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

Lesson: Bud the Spud moves west

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 focuses on the increase in potato production in western Canada. It discusses how scientists and growers are discovering that soil and climate conditions in western Canada are well suited to growing potatoes.

Curriculum connections


  • applies methods of geographic inquiry and research skills
  • demonstrates 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 the food supply in Canada
  • investigates food-related issues
  • promotes understanding of the links between agriculture and the consumer
  • describes the effect of economics on food production and supply and, ultimately, on the costs to consumers
  • describes the impact of consumer demand on food production.


  • demonstrates an understanding, based in part on students' own investigations, of the connections among the factors that affect the growth of plants, the uses of plants, and the ways in which plants adapt to their environment
  • evaluates how the energy and nutritional needs of a population influence the development and use of plant science and technology.

Notes to teacher

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

Teaching and learning strategies

  1. Teacher discusses consumer demand with students.
  2. Teacher has students list ways in which consumer demand influences the production of different commodities.
  3. Students read the article "Bud the Spud moves west" on pages 45 to 54 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF).
  4. Students answer the following questions based on the article:
    1. Which provinces have been traditionally known for potato production?
    2. How is that changing?
    3. What three factors are driving the change in areas where potatoes are being grown?
    4. Why are seed potatoes being grown in Canada? Why is quality so important in seed potatoes?
    5. What is "value-added agriculture?"
  5. Students log onto the Atlas of Canada website ( and download the map on potatoes.
  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

  • Some students may require assistance in order to complete written work.
  • Students with special needs may work with a partner to complete a task.
  • Templates for note-taking should be provided to students with special needs.
  • Main ideas and/or new information should be mapped out and organized to meet the needs of all students.
  • Wherever possible, vocabulary lists should be provided with a discussion of context clues and related vocabulary.
  • For enrichment, students can research other value-added agricultural products produced in their area.
  • Students could grow a potato plant in an aquarium in the classroom and watch the development of the tubers underground as they grow.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students can research changes in the regions where other crops have traditionally been grown and the consumer demand that influenced that choice.
  • 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