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

Lesson: It's waste and a valuable resource too

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 all aspects of manure and manure management (often called nutrient management) from its value as a soil fertilizer to environmental concerns over mismanagement.

Curriculum connections

  • demonstrates an understanding of soil fertility and the factors that affect it
  • 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

  • demonstrates an understanding of the effect of different environmental factors on food production and supply.


  • explains the different waste management strategies used in urban, rural, farm and industrial situations
  • demonstrates an understanding of the impact of humans on the environment, and assesses alternative courses of action to protect the environment
  • describes scientific and technological developments, past and present, and encourages an appreciation of their impact on individuals, societies and the environment, both locally and globally
  • teaches an appreciation of the role and contribution of science to our understanding of the world
  • explains how science and technology interact with each other
  • illustrates how individuals, society and the environment influence and are influenced by scientific and technological endeavours
  • investigates issues using scientific methods of inquiry.

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. In small groups, students complete a brainstorming activity on chart paper, using the following topics:
    1. the benefits of manure
    2. concerns with manure
    3. manure management.
  2. Students read the article "It's waste and a valuable resource too," pages 149 to 156 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF). Each student adds information to the charts using a different-coloured marker.
  3. Students write a summary note using the above categories to summarize their knowledge.
  4. Students investigate manure management practices in their area, perhaps by consulting sources at the nearest agricultural college, and add the information to their summaries.
  5. Students add terminology to their glossaries.

Assessment/evaluation strategies

  1. Evaluate summaries.
  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. Groups may be predetermined in order to provide for success of all students.
  8. For enrichment, students can compare manure management policies in their province to those in another province. What are the similarities? The differences? Why do they exist?

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students can look at policies outside Canada, investigating a country with a smaller agricultural base and a larger urban population. How does the availability of land affect our waste management practices?
  • 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