What Does A Farmer Do?

Warm-up: Access Prior Knowledge (KWL chart)

1. Begin this lesson by discussing with your class their knowledge of farming. Ask the students to share what they already know about the topic. Record their responses in the first column of the KWL chart.

a.  Ask students to name food sources, i.e. oatmeal comes from oats and hamburgers come from cows.

2. After sharing their incoming knowledge, ask the students to share what they want to know about farming.  Record their responses in the second column on the KWL chart.


Activity One: Book reading

1. Review key words (see above) and reading strategies prior to reading the book.

2. Read aloud a children’s storybook about farming (see recommendations above) being sure to engage the students by pointing out relevant words, pictures and objects.


Activity Two: Sorting, identifying & classifying

1. Place a pile of items on the floor.  Items should include: toy farm animals, toy farm machinery, hand trowel, hand shovel, hand rake, bags of seeds (corn, peas, beans, etc.), and a bag of soil.

2. Ask each student to retrieve an item from the pile and describe it. 

a) What size is the object?

b) What color is the object?

c) What does it feel like? Is it soft or hard?

d) What does the object remind you of?

e) Does it look like it is something man-made?

f)  Is it or could it be alive? 

3. If possible, have the student identify the item, or tell class what it is and what it is used for. Ask students if they have seen this object in real life.

4. When students are done sharing, place three bins on the floor, labeled: animal, plant, and farming tool.  The class will discuss which bin each item should go in.


Wrap Up: Review/Completion of KWL chart

1. After completing these activities, return to KWL chart.  Ask students to share what they learned during the activity about farming and record their responses in the third column of the KWL chart.  Prompt students by revisiting their earlier responses in the first two columns.


Extension Activities:

1. Students may take a turn at being farmers themselves! Students will plant plots of grass/hay in (at least) 8” x 11” plant trays.  The class should monitor the plant trays daily and record their observations in their Farmer’s Journals (Reproducible #1).

2. Based on the children’s story, assign character roles to students.  Have students re-create the story with their own words and actions.  Monitor for understanding by asking students to explain their character’s contributions to farming (i.e. How does a dairy cow help people? Cows give us milk to make cheese, ice cream, and so forth.)

3. For ELL students, use picture cards depicting farm animals and/or vegetables, to introduce and review vocabulary.



Many students are unaware of where their food comes from or how farms operate.  At the conclusion of the lesson, students should have a more clear idea about what farming entails.  Students will be able to identify objects used for agriculture as well as have the opportunity to act as a farmer.