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

Lesson: There's more to organic farming than being pesticide-free

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 all aspects of organic farming, helping students to understand what the term really means.

Curriculum connections


  • demonstrates understanding of the diversity of agricultural endeavours in Canada
  • identifies the human factors that affect food production
  • demonstrates understanding of soil fertility and the factors that affect it
  • demonstrates understanding of how humans are part of the ecological system and how human activity has long- and short-term effects on the natural environment.

Family Studies/Home Economics

  • identifies the food supply and production industries in Canada
  • identifies factors that affect food supply in Canada
  • investigates food-related issues
  • promotes the 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 effect of consumer demand on food production
  • demonstrates an understanding of the effect of different environmental factors on food production and supply.


  • demonstrates understanding of the factors that influence the sustainability of the natural environment and evaluates their importance
  • demonstrates understanding of the impact of humans on the environment, and assesses alternative courses of action to protect the environment.

Notes to teacher

This activity can be taught with the others in this unit, which corresponds to the chapter "Agriculture and the Environment" in the book, 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. Teacher puts the word "organic" on the board or overhead and asks students to provide a definition. Teacher encourages students to be specific in their definition.
  2. Students read the article "There's more to organic farming than being pesticide-free" on pages 179 to 187 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF). While reading the article, they complete the template in the worksheet.
  3. Students create a pamphlet to be distributed to consumers educating them about organic products.
  4. Students add terminology to their glossaries.

Assessment/evaluation strategies

  1. Assess worksheet for completion and accuracy.
  2. Evaluate pamphlet.
  3. 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.
  • Students with special needs may wish to complete an oral, taped or video presentation rather than a written assignment.
  • For enrichment, students can visit the website of an organic farm organization to find out more about organic farming.
  • For enrichment, students may visit an organic farm.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students may investigate proposed legislation about organic farming. As well, they may investigate legislation in other countries.
  • 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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