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Protect Our Farms & Food

What is the future for farms and the food grown on them? Construct a display that shows how a rural landscape can change and suggest solutions.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. All around the globe, farmland is rapidly being converted to build houses, roads, and other uses. Invite students, organized in small groups, to find out how this loss of land will affect water supplies, the world’s food supply, and other issues. Interview local leaders and farmers to find out what is happening to agricultural land in the area. Students illustrate what they are learning in a graphic format such as this triarama.
    2. Students begin their artwork by cutting a "today" triarama. To make a display like the one in the picture, cut a recycled file folder into a large square with Crayola® Scissors. Fold the square in half, point to point, both ways. Cut along one of these new folds to the center of the square. Slide one of the sides along the cut under the other piece to stand up the triarama.
    3. Depict a farm. Unfold the triarama. Draw a farm scene with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils. You might show a bank barn, cozy farmhouse, grazing cows, fruit-laden orchard, or waving fields of grain. Color the scene with Crayola Oil Pastels.
    4. With Crayola Model Magic, students create farm animals or other 3-D features. Glue the pieces of the triarama together with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the glue.
    5. Students make a "future" flap! Turn the triarama face down on an open file folder. Trace around the triangle with colored pencils. Cut out the triangle. On this triangle, students draw their vision of what this farmland might look like after it has been "developed." It could be a housing community or a large trucking storage unit. With tape, hinge the flap in place on the triarama.
    6. Speak up! Students display "today" and "future" scenes. Encourage students to speak or write to decision makers in their community about what they have learned. Have them suggest ways to solve the problem!
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories.

    SCI: Ask questions about how food provides animals with the materials they need for body repair and growth and is digested by animals to release the energy they need to maintain body warmth and allow for motion.

    SS: Use knowledge of facts and concepts drawn from history, along with elements of historical inquiry, to inform decision-making about and action-taking on public issues.

    SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    SS: Give examples of the role of institutions both continuity and change.

    SS: Describe how we depend upon workers with specialized jobs and the ways in which they contribute to the productions and exchange of goods and services.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Farming by Gail Gibbons; Jobs on a Farm by Nancy Dickmann; Food from Farms by Nancy Dickmann; A Day in the Life of a Farmer by Heather Adamson

    Organize a field trip to the local historical society or library to review past newspapers and look for clues about the role farmland played in your community 10, 20, or even 50 years ago. Use photographs, advertisements, and real estate sales to assist with this investigation. Students organize their findings and make predictions about the future of their community's land use and how will provide for its citizens of the future.

    Invite a civic leader from the local community to speak with the class about what steps are currently being taken to conserve farm land. Legally, what steps need to be taken to conserve land? What factors are taken in to consideration when conserving land? How does conservation of land impact the economics of the community?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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