Reading Technical Text Specific to Farming - Loan Context

Part 1: Lesson Description

Lesson Title

Reading Technical Text Specific to Farming - Loan Context


This lesson is designed for adult learners who are pursuing a career in farming. It focuses on reading scientific and technical texts (Grade 6) related to farming and farm loans. This lesson will help learners identify and define technical words specific to farming and borrowing money. The learners will have the opportunity to apply their acquired knowledge in class activities such as reading and analyzing case studies.

Learner Audience / Primary Users

This lesson is designed for adult learners who are preparing for certifications or high school equivalency exams such as the GED. It aims to help adult learners who are thinking of pursuing a career in agriculture, and need to improve their reading skills in topics related to farming and loans.

Educational Use

  • Curriculum / Instruction


  • English

Material Type

  • Instructional Material
  • Case Study


  • Designers for Learning
  • Adult Education
  • Farm Loans
  • Agriculture

Time Required for Lesson

About 90 minutes, with 60 minutes of external activity (Application).

Note : Time can be adjusted to the instructor's preference.

Targeted Skills

Key skills covered in this lesson include:

  • Career

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, the learner should be able to:

  • Identify the technical words specific to farming used in agriculture-related documents and informational texts;
  • Explain the meaning of technical words specific to farming used in agriculture-related documents and informational texts;
  • Decide whether a farmer is eligible to apply for a farm loan based on the informations provided.

College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) Alignment

  • Level: Adult Education
  • Grade Level: 6 (D)
  • Subject: English Language Arts
  • Domain or Strand: Strand
  • Strand : Reading and Writing
  • Sub-strand : Reading Informational Text or Reading of Scientific and Technical text
  • Standard Description: RI/RL.6.2 = Reading Informational Text/Reading Literature, Level 6, Standard 2. 
  • Application: RST.6-8.2 = Reading Scientific and Technical Text, Level 6-8, Standard 2.

Prior Knowledge

  • Leaners should be able to read a text at Grade Level 5.
  • Learners should be able to do basic searches on the Web using a computer.

Required Resources

  • Adult learners : A computer (in order to search on the Web the words they do not understand).
  • Instructor : A computer, PowerPoint, a video editing software (these are just ideas).

Lesson Author & License

Part 2: Lesson

** In order to facilitate the readability of the text, the masculine form will be used. **

Instructional Strategies and Activities

Warm-Up (5 minutes)

A question similar to this one can be asked to the class : "What does a farmer need to operate his farm?" Learners can give answers such as to buy livestock, to purchase land parcels, to integrate new farming techniques, and so forth. The instructor can write the answers on the board so that everyone can see.

Introduction (10 minutes)

The class is shown a basic animation (that can be made with PowerPoint with images and thinking bubbles) or a short video where a farmer does not know where to start to apply for a loan program. More of the farmer’s background information would be provided for the learners. Here is an example of a Power Point you can use or modify :

Download: Reading Technical Text Specific to Farming - Loan Context_xVVuN8H.pptx

This animation or video (especially on the last slide of the Power Point) shows that applying for loans can be difficult because there are multiple rules, steps, and paperwork to understand and complete. Before completing a form, a farmer first needs to search and identify which loan is the right one for his needs. This step can be arduous because the information can contain many technical words.

Presentation / Modeling / Demonstration (20 minutes)

Specific and technical terms related to farming and loan programs are explained to the learners. Visuals such as images can be used. The computer can also be used by the instructor to show learners examples of loan programs on the internet.

Note : Some loan programs are available depending on the state you live in.

For a list of such words, you can scroll below for the Google Doc named "Instructional Material", or you can click here.

Guided Practice (10 minutes)

The class watches again the animation (or video) of the farmer showed in the Introduction. The class will be asked to identify which loan program(s) can the farmer apply to in his state and why. Participation from everyone in the class will be encouraged, and feedback from the instructor to each participant can be provided.

Evaluation (30 minutes)

Learners form teams of two. Each team is handed out two sheets of paper :

  • The first sheet is a case study describing the story of a farmer who wants to apply for a loan.
  • The second sheet describes a loan to apply to.

Learners read both sheets, and identify on both of them the technical words related to farming and loans. They will search for the definition of the words they do not understand on the internet.

Subsequently, learners must decide whether the farmer is eligible to apply for the loan program and explain their decision. In order to make a proper decision, learners must have understood the words in both of the texts. Learners can present their decision in front of the class. Feedback and questions from their class colleagues and the instructor can be provided to each team’s presentation.

Instructional Material

(case studies, list of technical terms, supplementary resources)

Application (60 minutes preparation, or more depending on the learners)

The application will be done outside of the class after the Evaluation as an individual homework.

Leaners are in teams of two, and write a short skit to present in front of the class. For example, the skit can be about a farmer wanting to apply for a loan for a specific reason. One teammate could act as the farmer, and describe his situation to obtain a loan, and the other teammate could act as a loan officer who would describe the loan and evaluate the farmer’s eligibility. The farmer could also ask questions about interest rates, and the loan officer would ask questions about the farmer’s types of crops (for example). The words and loans used in the skit must have been learnt prior in the lesson.

Alternative : instead of writing a short skit, learners can create a short Power Point presentation with characters and speech bubbles.

Evaluation : It can be verified if a minimum number of words (learnt in the lesson) was integrated in the presentation, and if the presentation reflects the attainment of the learning objectives (words are correctly used in the right contexts).

Key Terms and Concepts

Comprehension; Definition; Identify; Technical

Part 3: Supplementary Resources & References

Supplementary Resources

United States Department of Agriculture :

See other resources and references in the Google Doc provided, or click here.


United States Department of Agriculture (2015, August 12). USDA Programs and Services. Retrieved

November 06, 2016, from

Attribution Statements


CC Attribution

This course content is offered by Designers for Learning under a CC Attribution license.
Content in this course can be considered under this license unless otherwise noted.

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