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

Lesson: What's in your grocery cart?

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 considers some of the new produce we are seeing in Canadian grocery stores. It looks at the origins of these vegetables, and how they came to be in Canadian stores.

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 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
  • describes the effect of economics on food production and supply and, ultimately, costs to consumers
  • describes the impact of consumer demand on food production.


  • evaluates how the energy and nutritional needs of a population influence the development and use of plant science and technology.

Notes to teacher

In the farm profile unit, the activities can be a co-operative group activity. Students can be divided into groups of "experts" to learn about one of the farms profiled; they can then teach the rest of the class about their topic. (PDF)

Ideally, this unit would be best taught using examples of the vegetables discussed in the article.

Teaching and learning strategies

  1. If possible, have a selection of vegetables from the article to show the class. If not, have pictures of some of them.
  2. Ask students to identify the vegetables and where they originated.
  3. Using a map of the world, connect these vegetables to the countries where they are predominately eaten.
  4. Have students read the article "What's in your grocery cart?" on pages 55 to 62 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF).
  5. Have students answer the following questions after reading the article:
    1. How have consumers influenced the types of vegetables grown in Canada?
    2. What were the traditional vegetables grown in Canada? What vegetables are replacing them?
    3. How is greenhouse production changing over time?
    4. What four factors are driving the shift in vegetables consumers are demanding?
  6. After completing the questions, each student chooses a vegetable to study, looking at its country of origin, where it is grown in Canada, how to cook it, and providing a recipe that uses it.
  7. Students add terminology to their glossaries.

Assessment/evaluation strategies

  1. Assess answers to questions for completion and accuracy.
  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, students can find out how the four factors that are changing vegetable production are also changing another type of agricultural production.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students can investigate how a different cultural mosaic in another country affects the vegetables grown there, e.g., influx of Hispanic peoples in the southern United States.
  • 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