Target Grade Level / Age Range 


Estimated Time 

2, 30-minute lessons


By the end of this lesson, students will:

  1. understand a farmer’s responsibilities and skills.
  2. have an opportunity to collaborate with their team to make decisions for their farm.


  • Chart paper
  • Promethean/ Smart board
  • Mini analog clocks for each group of students
  • Play money
  • A Day in the Life of a Farmer by Heather Adamson

Essential Files


  • Crop: plants grown on a farm in large quantities as food, especially a grain, fruit, or vegetable.
  • Bale: is a compact, easy-to-move bundle of a crop like hay.
  • Hay: is a grass that has been cut, dried, and stored for animal feed.
  • Grain elevator: is a building in which grain such as corn is stored, and which contains machinery for moving the grain.

Background – Agricultural Connections

“Agriculture is another word for farming. It includes both growing and harvesting crops and raising animals, or livestock. Agriculture provides food and many raw materials that humans need to survive.

The products of agriculture that people eat come from both plants and animals. Plant foods include fruits, vegetables, and grains. Meat, dairy (milk) products, and eggs are some of the most common animal foods.

People practice agriculture on farms, on ranches, and in orchards all over the world. Farmers raise crops and livestock in every climate and in all kinds of different soil. Some regions receive a lot of sunlight or rainfall. Others have colder or drier weather. All places have their own kinds of agriculture.

Plants and livestock need air, water, and nourishment to stay alive. Many farmers use chemicals and pesticides (chemicals used to kill insects) to help their crops grow. However, these chemicals can harm people and the environment. Organic farming rejects the use of chemicals. Organic farmers use natural methods to protect the soil, help crops thrive, and ward off pests. Farmers also protect their crops by practicing crop rotation. The same crop should not be planted in the same fields year after year.

The food people eat comes from farms. Crops all over the world make it to peoples’ tables in much the same way. When crops are ready to be eaten (and sometimes before), they are harvested. Farmers and laborers use their hands or machines to pick all the crops. The crops are then boxed to be sent to the market.”

Interest Approach – Engagement

  • Use a KWL chart to discuss the daily activities of a farmer.
    • Students begin by brainstorming everything they  Know about a topic. This information is recorded in the K column of a K-W-L chart. Students then generate a list of questions about what they  Want to Know about the topic. These questions are listed in the W column of the chart. During or after the lesson, students answer the questions that are in the W column. This new information that they have  Learned is recorded in the L column of the K-W-L chart.   
  • After making a KWL chart, have the students watch the YouTube Video “What Does the Farmer Say?” Explain that the students should watch for some of the different activities that the farmer in the video does. They will watch it a second time to watch for and write those activities down on a sprinkle chart.



Objective 1: Understand the different jobs of a farmer

  1. Day 1: After watching “What Does a Farmer Say?” video, explain “Sprinkle Word” activity (Each student gets a blank piece of paper and will “sprinkle” or write the jobs they see the farmer do during the video. Watch the video a second time, so that students can add to their “Sprinkle Word” paper. After the second viewing of the video, students will circle one job the farmer did during the video. The teacher will make a large group “Sprinkle Word” on chart paper. As students share the job they circled, the teacher will list/sprinkle their answers on the chart paper. Discuss which job was most popular and then add any other jobs students had written down on their papers that may have not been added to the group sprinkle paper. Then discuss educational (math, writing, technology, etc.) skills the famer would have to use.
  2. Read aloud A Day in the Life of a Farmer by Heather Adamson. Discuss any additional responsibilities the farmer in the story has compared to the music video. Then explain that our next lesson will be to work together in small groups to use money, time, and decision-making skills to complete the jobs of a farmer by playing the game A Day as a Farmer.

Objective 2:

  1. Day 2: Review the “Sprinkle Word” chart of the many jobs of a farmer from the music video and book from yesterday’s lesson.
  2. Introduce the game, A Day as a Farmer, to the students reading aloud the directions on the game sheet (projected to the class on the Promethean board/flipchart) and reading through the entire day of the farmer. Project the Game Tracker sheet on the Promethean board/flipchart and discuss how students will record their answers as they progress through the game.
  3. Divide students into groups of 3 (have students grouped beforehand to be sure varied abilities of students are within each group) Then pass out a copy of A Day as a Farmer and Game Tracker to each student in each group.
  4. Students will work in their small groups to complete the game. Teacher will move from group to group, answering questions, clarifying directions, and making sure students are completing their tasks for the game as needed. When needed, according to the teacher’s copy of the game, students will discuss, answer questions, and add to the list of skills as an entire class.
  5. After the game is completed (about 15 minutes), allow students to join another group to discuss the jobs the farmer completed during the day and the educational skill needed to complete the farmer’s tasks. What would they do differently if they created a new farm/day? Direct students to talk about the discussion questions from the game. Share out as a large group.
  6. Assessment: Distribute a piece of blank paper and have students write three responsibilities/jobs of a farmer. Students should also evaluate how their group worked together to complete the game by writing 1-2 sentences about their collaboration skills.

Did You Know? (Ag facts)

  • Raising beef cattle is the single largest segment of American agriculture.
  • Soybeans are an important ingredient to produce crayons. In fact, one acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.
  • Cows are herbivores, so they only have teeth on the bottom.
  • Agriculture is one of the United States’ most important industries, employing more than 24 million workers or 17 percent of the country’s total workforce.

Extension Activities

  • Students could take a copy of the game home and be encouraged to play the game with their family (if returned they could receive a prize/reward).
  • Students could interview a farmer and ask him/her to name 3-5 of their top responsibilities.
  • Take a field trip to visit a local farmer or use FarmChat® to do a virtual tour without leaving the classroom.

Suggested Companion Resources

  • My Farm Friends – By Wendell Minor. It gives more fun facts about farm animals and their jobs/uses on the farm.



Revisions/changes made by Rhonda Bielenberg

Organization Affiliation

Calamus-Wheatland Community School

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

Agriculture Literacy Outcomes

  •  T5.K-2a discuss what a farmer does

Iowa Core Standards

  • 21.K–2.ES.1 Essential Concept and/or Skill: Communicate and work appropriately with others to complete tasks.
  • 21.K–2.FL.2 Essential Concept and/or Skill: Identify monetary resources and distribution options for those resources.
  • SS.2.15 Evaluate choices and consequences for spending and saving.
  • 2.NBT.B.5 Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
  • 2.OA.A.1 Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one– and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions.
  • 2.MD.C.7 Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m. 

Creative Commons License

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