Link(s) to the Alberta Social Studies Curriculum Outcomes:
- 7.S.1 – develop skills of critical thinking and creative thinking:
- generate creative ideas and strategies in individual and group activities
- 7.S.5 – demonstrate skills of cooperation, conflict resolution and consensus building:
- assume various roles within groups, including roles of leadership where appropriate
- identify and use a variety of strategies to resolve conflicts peacefully and equitably
- consider the needs and perspectives of others
- 7.S.8 – demonstrate skills of oral, written and visual literacy:
- elicit, clarify and respond appropriately to questions, ideas and multiple points of view in discussions
- listen to others in order to understand their perspectives
Brief Overview of the Lesson:
In groups, the students will brainstorm the various kinds of commercial farms in Canada. After sharing their ideas, they will access and read on the internet, a list of the Agriculture Industries in Canada. The teacher will tell each group that they have won the agriculture lottery and they must think about all the factors that need to be considered before locating their new industry. After discussing the reasons for their choices, the teacher will start a discussion about what prices to charge for their goods and how a consumer can make sure they are getting the best prices for their purchases.
Estimated Time Required for Implementation:
one class period
Copies of handout(s), 6–8 small envelopes
Suggested Implementation Strategy:
- Before the class begins, make a copy of the “kinds of farms” handout, cut up the sections and put one kind of farm in each envelope.
- Ask the class to define “commercial agriculture” — a large-scale production of crops for sale, intended for widespread distribution to wholesalers or retail outlets.
- Divide the class into small groups.(6-8 per group)
- Ask the groups to brainstorm the kinds of commercial farms that exist in Canada and record their ideas. Have each group share its lists.
- Distribute a copy of Handout #1 to each group and ask them to read it.
- Tell the class that this is their lucky day! Each group has won the agriculture lottery and has been given the opportunity to start up a new industry somewhere in Canada.
- Give one envelope to each group and tell them to open it to see what kind of farm they have won.
- Working in the same groups, their task now is to think about all the factors to consider about where to locate their farm, make a wise decision and be prepared to explain why they made their choice.
- Take up their decisions and record the reasons for their choices on the board.
- The teacher may have to ask a few questions to get all these reasons such as location, climate, raw materials, market, labour, and transportation. Some sample questions are provided below if needed.
- Why would British Columbia and Quebec be a good place for a maple syrup
farm? (raw materials)
- Why would you want your fish plant in British Columbia Coast? (transportation)
- Why would a bread company build a food processing plant in a big city? (labour)
- Why did McCain foods choose to build in New Brunswick? (location)
- Why is the Okanagan Valley a good place to grow grapes? (climate)
- Tell them that these are the factors that affect where to put your industry.
- Ask, what are the factors that will decide the prices you will charge for your products?
- Ask, how can the consumer make sure they are getting the best prices for your goods?
- Some sample questions to start the discussion are as follows:
- Why does a bag of milk cost $4.29 at one city store, and $5.99 at another city store?
- Why does it cost more to buy a bag of peanuts at the grocery store than at a bulk food store?
- What can people do to make sure they are not paying more than necessary for their purchases? They could read food ads, compare prices, buy in bulk, stock up when there is a sale, plan meals ahead of time, and use stores that have a price matching policy, etc.
• Assess the group decisions as to where they decided to build their new industry.
Options for Consideration:
- The students could choose which industry they want to build instead of the lottery envelopes, as long as a variety of industries are chosen.
Extended Learning Opportunities:
Hand out copies of the “Number of Farms in Canada” (Handout #3) and ask the students to think about the factors that were discussed today, and write a paragraph explaining why some provinces have many more farms than others.