Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The Business of Agriculture in Canada
As a group, discuss the meaning of the term agriculture and encourage students to give examples of agricultural activities. Divide the class into groups of four or five. Give one sheet of chart paper and markers to each group. Give the groups three minutes to jot down the names of items in their homes that come from the agricultural industry. Everyone in the group can write on the chart paper simultaneously. Next, have each group pass its chart paper to the group to its right. The groups then add items to the new chart paper. Repeat this process every two minutes until each group gets back its original chart paper. Have students look at the additions to their lists. As a class, briefly reflect on the impact of the agricultural industry on our daily lives.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Canada's Wine Renaissance on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have them view the clips "Ziraldo's Zap" and "Selling the farm". They should make notes on the following questions as they explore:
What groups of people are involved in the wine-making process (e.g., farmers, vintners, etc.)?
What are the steps in making wine?
Have each student create a flowchart to show the grapes' path from the vine to the consumer's hands in a bottle of wine. Explain that the flowchart should show the steps in the process, the people involved, and how they are involved.
Revisit and Reflect
As a class, compare the flowcharts. Discuss the "business" of agriculture that goes beyond simply growing a product. Discuss the impact of agriculture, not only on the farming community, but on the people and businesses that process, sell, and consume agricultural products.
Students can find out the size of Canada's agriculture industry by going to the website of Statistics Canada to find out how much revenue the industry brings in and how many people it employs. How important is the agriculture industry to Canada? How does it compare to other industries?