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

Lesson: Growing herbs for the medicine chest

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


In this activity, students learn about the different medicinal herbs that are being grown on Canadian farms.

Curriculum connections

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 understanding of the links between agriculture and the consumer.


  • describes and explains some of the uses for plant extracts in food and therapeutic products.

Notes to teacher

This unit, which corresponds to the chapter "The Leading Edge" in the book, can be taught as co-operative group work, focusing on change and its effect on agriculture and our lives as consumers (PDF).

Teaching and learning strategies

  1. Teacher puts the term "medicinal herbs" on the board and students brainstorm about the different herbs they know and their use.
  2. Students read the article "Growing herbs for the medicine chest" on pages 297 to 301 in Canadian Agriculture at a Glance (PDF).
  3. Students answer the following questions while reading the article:
    1. How has farming medicinal herbs in Canada changed?
    2. Why has this change occurred?
    3. What three hurdles do herbal remedies face?
    4. Why is research on drugs important?
    5. Why is it difficult to do research on herbal remedies?
    6. How is Health Canada working towards improving research into herbal remedies?
    7. How could agriculture benefit if herbal remedies gain a wider acceptance?
  4. 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

  • 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 choose one medicinal herb and research its suggested health benefits.

Links to other activities

This activity is linked to:

Suggestions for further research

  • Students can access the Health Canada Natural Health Products Directorate web page to find out more about research into medicinal herbs.
  • 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