Farming Then and Now: Unit Outline



Overview:

The farming unit is designed as a webquest to help students understand farm life and the changes that Saskatchewan farms have undergone in the past 50 years. We want students to experience farm life through pictures, podcasts, websites, and conversations with rural communities to develop their understanding. The students will then demonstrate their understanding through a project of their choice. Students will brainstorm what they know and want to know about Saskatchewan farming through our wiki. They will explore farms then and now through a guided webquest discovery. They will be able to communicate with students who live in rural Saskatchewan through our blog. Finally, students will demonstrate their understanding of how farms have changed through a project of their choice.


Understanding Objectives:

The students will understand that agriculture is an important industry in Saskatchewan.
The students will understand that trends in farming have changed over the years for a variety of reasons.
The students will understand women have important roles in farming.
This unit is relevant for the Grade 4 Saskatchewan curriculum, Unit 3, Interdependence, Module 3: Agriculture and Related issues.

Process:

1. Introduction

  • Brainstorm with the students any farm experiences they have. Use the Farm Experiences page of the wiki for family members to share any farm experiences they have. They may also contribute to our blog as experts if they have lived on a farm
  • Brainstorm questions or interests that students have about the topic of Saskatchewan farming. These may have to be explored further thorough the blog or links can be posted on the wikis. This can be done on the Questions page.

2. Development

  • Introduce the students to the Farms Then and Now blog. The blog will be the place where students can discuss farm life with a rural classroom. They will also link to a series of podcasts from the blog. Helen, who lived on a farm for almost 40 years, reflects on farm life. If this is your students first experience with blogs, follow this introductory lesson on blogging.
  • Introduce the students to Farm webquest. To make navigating the webquest easier, students should save the webquest to their home directories. Teachers can also print the graphic organizers for each section and provide these to students as a booklet to help them researchand gather information.

3. Closure

  • Students will complete a self-evaluation form to indicate their participation in the unit and reflect on their understandings
  • The students will can also create a representation of what they have learned about farming in Saskatchewan. This project would have to reflect an understanding of the differences or similarities of life on a farm then and now. Ideas could include a journal, a family scrapbook, a story, a piggy back song, a diorama or model, etc. Students would generate a rubric with the teacher to reflect evaluation of the project as well as blog and wiki participation.
  • Other possibilities include taking a field trip to a nearby farm or even a different kind of farm to make comparisons to grain farming. The class could also go on a field trip to the Western Development Musuem.