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Canadian Agriculture at a Glance Teacher's Kit > Lesson plans

Lesson: Living with the farm next door

View the article (PDF)

Curriculum connections
Notes to teacher
Teaching and learning strategies
Assessment/evaluation strategies
Accommodation and enrichment strategies
Links to other activities
Suggestions for further research


This activity looks at the competing interests and potential for conflict between very large livestock farms and their rural neighbours.

Curriculum connections


  • demonstrates an understanding of the diversity of agricultural endeavours in Canada
  • identifies the human factors that affect food production
  • demonstrates an understanding of how humans are part of the ecological system and how human activity has long- and short-term effects on the natural environment
  • analyses ways in which agriculture depends on certain resources and the environmental, economic and social implications
  • explains ways to balance human needs and the protection of the natural system.
Family Studies/Home Economics
  • identifies food supply and production industries in Canada
  • identifies factors that affect food supply in Canada
  • investigates food-related issues
  • promotes an understanding of the links between agriculture and the consumer
  • demonstrates an understanding of the impact of different environmental factors on the production and supply of food.


  • evaluates how the energy and nutritional needs of a population influence the development and use of plant and animal science and technology
  • describes and explains ways in which society supports and influences plant and animal science and technology
  • demonstrates an understanding of factors that influence the sustainability of the natural environment and evaluates their importance
  • explains why it is important to be aware of the impact of human activities on the natural environment
  • demonstrates an understanding of the impact of humans on the environment, and assesses alternative courses of action to protect the environment.

Notes to teacher

This activity can be taught with the others in this unit as part of a group work project on agriculture and the environment. Students can be divided into groups of "experts" to learn about one of the topics; they can then teach the rest of the class about their topic.

Teaching and learning strategies

  1. Teacher leads a discussion addressing the following topics:
    1. What are non-farm people seeking when they move to rural areas?
    2. Why are farms becoming larger?
    3. Is there potential for friction between larger farms and rural non-farm dwellers? Explain.
    4. Where in Canada are the conflicts likely to be worse?
  2. Students read article "Living with the farm next door," pages 137 to 148 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF).
  3. Students write two letters to the editor: one from the perspective of the farmer; and one from the perspective of the non-farm rural dweller. In a separate summary, explain the conflict between the two.
  4. Students add terminology to their glossaries.

Assessment/evaluation strategies

  1. Evaluate letters.
  2. Assess glossaries for accuracy and completion.

Accommodation and enrichment strategies

  1. Some students may require assistance in order to complete written work.
  2. Students with special needs may work with a partner to complete a task.
  3. Templates for note-taking should be provided to students with special needs.
  4. Main ideas and/or new information should be mapped out and organized to meet the needs of all students.
  5. Wherever possible, vocabulary lists should be provided with a discussion of context clues and related vocabulary.
  6. Students with special needs may wish to complete an oral, taped or video presentation rather than a written assignment.
  7. For enrichment, a debate about a proposed new livestock farm held at a mock council meeting could be staged with students taking both sides of the issue.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students could investigate the relevant municipal and provincial environmental and land use laws in their area.
  • Students can use 2001 Census of Agriculture data in E-STAT for data analysis, graphing and mapping activities for specific geographic areas of local interest.

Please send comments or examples of how you used this lesson in your class to Learning Resources.

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Date modified: 2008-05-20 Important Notices