On this page:

  1. How To Use 3rd World Farmer In Class
  2. 3rd World Farmer Lesson Plans
  3. Curated Lists Of Educational Resources

How To Use 3rd World Farmer In Class

If you are a teacher or educator interested in using 3rd World Farmer in class, you’ve come to the right place. In this how-to, we’ll go over all the steps required to prepare, realize and complete the activity.

We’ve also gathered a lot of existing lesson plans from other teacher, which we hope can inspire your own efforts to tailor the activity to your specific class, course, or teaching situation.

Neccessary Preparations

Technical Aspects

3rd World Farmer is available as an Adobe Flash-based online game, playable directly on our homepage. Depending on how you plan to use it in class, it will require:

  • One or more computers with internet access and an internet browser that supports Adobe Flash Player (such as Google Chrome or Puffin Webbrowser).
  • Access to the internet domain 3rdworldfarmer.org from your school/educational institution. This may require that you contact tech staff for whitelisting of the domain, since many schools and workplaces block unknown domains by default.
  • Optional: Projector or interactive whiteboard for demonstration, or if 3rd World Farmer is played as a teacher-led activity by the whole class.

Note: We’re aware that most web browsers are planning to end support for Flash Player (or already have). We are actively working to port the game to other platforms, so that it may stay available. First in line is 3rd World Farmer on Google Play, which will make the game available on android smartphones and tablets. It’s possible to pre-register and get notified about the release here. Future releases on this and other platforms will be announced on our facebook page and in our newsletter.

First-hand Experience With 3rd World Farmer

It is recommended that the teacher tries the game one or more times as a preparation for using it in class. You can consults the How-to-play page of the manual as needed. This will allow you to guide the students and answer their questions, and it will give you a taste of what the game is about. You can also explore other pages of this online manual, which contain detailed descriptions of all the game’s content and events.

Playing The Game With Students

Depending on what class you’re teaching and the available time and facilities, you may opt for different approaches to include 3rd World Farmer in your teaching. Here are a few questions to consider.

Who Will Be Playing/Controlling The Game?

3rd World Farmer can be played by:

  • The students individually in class
  • Students individually as home assignment
  • Students in pairs/groups in class
  • The teacher, using whiteboard/projector in the classroom

Who Will Be Making Decisions In The Game?

If the students play the game individually on their own screens, they will of course make their own decisions and in-game choices.

If they play in pairs or groups – or the whole class together – they may benefit from some rules about how decisions will be made.

As a teacher you can make these rules clear from the beginning.

The students can either take turns making decision, or all choices could be openly discussed and voted on. Or the teacher could ultimately decide, after every option has been discussed. You can also assign characters and have the students role-play as individual members of the farmer family, presenting their arguments from the characters’ perspectives.

Using Handouts And/Or Assignments?

Some teachers use handouts or questionnaries that are turned in at the end of the class to let students take notes and answer reflection questions as they play. Others like to play and discuss the game in class without handouts and note-taking. If you plan to use handouts, maybe you can find inspiration in some of the subject specific lesson plans shared by other teachers, which you can find below on this page.

Teachers may also create assignments with or without the use of handouts. Students can be given a choice of handing in an essay, a cartoon, or collage/drawing about their own game experience or an aspect of 3rd World Farmer. This online manual contains a lot of information and external links about the in-game events and content, so it can be a starting point for the students’ own research for their assignments.

How Much Time Is Available?

Depending on the time available, a time limit should be set for playing 3rd World Farmer, so there’s time for discussion and wrap-up. In most cases, the actual game session takes between 5-30 minutes, but if players are both lucky and skillful, a game session can potentially continue for hours or even days. 20-30 minutes is usually long enough for students to complete one long or a few short game sessions, which will give them some meaningful experiences to discuss and reflect on.

Discussion And Wrap-Up

Regardless of how 3rd World Farmer is included in your teaching, we recommend that you always leave some time for discussing the game and wrapping up.

Not only is the discussion usually the most interesting part of the game experience, since this is where students bring in their own perspectives. It’s also recommended because the game is thought-provoking and can be upsetting to some students. They may have a lot of questions to ask. Some may need adult guidance and reassurance in order to remain constructive about complex issues like hunger and extreme poverty.

As a teacher, you can point to the game’s winning conditions (improving the local community through projects) and links to charitable organizations as positive and constructive aspects of the game. When discussing any of the game’s topics in greater detail, it may also become apparent that it’s not alway easy to place responsibility or find good solutions. Perhaps you can at least agree that a basic awareness is a requirement for solving any problem.

3rd World Farmer Lesson Plans

Here we’ve included a list of resources from teachers who have shared their lesson plans or experiences using 3rd World Farmer in class.

The resources concern a wide range of different classes and subjects. These include Political Science, Agricultural Science, History, Geography, Economy, Social Studies, Ethics, Philosophy, International Business, World Issues, EdTech and more.

We hope there’s something to inspire everyone, and we’ll continue to add new resources to the list as we become aware of them.


Reviewing Third World Farmer as a class assignment – PaxSims.com

Description: Example of a ‘simulation review’ assignment based on 3rd World Farmer.

Subject(s): Political Science

Link: https://paxsims.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/reviewing-third-world-farmer-as-a-class-assignment/


Forum Tread on Communities of Practice, National Association of Agricultural Educators – communities.naae.org

Description: Lesson plan, handouts and presentation shared by Robin McLean (PPT and DOCs).

Subject(s): Agricultural Science

Link: https://communities.naae.org/thread/6253


3rd World Farmer Student Activities – ChangeGamer.ca

Description: This lesson plan includes student handouts in (PDF and DOC) formats. Students fill in answers before, while, and after playing the game.

Subject(s): Economy

Link: http://www.changegamer.ca/economics.html


3rd World Farmer Reflection – app.seesaw.me

Description: Student activity for 3rd World Farmer by Linda de Beer, using Seesaw app.

Subject(s): Social Studies, (3rd, 4th, 5th Grades.)

Link: https://app.seesaw.me/activities/c883av/3rd-world-farmer-reflection


Poverty Games, Pt. 2: 3rd World Farmer – ActiveLearningPS.com

Description: Blogpost discussing the use of 3rd World Farmer in teaching political science, by Amanda Rosenb, 2013.

Subject(s): Political Science

Link: http://activelearningps.com/2013/02/27/poverty-games-pt-2/


Socially-Based Curriculum Unit: The Ethics of Alternative Commerce: Fair Trade & Microfinance – Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation

Description: PDF outlining a 1-2 week curriculum on fair trade and microfinance, where 3rd World Farmer is one of the suggested activities.

Subject(s): Ethics, Philosophy, International Business, World Issues

Link: https://www.osstf.on.ca/-/media/Provincial/Documents/Resource-Centre/Curriculum-Materials-and-Classroom-Supports/Socially-based-Curriculum-Units/fairtrade-unit-plan.ashx?sc_lang=en-CA


Global Village Connect Curriculum – GlobalVillageConnect.org

Description: Lesson plans written by teachers for teachers. Centered on an interdisciplinary approach to learning that facilitates the development of critical thinking, understanding life in a global context, creating a real-world experience, and collaboration with small groups.

Subject(s): Geography (Food Security)

Link: https://www.globalvillageconnect.org/curriculum-materials.html


Subsistence Farming – GeographyAllTheWay.com

Description: Lesson on subsistence farming on Geography All The Way includes 3rd World Farmer as an activity.

Subject(s): Geography

Link: https://www.geographyalltheway.com/igcse_geography/gcse-agriculture/igcse_subsistence_farming.htm


First- and Third-World Challenges – EducationWorld.com

Description: Lesson Plans for 3rd World Farmer

Subject(s): Educational Technology, Social Studies (Civics, Current Events, Economics, Geography, Government)

Link: https://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/techlp/techlp064.shtml


How to Be a Third World Farmer: Thoughts on Gamification – Dashe & Thomson Learning and Development Blog

Description: Blogpost discussing 3rd World Farmer as an example of a learning game.

Link: https://www.dashe.com/blog/gamification/third-world-farmer-thoughts-gamification/


Breaking News: ‘Interactive Education’

Description: Video introducing 3rd World Farmer for use in class in conjunction with the Quality Teaching Framework (NSW, Australia), by Sarah Gibbons , 2016.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jNBW5xU0jY


Social Studies – Middle East In Conflict – Mona Shores Online Learning Center

Description: Assignment and reflection questions about 3rd World Farmer in relation to Middle East conflicts.

Subject(s): Social Studies

Link: http://moodle.monashores.net/mod/assign/view.php?id=64454&rownum=0&useridlistid=5cd3da82960f8615749832&action&lang=en


Curated Lists Of Educational Resources

The following curated lists of educational resources all mention 3rd World Farmer. They are relevant to the game, but they are not lesson plans as such.


Technology Integration for Teachers, Featured Sites – TechForTeachers.net

Description: A site with an extensive list of websites that are considered high quality, reliable, and valuable, organized in a way that even “non-techy” teachers can utilize them. All of the listed websites have been recommended by other teachers and educational organizations and qualify as “the best”.

Subject(s): Social Studies, Government, and History

Link: http://www.techforteachers.net/social-studies.html


Games for Change – GamesForChange.org

Description: A curated list of over 175 games that engage contemporary social issues in meaningful ways. Founded in 2004, Games for Change empowers game creators and social innovators to drive real-world change using games that help people to learn, improve their communities, and contribute to make the world a better place.

Subject(s): Social Studies

Link: http://www.gamesforchange.org/games/


Best Digital Games for Social Studies – BraveInTheAttempt.com

Description: A blogpost listing and discussing several great games for teaching social studies.

Subject(s): History, Social Studies

Link: https://braveintheattempt.com/2018/01/04/best-digital-games-for-social-studies/


Teaching Strategies – GlobalEducation.au.org

Description: Global education covers complex and controversial issues. This is a selection of teaching and learning approaches that develop knowledge and skills to respond to global issues. Includes a list of educational simulation games.

Subjects(s): Global Studies

Link: https://www.globaleducation.edu.au/teaching-and-learning/teaching-strategies.html


Gamepedia – Games4Sustainability.org

Description: Curated list of 100+ sustainability-themed games and simulations, searchable by how they align to the various UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Subject(s): Social Studies, Geography

Link: https://games4sustainability.org/gamepedia/3rd-world-farmer/


Agriculture Around the World – GeoKnow.net

Description: List of educational resources on global agricultural isses, food security hunger, and waste.

Subject(s): Geography, World Studies

Link: http://geoknow.net/anthroposphere/agriculture.html


Games – EnterDiginityWorld.com

Description: A list of online serious games about human rights, active citizenship, gender, children rights, and migration.

Subject(s): Social Studies

Link: http://www.enterdignityworld.com/games/3rd-world-farmer


Recommended Browser-Based Games – Hong Kong Digital Game-Based Learning Association

Description: List of recommended educational games by a non-profit organization that promotes and raises awareness of digital media game use in formal education settings.

Subject(s): Business, Technology, Geography, Social Issues

Link: http://www.digitalgameslearning.org/web-based-games.html


Geography games and simulations workshop – Geographical Association Conference 2017

Description: Presentation of numerous digital and non-digital games for use in geography teaching workshop at conference.

Subject(s): Geography

Link: https://themapoff.wixsite.com/mapoff/ga-conf-2017-games


European Project: ProSocial Values – Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

Description: EU project to develop prosocial skills and positive relationships in children aged 5-15 in an international community of schools that promotes and specifically trains teachers in using a set of serious games in class.

Subject(s): Prosocial Values, Prosocial Skills

Link 1: http://psv.europole.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Third-World-Farmer.pdf

Link 2: http://psv.europole.org/game_index-2/games-about-universal-values/


Math, Money, And Business Games For Students – Washington State University

Description: A list of engaging math, money, and business games for university students to learn important finance lessons and life skills.

Subject(s): MBA

Link: https://onlinemba.wsu.edu/executive-mba/math-money-and-business-games-for-students/


Your Content?

We strive to provide as many quality resources as possible in order to make 3rd World Farmer accessible and useful in a variety of contexts.

If you’re a teacher or educator and would like us to showcase your own lesson plans or other materials about using 3rd World Farmer in an educational setting, you’re more than welcome to send us an email about it.