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

Lesson: Protecting crops from pests

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 explores the use of pesticides in protecting crops.

Curriculum connections


  • describes 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

  • describes new technology and products related to food
  • identifies government legislation governing pesticide and fertilizer use.


  • 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
  • evaluates the local use of natural and chemical insecticides and herbicides
  • demonstrates an understanding of how technological endeavours have been and continue to be influenced by human needs and the societal context of the time
  • 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. (PDF)

Teaching and learning strategies

  1. Students read the article "Protecting crops from pests" on pages 167 to 177 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF).
  2. Students answer the following questions as they read:
    1. What types of pests need to be controlled on a farm?
    2. How were pests controlled before chemical pesticides were invented?
    3. How did the development of chemical pesticides change farm practices?
    4. What benefits do chemical pesticides provide for farmers? How does that affect our food supply?
    5. Why are there concerns about pesticide use?
    6. Why is balance so important?
    7. Describe the potential risks to health and the environment of pesticide use.
    8. How have recent concerns about pesticides changed the way in which they are used?
    9. Why is it important that farmers and other large-scale users of pesticides take courses on how to apply them before they use them?
  3. Students add terminology to their glossaries.

Assessment/evaluation strategies

  1. Assess answers 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. Students with special needs may wish to complete an oral, taped or video presentation rather than a written assignment.
  7. For enrichment, students can interview a farmer to discuss pest management strategies used on the farm.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students can investigate the use of pest management strategies in other industries that use pest control products.
  • Students can use 2001 Census of Agriculture data in E-STAT for data analysis, graphing and mapping activities for specific local geographic areas.

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