AgDARE - Agricultural Disability Awareness and Risk Education

  • Kidd, Pamela;
  • Reed, Deborah

Spinal Cord Injury - Lesson Plan

Background: Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe injuries in agricultural occupations. The results can range from minor nerve damage to paralysis.

Objective: For the student to recognize the sources of spinal cord injury on the farm and to be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Name the long-term physical consequences of a spinal cord injury.
  • Name ways spinal cord injuries can affect both the injured and others.
  • Identify specific ways to prevent spinal cord injuries when performing farm jobs.
  • Name safety equipment, innovations, and technology that can help prevent spinal cord injury to workers and others on the farm.

Situation Development: Things to be brought out by the instructor in discussion to generate interest in the lesson: (See fact sheet.)

  • Ask students about farm incidents in which spinal injury occurred, and they or someone they knew were involved. Allow for examples of different types of injuries, such as falling from ladders or barns, tractor rollovers, ATV rollovers or crashes, etc.
  • Ask students what may cause spinal injury on the farm.

Problem Statement: Identify the lesson topic and what the students will be answering in their activities.

  • What are the causes of spinal cord injuries in agricultural occupations, and how can we prevent these injuries?
Analysis: Things to consider in analyzing the topic and reaching the conclusion:
  • Evaluate the sources and reasons for incidents that lead to spinal injury.
  • Identify the effects of spinal cord injury.
  • Identify ways to prevent spinal cord injury in agriculture.
  • Identify safety equipment and practices.
Directed Study: Listed below are activities that will present the concepts of spinal cord injury and its prevention. Choose the activities that best fit your time restraints, student abilities, and resource availability. Student reference sheets are enclosed, which give information about spinal cord injury. Duplicate these fact sheets, and use as a reference tool when conducting the activities.
  • Narrative Simulation
  • Physical Simulation
  • Supplemental Activities:
    Study Sheet
    Guest Speaker
    Group Activity

Conclusion: After completing the activities, the teacher will lead in discussion of the topic with the class, approaching the points outlined in the analysis. The students should provide information and knowledge as gained from the activities and reference materials.


KERA Goals
Goal 1
  Accessing Sources of Info
  •   Reading
  •   Observing
  •   Listening
  •   Quantifying  
  •   Measuring  
      Mathematical Reasoning  
      Visual Arts  
      Using Electronic Tech.  
        Goal 2
      Nature of Scientific Activity  
  •   Systems and Interactions
  •   Models and Scale  
      Evolutionary Change  
      Mathematical Procedures  

    Space and Dimensionality

      Mathematical Structure  
  •   Democratic Principles  
      Political System  
      Social Systems  
      Cultural Diversity  
      Economic Systems
  •   Geography & Human Activity  
      Historical Perspective  
      Interpersonal Relationships  
      Analysis of Forms  
      Cultural Heritage  
      Cultural Diversity  
      Second Language  
      Family/Life Parenting
  •   Consumerism
  •   Physical Wellness
  •   Mental/Emotional Wellness  
      Community Health Systems  
      Psychomotor Skills
      Lifetime Physical Activities  
      Career Paths  
      Employability Attributes
  •   Post-Secondary Options  
        Goal 3
      Positive Self-concept  
      Healthy Lifestyle
  •   Adaptability/Flexibility  
  •   Ethical Values  
      Independent Learning
  •     Goal 4
      Interpersonal Skills
  •   Team Membership
  •   Consistent, Caring Behavior  
      Rights & Responsibilities
  •   Multicultural/World View  
      Open Mind  
        Goal 5
      Critical Thinking
  •   Creative Thinking  
      Decision Making
  •   Problem Solving
  •     Goal 6
      Multiple Perspectives
  •   Developing New Knowledge  
      Expanding Knowledge

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    This curriculum guide was supported by Grant Number 1 R01/CCR414307 from NIOSH. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH. Special thanks to Dr. Ted Scharf.

    Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More