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How can I use farming topics in the classroom?

Thursday, 10 November 2016 10:51
Janet Hickinbottom, FACE

First of all, why are you considering the topic of farming? Are you helping your pupils to understand where their food is grown and produced? Are you looking for controversial issues to encourage students to research, discuss and debate before reaching their own informed decisions? Are you preparing your pupils for a farm visit?

Countryside Classroom can help, whatever your motivation. Search for farm-linked activities in the resources section to find inspiration for incorporating farming topics into any primary school subject. Or why not divide your class into groups to learn about a specific food or commodity? There are many resources about milk, chicken, bread and meat for example. Try some of these:

Dairy Farming

Magnificent Milk

Why Farming Matters Dairy Farming video

Bread: how it is made

Eggs: from the nest to you

If controversy is your angle, you might start with the badger debate or animal welfare issues. Examples include

Badgers

Intensive farming and selective breeding: an ethical debate

So far we have concentrated on the resources section but you might want to find people willing to visit school to take an assembly or speak to a class about an aspect of farming. As you know, children love to meet new people and those with interesting items to bring in (a sheaf of wheat, a milking cluster, maybe even some animals) are even more welcome.

Farm visits should ideally be prefaced by some work in the classroom so that children can get more out of their visit.

The farm visit

Visit My Farm

Farm-linked activities for KS1 English

Farm visits and secondary geography

And we mustn’t forget careers. From an early age pupils need to learn that farming isn’t just about mud and tractors nowadays: there are high-tech jobs available in the industry which will welcome students with an interest in computing, engineering, marketing and science.

Bright Crop career case studies

Poultry Education Initiative

Talking jobs

So start exploring the Countryside Classroom website for a wealth of ideas to enhance your teaching about that all important topic of farming!

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Author Info
Janet Hickinbottom, FACE
Our range of expertise covers farming, food and the countryside across the full range of ages and curriculum subjects. We are particularly keen to help schools access real working farms where science, maths, literacy, cooking and nutrition, enterprise and more can be learnt in a dynamic real-world context. We also...    Read More
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