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Introduction to Facebook's Farm Town
An application that allows users to plow, plant, harvest, and sell crops is well established among Facebook users. Everyone wants in on the excitement, even our dearly beloved students. Here is a mind-shattering idea. Allow your students to create a Facebook account, if they don't already have one. Then, tell students to click on Farm Town.
Students will be able to build a farm from scratch, meaning they have to purchase everything...seeds, houses, buildings, rivers, paths, grills, lawn mowers, and then they can manage their own farms. Students can also ask other students to be their neighbors, and as neighbors are away from their farms, students will have to tend to their farms as tornadoes strike, crops dry out, and weeds grow. This application is an individual project, but at the same time, students have to look out for one another's farms, so it is also a collaborative effort.
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Facebook's Farm Town Teaches Responsibility
Allowing students to manage their farms is a great opportunity for students. It teaches responsibility as students have to harvest their crops in a timely manner, or those crops will dry up and die. Students will soon realize that it costs money to start a farm and to purchase crops, so they will not be happy when their crops bite the dust.
In addition to teaching responsibility, students are interested in this role-playing game. Who would not want to live a day in the life of a farmer? It's fun, and students will reap the rewards of their farming if they put effort and time into it. It's also fun to see what your friends are up to and how their farms are progressing. Who's the elite farmer of the class? Who has a knack for farming? Who has a green thumb? You, as their teacher, might just be surprised to learn who is the farming guru of your students.
Even better--teachers, you can participate. Your students will love you that much more....or they might make that much more fun of you, though it is all in a good-spirited fashion.
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A Facebook Farm Town Lesson Plan for English
Out of the fun fantastic farming comes an English lesson plan. Have students journal about lessons learned or daily farming experiences. Students could journal about their farms each day for a few minutes at the beginning of class. Or, you may decide to have students write a reflective essay; one in which they will shed light on their Farm Town experience. Students may reflect on what they have learned, what areas of farming they need to improve, or how to be a successful farmer.
If you teach entrepreneurship, you may want your students to use this application in class, or you could just make it an extra credit project. Award points on the final average for the person who maximizes his or her potential. In other words, the student with the highest valued farm would be the overall winner.
There are so many ways to incorporate this fun application into your classroom; look for more fun uses in future articles. Farm on!