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The Kid Should See This, Arizona State Museum


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Biology

Resource Types

  • Videos, 4 minutes, 12 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Arizona

Hopi Dryland Farming: Growing Corn With Rainfall in the Desert

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  • This video and article investigates the sustainable farming practices of a Hopi dryland farmer growing corn in the Arizona desert using only rainfall.
  • Dr. Johnson explains how Hopi traditional farming practices that are passed down from generation to generation can improve current agricultural practices throughout the United States. 
Teaching Tips


  • This resource is a great way for students to learn more about the culture of the Hopi people.
  • It shows how traditional farming practices can provide sustainable food, even in deserts.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The link for Dr. Michael Kotuwa Johnson is broken. 


  • After watching, consider comparing Dr. Johnson's culturally-based farming practices with the practices of industrial farmers. Help students identify what makes them different and why Dr. Johnson's methods may be more sustainable and beneficial. 
  • History classes could use this resource as part of a unit investigating the history of Indigenous people and the importance of cultural knowledge.
  • Use this video to introduce topics such as droughts, the effects of climate change on plants, sustainability, and regenerative agriculture in science classes.
  • Other related resources include this video about the sustainable forestry practices of the Menominee people, this video about Indigenous communities and climate change, and this lesson plan about Indigenous communities and the environment.
Scientist Notes
Monoculture and industrialized agriculture have been both beneficial and harmful to humans. This video showcases the Hopi principle of culturally-based agriculture, which is better for the planet, environment, and people. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
      • 5-LS2-1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.6-8 Analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.2.3-5 Compare life in specific historical time periods to life today.
  • Related Resources


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