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

Lesson: The rise and fall of fall rye

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 change in demand for fall rye and the resultant change in the amount grown on the Prairies. Using rye as a case study, we see how changes in agricultural practices and changes in the population affect what farmers grow.

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
  • 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.


  • describes ways in which research has brought about improvements in human health and nutrition.

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. (PDF)

Teaching and learning strategies

  1. The teacher asks students to make a list of their favourite foods, and the traditional foods of their families.
  2. The class makes a master list of favourite foods and traditional foods.
  3. The teacher leads a discussion about the reasons for the differences in favourite and traditional foods amongst the members of the class.
  4. Students create a questionnaire and ask two previous generations (parents and grandparents) about their favourite foods. Students complete the questionnaires and bring the results to class.
  5. Using a Venn diagram, students note the differences between their list, their parents' list and their grandparents' list.
  6. The class makes a Venn diagram of favourite and traditional foods.
  7. The class discusses the reasons for some of the differences.
  8. Students read article "The rise and fall of fall rye" on pages 267 to 274 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF).
  9. Students make note of the reasons why rye is no longer as important a crop as it used to be.
  10. Students write a 200-word essay about changing food habits and their impact on agriculture.
  11. Students add terminology to their glossaries.

Assessment/evaluation strategies

  1. Evaluate students' Venn diagrams.
  2. Evaluate students' essays.
  3. 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 may research a commodity that has become more valuable due to changing tastes.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students can research new agricultural products on the market and how they were developed or brought to Canada.
  • 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