What our Farms and Food lesson plan includes
Lesson Objectives and Overview: Farms and Food explores the many characteristics of farms and the food they produce. Students will be able to describe the steps that farmers follow to grow crops. They will also learn about why farms are so important. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.
Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. This lesson requires colored pencils or markers.
Options for Lesson
In the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure, you will find a lot of suggestions for additional activities or ideas to incorporate into your lesson. For the activity, the students could work with partners. You could gather resources of pictures that students could color or that you could use with the lesson. Plan a field trip to a nearby farm or processing plant. Another option is to invite a farmer to speak with the class and answer any questions they have. Plan a “Farm Fresh” day and bring (or have students bring) fresh fruits and vegetables. You could plan a trip to a local grocery store and find foods that students could identify as farm grown. One more idea is to grow some farm-like plants in the classroom, or outdoors near the school if possible.
The teacher notes page provides an extra paragraph of information to help guide the lesson and remind you what to focus on. The blank lines on this page are available for you to write out thoughts and ideas you have as you prepare the lesson.
FARMS AND FOOD LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES
Basic Need for Food
The Farms and Food lesson plan has three pages of content. Students will first learn that, in life, there are many things they might want, but there are also a few things they need. The things we need every day are called the necessities of life. These are the things that we cannot live without. One of these things is, of course, oxygen to breathe. We also need clothes and shelter to keep us warm, and we need water to drink to stay hydrated.
The final thing we need is often the most enjoyable—food. Without food, people and all other living things would die. Even plants need food, such as nutrients from the soil and sometimes fertilizer to help them grow taller and stronger. Most people eat food but do not think about where it comes from.
When someone asks where we got our milk or a candy bar, we might say we got it from the fridge or from a store. But we know that milk, candy bars, and millions of other kinds of food we eat or drink do not come from refrigerators and stores. Those places are simply where we store food until someone buys it or wants to eat or drink it.
In reality, nearly all the food in the world comes from some type of farm. Many years ago, during the early days of America, almost everyone lived near or on a farm. Humans have used farming for thousands of years. Farms are usually large areas of land where we can produce food and other crops. Farms are the main source of food for people in the world. A farmer is a person who does the work on a farm or owns and manages the farm.
In the early days, a farmer might grow vegetables and fruit or raise cows, chickens, pigs, and other animals. Plus, they might use horses and donkeys to help with the work on the farm. Today, farmers use tractors and other special machines to help with the work that must be done on the farm.
There used to be family farms on which the farmer’s family would do the work. Children would miss school when it was time to plant the crops and then miss school again when it was time to harvest. Today, there are not as many family farms. Instead many farmers use special equipment to do much of the work.
In addition, farms throughout the country and the world have become specialized. Some produce only corn and others may grow only potatoes. There are dairy farms, pig farms, fruit farms, poultry farms, wheat and rice farms, and others, including fish farms. Farms today are not the same as they were in the past. But one thing is still true: Farms are the first step in the journey of food. Without farms, many people in the world would go hungry. Some people may grow vegetables in their backyards or raise chickens, but most people rely on farms to provide them with the food they need to survive.
Food Journey from Farm to Table
The journey of nearly all food in the world begins on some type of farm. Whether it is a glass of milk, a hamburger, an apple, or a piece of bread, the food we eat throughout the day went through several steps on its journey from the farm to our plate. The steps below examine the simple journey of most foods from the farm to the table:
- Step 1: Farmers prepare the land by plowing an empty field and turning the soil.
- Step 2: They sow and scatter seeds, usually with a machine, and then plant them.
- Step 3: Besides watering, farmers occasionally sprinkle the crops with fertilizers (which help the crops grow) and pesticides (chemicals that prevent pests from damaging the crops).
- Step 4: Once the crops are ready, farmers harvest them either by hand or by using machines.
- Step 5: The farmer stores the crops, grains, or fruits in giant warehouses. Sometimes, they immediately freeze the crops once they are harvested.
- Step 6: Usually, farmers then transport the crops to wholesalers, a person or company that sells goods in large quantities at low prices (usually to retailers like grocery stores).
- Step 7: The retailers place the items on their shelves or in freezers, or they sell them in restaurants.
- Step 8: Finally, we purchase the food for our enjoyment.
In between some of the steps above, some food products go to a processing plant, which processes harvested food items to help preserve it and make it last longer. Many of these foods have ingredients added to them before they are packaged in boxes, bags, or cans.
Some smaller farms may also sell their products directly to purchasers at farmers markets that specialize in selling fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, milk, and other products. In 1910, there were over 6 million farms in the United States. In the early 2000s, there were only a little over 2 million farms, but many of them are much larger today. Regardless, all of them provide food for many people throughout the country and the world.
FARMS AND FOOD LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS
The Farms and Food lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will reinforce students’ comprehension of lesson material in different ways and help them demonstrate when they learned. Use the guidelines on the classroom procedure page to determine when to distribute each worksheet to the class.
DRAW THE FOOD JOURNEY ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
Students will draw pictures to represent each step of the food journey. There are eight steps total, and the worksheet presents them in order. If you want, you could have students cut out the boxes after they finish drawing the pictures. They they can paste them onto another sheet of paper and add a title, and you could hang them in the classroom.
FARMS AND FOOD PRACTICE WORKSHEET
The practice worksheet divides into two sections. On the first section, students will fill the blanks to a series of statements. The worksheet provides a word bank of eight words for them to use. The second section requires students to mark each of 12 statements are true (T) or false (F).
POEM, STORY, OR DRAWING HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Like the practice worksheet, the homework assignment has two parts. For the first part, students will order the steps of the food journey from 1 to 8. Then they will write a poem or story or draw a picture that relates to farms and food in the box at the bottom of the page.
Worksheet Answer Keys
There are answer keys for both the practice and homework worksheets. Correct answers are in red to make it easy to compare them to students’ responses. Answers on the second part of the homework assignment will vary given the nature of the prompt. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.