists that have made and are making a difference in your life?  How so?

                      Each student is expected to provide an original response...also..you may provide constructive comments about other student's post or feed off their ideas as long as you add something of significance to the thread.

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                      • 8. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
                        Robin McLean Top CoP

                        Here's what I did today with the creed.  Thanks Heidi for the podcast I downloaded and used.  To divide them in groups for the last activity, I used dominoes (the doubles, the number and the blank, and the number with a six - So this wouldn't work if you had more than 15 students). That allowed me to group my students, plus the number they had was the paragraph they explored.

                        • 9. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
                          Alison Derringer Mentor


                          To help emphasize the importance of the creed, I stole an idea from my student teaching days and make 'creed boards'. Using leftover wood from previous wood shop projects, I cut each board about a foot long and six inches wide (Size doesn't really matter - as long as you have enough room for writing on it). I then print out the phrase 'Creed Board' on a heavy piece of paper and cut out the words in the paper with an exacto knife. Make sure to leave the white spaces in the letters. For example, B has two white spaces in it. Next, using green spray paint and your paper, spray paint the words in the middle of each board.



                          After all the creed boards are done, I give one to each student with one goal - you must get the all of the signatures of our officer team, myself and our seniors on the board. In order to do this, they must say a paragraph of the creed to that person. If they do it without too many mistakes, they will get the signature. This not only allows them to interact with leaders within the chapter, but boosts confidence in public speaking among many other lessons.



                          • 10. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed


                            I typically do one paragraph at a time...like several teachers I am sure. For at least 2 of the 5 paragraphs the students have an assignment to make a picture poster using newspaper/magazine clippings and other pictures (from the web).  They must form a picture poster that used various pictures to explain a word (I do this after one or two class periods of talking about the paragraph, questions, etc). For the third paragraph for example, it has 55 words. They had to have at least 20 pictures/drawings. They could either write the word under the picture or drawing or leave it out to quiz their classmates when they presented. A lot of the students actually used magazine clippings for the entire poster by creating their words from cut out letters. This worked very well for my students and they had fun. They told me they wished I had done this for the first two paragraphs.



                            I have attached some pictures of examples!



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                            • 11. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed


                              One method I have used in the past is by having kids play "creed ball."  Students get in a large circle and a ball is passed from one student to another (across the circle, or to whomever).  Whoever the ball is passed to has to say the next word of the creed.  If the ball touches the floor, the game starts over.  If a student doesn't know the word, then the other kids are allowed to give them hints about the word, but cannot spell out or say the word.  The first few times kids struggle with the words, but after a couple of tries, I start timing them and challenging them to do it quicker.  I'm sure there are other ways to make this better and more creative - it was a last minute creation one day when I was struggling to make the creed a little more fun.



                              • 12. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
                                Jaysa Fillmore Top CoP

                                I expanded on Ms. Shomo's idea with the Power Point and created one for all five paragraphs. I haven't used it yet, but plan to use it next semester during student teaching.

                                • 13. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
                                  Jaysa Fillmore Top CoP

                                  Here are some documents I use for teaching the FFA Creed.


                                  The pictographs worksheet: students come up with symbols to represent words of the 4th and 5th paragraphs. For example, a picture of an eye for "I". I let them choose 3 words to skip the symbols for and just write the word. ("the", "as", "is" are really hard to come up with symbols for!)


                                  Fill in the blank: self explainatory. I use for quizzes or extra credit.


                                  Study questions: I do these as "bell work" each day when we are learning the Creed. The question is on the board at the beginning of class and they write it down in their notebooks and turn in at the end of the week.


                                  Peer Practice: students have to say certain paragraphs to anyone and have them sign. It could be another teacher or friend or parent.

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                                  • 14. Re: Innovative Ways to Teach The FFA Creed
                                    Shelley Armour Neighbor

                                    I like to use pictures also- they have to draw things to visualize the creed. Also for my kids that like to learn by moving- I have them act it out. The more ways it's presented it seems like the easier it is to learn.

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