Our program teaches the basics of FFA as an introductory, 5-week unit that covers the essentials of the information necessary to know for the Greenhand Degree. Beyond this class, our program doesn't have much direct instruction in class regarding FFA. I have taught multiple sections of the class for the past 3 years and tried to switch up the way I teach the class in order to capture student's interests, appeal to a variety of types of learners, and most importanly, convey the limitless possibilities for them to become involved in the FFA. The general vibe of kids when they leave the class is that the "smart" kids like FFA because they can easily memorize the dates and colors and emblem parts, and the kids whom seem to have no interest in the FFA decide that all there is to FFA is memorizing boring things. Ultimately we would like to have more of our students become involved with the FFA. Our chapter is approximately 320 students and there are about 40-50ish regularly involved kids.
So...I am trying to rework the class so that I incorporate more Life Knowledge (I started to use it last year with success from day to day) and less focus on the "FFA trivia", however we still want our students to work towards the Greenhand FFA Degree. Does anyone teach similar units with success? Any suggestions for how to balance the types of instruction? I have spent increasing amounts of time on the team building activities but it almost seems too loosely structured for the students when they are asking me "when are we going to learn something?" I point out that they have been learning how to communicate with each other, work together in new situations, make decisions, etc, and this is all part of what the FFA is about.