From Farm to Tablet

Online Farm Education Video Packages

Virtual Farm Lessons for children Preschool to Grade 4

Forsythe Family Farms Arial View

Lessons from our Farm -

An enriching farm based educational resource that is curriculum linked and fun!

Are you-

  • missing those trips to a farm that gave your children real life, experiential learning and seeking to replace them with a creative learning opportunity?
  • teachers looking for fresh, engaging and relevant online farm lessons that will ignite your students interest; material they will enjoy and remember?
  • parents who would do anything to grab a few extra minutes to yourself but still have your kids using their time learning? Do you want your children to develop a deeper understanding of the world they live in?
  • Homeschooling your kids and wondering "Am I doing enough?".  Are you wanting to build on their knowledge with compelling material that will add depth to their outdoor excursions once you are able to be out and about again?
  • grandparents looking to give your grandchildren an enriching experience they'll enjoy instead of toys?

    Teachers/Parents/Homeschoolers/Caregivers 

    Give your children a front row seat to our farm.

    We've made our most popular farm tour lessons digital for online viewing!

    Visit our farm animals, explore the crops we grow and the food we eat, zoom in on the bees that help us, investigate the soil that is vital to our survival and check out the varied habitats that make up our farms ecosystem.

    Filmed here on our farm in Durham Region, Lessons from our Farm take the children on a virtual field trip encompassing the sights and sounds of our farm. They'll visit our farm animals, explore our farm and fields and investigate the journey of their food from the farm to their fork.

    With visually rich, engaging and fun material, our programs are the next best thing to being here.

    Dig into the foundational concepts behind the food we eat and materials we use every day.  Lessons from our Farm are curriculum based activities with accompanying information and worksheets for use in the classroom or at home.

    With most students 3 to 4 generations removed from the farm, agriculturally based education is more important than ever.  It is an essential component in building a firm foundation for healthy living and strengthening their connection to the world around us.   

    Farms make for the best classrooms;
    a natural place for the total immersion of the senses with so much to see and do.

    What is included in our video packages?

    farm animals - needs and characteristics Our 6 online farm education video lessons are organized into three packages of 2, 4 and 6 videos.  Each unit builds upon the previous level's lessons to develop a deeper understanding of nature and the journey of our food from farm to fork.

    Downloadable activity sheets accompany each video. These can be used to prime the children’s interest, focus their attention on what they are watching as well as review the concepts presented. 

    The video package link will be delivered to your inbox and is available for viewing for a full year from time of subscribing. You can view your lesson packages on 3 different devices making lesson preparation and presentation easier; viewing them at home and in the classroom.  Interested in being part of our farm family, getting updates on farming and farm education?  Then click here to download a free activity sheet.

    See All Packages

    Ready to take the next step? Check out our 3 packages of two, four and six online fun, farm lessons.

    See All Packages

    For Teachers; Take your Learning Further

    • Parts of a bee - characteristics of insectsEnhance your lessons using our online video series as an introduction to your lesson plan, as a review or as bookends to your unit.
    • Replace a local field trip that is not permitted at this time with our virtual farm experience
    • The ideas presented are launching pads that offer numerous opportunities to enrich and expand knowledge on the various concepts through conversation and investigation.
    • Create word walls for your students to expand their vocabulary; we use the correct terms to describe products and cycles.
    • Children can build on the ideas presented making connections to their world through the food they eat and the items they use every day.
    Check out our Online Farm Lesson Packages

    For Parents/Grandparents/Caregivers

    eggs are laid by hens - healthy eating

    • Use our videos to supplement your homeschool resources
    • View before visiting - Our farm, just east of Uxbridge in Durham Region, welcomes visitors during our farming season.  You will have a greater depth of understanding in what you see by having viewed the videos first.  Check our hours and days open before coming as these change with the seasons. (905-887-1087)
    • Engage the young and the young at heart in learning. The concepts focused on are foundational to our lives and more advanced information in in subtitles, keeping it interesting for all ages.
    • Introduce your preschooler to the farm-to-table food journey with fun, visually rich videos while remaining safe at home.
    Check out our Online Farm Lesson Packages

    Why our online farm education program is a good fit for your classroom or home school environment

    • Leslie Forsythe making saladRich and engaging material that captivates the children’s attention, cultivating their innate sense of wonder and curiosity.
    • Meets curriculum requirements in science, health, social studies and language for ages preschool to grade 4.
    • Provides fun, engaging, and memorable lessons that have proven time and again to make learning stick
    • Explore foundational concepts relevant to the children's daily lives
    • Woven throughout these presentations are five of the big ideas of sustainability - systems, diversity, interdependence, cycles and change over time.
    Check out our Online Farm Lesson Packages

    Online Farm Education Video Packages

    Package 1:  Farming Foundations for all ages (Lessons 1 & 2)

    Children will investigate the basic needs and characteristics of living things with a focus on animals and plants.  They will be observing their similarities and differences and developing an understanding of their general characteristics.  We also dive deeper into the growth and changes in animals and plants.

    They will come to recognize the importance of living things in our environment and the need to treat them with care and respect.

    Lesson #1: Animals

    The barn is one of my favourite places on the farm. Visit our farm animals.  Learn about:

    • Their basic needs and characteristics
    • Why we have them
    • How they are similar and different from each other and from us?
    • Growth and changes in the animals - Moms, Dads, Babies are all present in the barn.
    • How animals are a source for materials and objects we use everyday

    Lessons connect to:

    • Ontario Science and Technology Curriculum  Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2
      Understanding Life Systems - Needs and Characteristics of Living Things / Growth and Changes in Animals
      Understanding Structures and Mechanisms
    • Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum  - Healthy Living Strand

      Lesson #2: Plants

      Plants are a primary source of food and essential for our survival by converting energy from the sun into food. Join Leslie as she turns Farmer Jim into Plant Man.  A fun and engaging way to learn about plants.

      Investigate:

      • What plants need for survival. How do these needs compare to other living things?
      • What are the parts of the plant and the role they play in its growth and survival?
      • Healthy eating using all the parts of the plant. Let's have some fun eating healthy!

      Lessons connect to:

      • Ontario Science and Technology Curriculum - Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 3
        Understanding Life Systems - Needs and Characteristics of Living Things  /  Growth and Changes in Plants
      • Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum  - Kindergarten, Grade 1 to Grade 4
        Healthy Living Strands D1 Understanding Health Concepts / D2 Healthy Eating / D3 Making Connections for Healthy Living
      Purchase Package 1

      Package 1 - Farming Foundations for all ages - Online Farm lessons (1 & 2) - $34.00 (tax incl.)

      Purchase Package 1

      Package 2:  Farming Foundations Applied (Lessons 1 - 4)

      Using the understanding and knowledge gained in Farming Foundations we apply the principles learned with a focus on honeybees and the eggs we eat.

      Lesson #3: Bees

      Honey bees are the only insects that give us food - Honey!(Along with pollen, propolis and other supplements)  Watch as Farmer Jim dresses up like a bee. Beekeeper James opens up a beehive for us to see and hear honeybees inside their home.

      • Identify what makes a bee an insect
      • Search for the 3 kinds of bees that make up the hives population
      • See the stages in a bees life cycle

      Lessons connect to:

      • Ontario Science and Technology Curriculum - Kindergarten, Grade 1 and 2
        Understanding Life Systems - Needs and Characteristics of Living Things / Growth and Changes in Animals
      • Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum - Healthy Eating, Strand D
        Grade 1 - Strand D1/D2, Grade 2 - Strand D2, Grade 3 and 4 - Strand D1/D2/D3

       

      Lesson #4: Eggs

      Visit the chickens in our barn.  Follow the journey of the egg from our farm to your plate.

      • Are all eggs the same?
      • How do we know if they are fresh?

      Lessons connect to Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum - Healthy Eating, Strand D

        Grade 1 - Strand D1/D2, Grade 2 - Strand D2, Grade 3 - Strand D1/D3 and Grade 4 D1, D2, D3

        Purchase Package 2

        Package  2 - Farming Foundations Applied - Online Farm Lessons 1,2,3 & 4   -   $50.00 (tax incl.)

        Purchase Package 2

        Package 3: Digging Deeper into Sustainability (Lessons 1 - 6)

        Build on the earlier lessons as children come to the understanding that living things rely on other living things for energy and the resources they need to live.  Encompass a broader understanding of nature and what sustains life and the environment around us while exploring soils and habitats.

        Lesson #5: Soils

        Soil is an essential source of life and nutrients for living things.  It's not just dirt, it's alive and is composed of a variety of living and non-living things as well as earth materials.

        We visit different areas on the farm to explore:

        • The different types of soil; their unique characteristics and composition
        • Why soil is important for our survival
        • Composting – let’s make soil

        Lessons connect to:

        • Ontario Science and Technology Curriculum
          Understanding Life Systems - Grade 3 - Soils in the Environment
        • Ontario Social Studies Curriculum People and Environments: Living and Working in Ontario, Urban and Rural Communities

        Lesson #6: Habitats

        Our farm is our home, our ecosystem made up of a wonderful mix of living and nonliving things in a variety of habitats.

        We'll explore our farm’s habitats, investigating plants and animals keeping in mind:

        • their biodiversity
        • their interdependence
        • their adaptation to the space, sun, water, air and food that’s available to them.

        How does your neighborhood compare to what you see and hear on our farm?

        Lessons connect with:

        • the Ontario Science and Technology Curriculum
          Understanding Life Systems - Grade 4 - Habitats
        • Ontario Social Studies Curriculum -Strand B - People and Environments: The Local Community
        • Concepts of continuity and change, patterns and trends, and interrelationships
        Purchase Package 3

        Package 3 - Digging Deeper into Sustainability - Online Farm Lessons 1,2,3,4,5 & 6   -   $68.00 (tax incl.)

        Purchase Package 3

        Meet our Farm Educators

        Farmer Jim Forsythe

        Has a passion for the land

        Farmer Jim

        Born in the city, Farmer Jim grew up with a passion to farm. Working on a variety of farms throughout his youth he managed to start his own in 1972. With over 40 years of working on leased land he was able to fulfill his dream of owning his own farm in 1997 when we acquired a 50 acre farm here in Greenbank.

        Since that time our Greenbank farm has been developed into a beautiful location for school children and families to visit. Farmer Jim's passion for growing food is seen in our fields of fruits and vegetables to supply our market and for pick your own. He is happy to share his passion with others by offering fun family activities and educational on farm tour programs.

        Farmer Leslie Forsythe

        Has a passion for connecting people with the farm

        Farmer Leslie

        A small town girl with a family history in farming, Farmer Leslie loves science and people.  It took marrying Farmer Jim to get her onto a farm and the passion to share it was born.  Always willing to learn herself, she connected with teachers wanting to bring their students for an on farm tour experience.  With over 30 years of presenting our farm's educational program along with the help of our creative and engaged staff she is now learning to go digital.

        Beekeeper James

        A passion for bees and honey

        Beekeeper James

        We first met James selling his honey at the East Gwilliambury Farmers Market.  He has a passion for bees and honey while ensuring quality was number one.  Three years ago James agreed to put beehives on our farm so we could benefit from their pollination services as well as sell the raw honey in our market that the bees produced.  He has always been approachable when tending to his hives and willing to answer questions from our staff and student visitors.  Being so knowledgeable in beekeeping and eager to teach made him our go to beekeeper for our video.

        Meet those who helped make our online program a reality

        Bruce Sargent - Farmboy Productions

        Bruce Sargent - Farmboy Productions

        Bruce, an award winning photographer,  expressed a passion for farm education when first approached to help produce our videos.  Growing up on a dairy farm his knowledge of agriculture and his skill in photography and film helped make our videos as great as they are.  His tagline - bringing people, farmers, food and technology together through the lens of digital media is clearly evident in the work he has done on this project.  

        You can find him at http://farmboypro.ca

        Julia Morch

        Julia Morch

        Julia joined us in early April to help guide this project through its many phases.  She has her Masters degree in Education along with an extensive background in outdoor education. Julia lead our team of farm instructors through the development of our lessons keeping us focused on the main concepts to highlight in the short time the videos allowed us. Condensing and editing the information into 5 minute episodes was a challenge she steered us through as we were all used to hosting 3 hour farm tours.

        Mary Sullivan - Website Designer

        Mary Sullivan

        Website designer extraordinaire.  Mary and I go way back, too many years to mention.  Her creativity, willingness to investigate options and learn new skills has made our online education video program accessible digitally.  Find her website at  germars.com

        Our Farm Tour Instructors 

        Much appreciation goes out to our team of farm tour instructors who, because of the pandemic, were unable to conduct tours on our farm this year.  Many have been teaching with us for years.  This video project gave us a reason to connect and we all learned to Zoom.  Thanks to their support and hard work in documenting their favorite activities we were able to present to you Lessons from the Farm.

        Central Counties Tourism

        This project was made possible with the partnership of Central Counties Tourism. We thank them for their assistance in the funding of this project.

        Forsythe Family FarmsForsythe Family Farms 2009 Inc. is a 50 acre fruit and vegetable farm nestled in the hills of Durham Region a short drive from Toronto.  Based in Markham from 1972 -2013, our farm was then moved to our home farm in Greenbank.  We have continued to grow with the times while keeping our agricultural roots strong.

        Watching farmland turn into roads, houses and business' and being displaced twice because of urbanization has made the importance of keeping people connected to the land essential.  We have hosted groups for over 30 years, engaging students in the journey of their food from farm to fork.  Our aim is to have the best school tour ever as we continue to strive in strengthening this farm connection.

        Cultivate Curiosity        Plant Knowledge       Harvest Understanding