Image of wheat

In this module, students will investigate the relationship between agriculture and the local economy and begin to understand the complexities of an agriculture-based economy. Basic patterns of economic activity can be seen through the lens of agriculture because it addresses a basic human need: food. Another important consideration is the movement towards the preservation of a viable agricultural market in New York.

Essential Question
How have farmers' economic decisions influenced their choice in which crops they are growing and their distribution methods?

New York State Standards

Social Studies Standards

  • Standard 3: Elementary: Geography #1
    Geography can be divided into six essential elements which can be used to analyze important questions and issues. These six elements include: the world in spatial terms places and regions, physical settings (including natural resources), human systems, environment and society, and the use of geography.

  • Standard 4: Elementary: Economics #1
    The study of economics requires an understanding of major concepts and systems, the principles of economic decision making, and the interdependence of economies and economic systems throughout the world.

Math, Science, Technology Standards

  • Standard 2: Information Systems: Elementary: Information Systems #1
    Information technology is used to retrieve, process, and communicate information and as a tool to enhance learning.

  • Standard 4: Science: Elementary: The Living Environment: #2
    Organisms inherit genetic information in a variety of ways that result in continuity of structure and function between parents and offspring.

  • Standard 4: Science: Elementary: The Living Environment: #7
    Human decisions and activities have led a profound impact on the physical and living environment.

  • Standard 5: Technology: Elementary: Impacts of Technology #6
    Technology can have positive and negative impacts on individuals, society, and the environment and humans have the capability and responsibility to constrain or promote technological development.

  • Standard 7: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving: Elementary: Connections #1
    The knowledge and skills of mathematics, science, and technology are used together to make informed decisions and solve problems, especially those relating to issues of science/technology/society, consumer decision making, design, and inquiry into phenomena.

Career Development Standards

  • Standard 1: Career Development: Elementary: Career Development: #1
    Students will learn about the changing nature of the workplace, the value of work to society, and the connection of work to the achievement of personal goals.

  • Standard 2: Career Development: Elementary: Integrated Learning: #1
    Integrated learning encourages students to use essential academic concepts, facts, and procedures in applications related to life skills and the world of work. This approach allows students to see the usefulness of the concepts that they are being asked to learn and to understand their potential application in the world of work.

Desired Outcomes/Indicators of Success

Students will:

  • conduct information-gathering interviews
  • become aware of the impact that agriculture has had upon the local economy
  • harvest produce from the garden
  • learn how to harvest and sell their products
  • explore genetic engineering of plants
  • develop an appreciation for careers available in the field of agriculture.

Student Inquiries

Students will:

  • use historical documents and interview local experts to investigate the relationship between agriculture and the economic history of their region
  • determine how local farmers have adapted to stay viable in the agricultural market
  • conduct research to determine how a local crop is grown, packaged, marketed and distributed
  • harvest produce from the garden and prepare their products
  • promote products through the use of various advertising techniques
  • discover the pros and cons associated with genetic engineering of plants
  • interview agriculture professionals and learn about different careers.



  • Growing Ventures: Starting a School Garden Business. National Gardening Association, 2003.
  • Costenbader, Carol W. The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest. Pownal, VT: Storey Books, 1997.

  • Hopkinson, Deborah. A Packet of Seeds, Greenwillow Books 2004

  • Wilkes, Angela. A Farm Through Time. New York, NY: DK Publishing Inc., 2001.