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

Lesson: A tag in every ear

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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 focuses on new initiatives to improve food safety and animal health through ear tag identification systems.

Curriculum connections

  • demonstrates an understanding of the diversity of agricultural endeavours in Canada
  • identifies the human factors that affect food production.

Family Studies/Home Economics

  • identifies factors that affect food supply in Canada
  • investigates food-related issues
  • promotes understanding of the links between agriculture and the consumer
  • identifies food crises, the factors causing them and their impact on the availability and cost of food.


  • describes ways in which research has brought about improvements in human health and nutrition
  • recognizes that scientific knowledge has evolved and that technology has played a major role in this process.

Notes to teacher

This entire unit can be done as a group work project, with each group completing one activity and presenting it to the rest of the class.

Teaching and learning strategies

  1. Teacher gives students a brainstorming activity, "Food safety and agricultural practices."
  2. Together with the teacher, students discuss their concept of food safety.
  3. Teacher discusses ways in which the agricultural sector is working to ensure the safety of our food supply.
  4. Students read the article "A tag in every ear," pages 215 to 218 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF).
  5. Students answer the following questions based on the article:
    1. What led to concerns with food safety in the beef industry?
    2. What diseases are of particular concern to the cattle industry?
    3. What is the purpose of the ear-tag program?
    4. How are the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency working with producers to ensure the safety of our food supply?
    5. Which other livestock have tags now and which will have tags in the future?
    6. Students add terminology to their glossaries.

Assessment/evaluation strategies

  1. Assess answers to questions for accuracy and completion.
  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. For enrichment, have students interview a producer to find out all of the steps involved in food safety on the farm.
  7. For enrichment, the class may visit a working farm to see how food safety initiatives are being implemented first-hand.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students can research food safety initiatives in another industry.
  • 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