Agriculture Lesson Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students about agriculture with this lesson plan. They will view a video lesson, take a related follow-up quiz to test their comprehension, and participate in three fun hands-on activities to reinforce main concepts.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson, your students will be able to:

  • Differentiate between industrialized and subsistence agriculture
  • Explain the concepts of monocultures and polycultures
  • Name three types of subsistence agriculture

Length

1-1.5 Hours

Materials

Key Vocabulary

  • Chemical fertilizers
  • Crop yield
  • Fertilizer and irrigation
  • Monocultures
  • Pastoral nomadism
  • Pesticides
  • Polycultures
  • Shifting cultivation

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

Instructions

  • Inform your students they are going to learn about agriculture.
  • Ask them if anyone is familiar with agricultural practices or has worked on a farm?
  • Review the key vocabulary terms.
  • Read the lesson's introduction.
  • Start the video lesson Types of Agriculture: Industrialized and Subsistence Agriculture and pause for the first time at 0:58.
    • What is the main source for the food humans eat daily?
    • How many years ago did agriculture begin?
    • What is the definition of agriculture?
    • What did humans do before agriculture?
    • What are the two main types of agriculture?
  • Next resume the video and pause this time at 2:41.
    • What is the definition of industrialized agriculture?
    • What is its goal?
    • What is the definition of crop yield?
    • What are some positive and negative traits of industrialized agriculture?
    • What does it mean to grow monocultures?
  • Now resume the video and pause this time at 4:29.
    • What is the definition of subsistence agriculture?
    • What is its goal?
    • What are some positive and negative traits of subsistence agriculture?
    • What does it mean to grow polycultures?
  • Again restart the video and pause for the final time at 6:36.
    • How common is subsistence agriculture throughout the world?
    • What is intensive (or traditional) subsistence agriculture?
    • What is shifting cultivation?
    • What is pastoral nomadism?
  • Lastly, resume the video and view the section 'Lesson Summary.'
  • Review the entire video lesson.
  • Answer any questions posed by your students.
  • Have your students take the lesson quiz to demonstrate their knowledge.

Activity One

  • Inform your students they are going to start a small subsistence farm to feed their families, as well as to sell surplus produce to the local townspeople.
  • Divide your students up into small groups of 4-6.
  • Have each group nominate one person to draw a sketch of their farm.
  • Hand out colored markers and poster board, one large sheet per group.
  • The farm will be five acres in size.
  • Ask these questions as the students are working:
    • What are you going to grow on your farm? Will there be fruit trees? Will there be vegetables?
    • Will you have bees for honey?
    • Will you have a well for fresh water?
    • Will you have pumpkins for Halloween?
    • Will you use chemicals or will your farm be completely organic?
  • How will you sell your crop, at a produce stand or at a farmer's market?
  • Lastly, have the artists share their sketches with the entire class, and point out the different features of their farms.

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