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


1-1.5 Hours


Key Vocabulary

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

Curriculum Standards


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


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.


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.


  • 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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