2nd Grade - Science

LESSON PROBLEM: Ecology: What machines does the farmer use to grow his crop?


Many farms in the United States are very big. Rice farmers need lots of land to grow the rice that feeds people all around the world. Rice farmers work hard to get their fields ready to grow rice. Machines are used to plant seeds, to harvest rice and to get it ready for eating.

Rice farmers use technology, computers and lasers to get the soil ready for planting. Heavy machines move the soil about. Computers and lasers tell them where to move the soil. The machines make sure the soil is level. Small dams of soil, called levees, are used around the rice field to hold in the water needed for the rice plants.

Once the fields are level the rice can be planted. Some farmers use airplanes to plant rice seeds into the water on the rice field. Other farmers use a grain drill that plants the seed just deep enough into the soil of the field. Then water is flooded into the field.

When the rice plant has grown and the grains are ready for harvest, the water is drained off the field. A big machine cuts the rice and takes the rice grain from the plant. Because the machine does these two things, it is called a combine.

The combine pumps rice grain into trucks. The trucks take the rice to the rice mill. At the rice mill the rice grain is cleaned, milled and packaged for eating.

Machines are important to farmers who grow the food we eat.


Fold a paper into four parts. Draw four pictures that show what the farmer does to get the field ready for planting rice. Write a sentence to go with each of your pictures.


Write a paragraph that tells what a combine does. Draw a picture to go with your paragraph.


  • combine
  • level
  • laser
  • computer

Click here to play Rice Rampage!
Anatomy of Rice:
Rice is a seed of cereal (grass) plant used for food. Click here to learn more about the Anatomy of Rice.
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