Next Generation Science Standards:
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs. [Clarification Statement: Examples of plants and animals changing their environment could include a squirrel digging in the ground to hide its food and tree roots breaking concrete.]
Objectives: To explain why buying fair trade and ethically branded food is better for everyone. (Advanced) To explain why eating food that has travelled around the world is not good for the environment.
Key words: Ethical; Fair trade; Carbon Emissions
(Using Key words: Students can create a glossary, in books or on wall in classroom. Students are encouraged to practice using vocab in written or verbal sentences – perhaps writing example sentences and displaying them. Students could earn points for using the vocab in novel sentences each week)
- A shopping bag with typical groceries, one item per group
- 1 bunch Bananas (1 banana per group of 5)
- Fair trade and Banana split Powerpoint
- Banana Split role pieces cut out for each group/student
- 30 pennies for each group/student
- Plastic Cups for each group/student
Ask for a list of countries that people in the class have visited in their lifetime. Suggest to the class that the items in the shopping bag have originated from more places than we have travelled to. Refer to the banana and its place of origin.
Fair Trade and Banana Split
Use Powerpoint: See teacher notes on each slide for introductory slides 1-7. From slides 8, continue to use notes on Powerpoint. Distribute to each group a set of plastic cups and BananaChain Roles. Ask the students to cut out and paste one role on each cup, then put the cups in order of what they think is the banana chain. Using the PowerPoint, discuss the different orders the student(s) chose. Then using the Powerpoint, give each group 30 pennies. Ask them to distribute the 30 pennies in each cup based on what they think that part of the chain should earn for their work. Using the rest of the Powerpoint, discuss what they actually get, what fair trade companies makes sure they get, and how fair trade companies and products are beneficial.
(Advanced activity: students could create comparative displays showing how the money from a non-fair trade banana is spent compared to a fair trade banana. This could be adapted into a play, then acted out.)
Distribute the food items to each group. Ask students to identify where their food came from. Visit: http://www.organiclinker.com/food-miles.cfm and type in the countries of origin to see how far each item has travelled (Students can do this in groups on lap tops, etc or it can be a class activity).
(Advanced Discussion: Use the website to find out how much carbon is used to transport that food alone.)
Ask: Why is burning this carbon so bad? (It is contributing to Climate change, which has effects such as rising sea levels.)
(Further Discussion: not only because ice caps are melting, but because warm water takes up more space than cold water;destroying habitats; spreading diseases; and causing more extreme weather)
Ask: What is the benefit of being able to eat food from around the world? (More choice, different seasonal food, price, etc).
Further Activities or Homework
- Brainstorm a slogan for fair trade products, outlining why it is so important people buy them.
- Research a list of fair trade products or brands; compare the prices to non fair trade products or brands.
- Create a survey and carry it out: What do people know about fair trade? Do they think it is worth it? Do they buy fair trade products? Why / why not?
Healthy Growing Session (if participating)
Revisit Compost Bottles
Ask students to read the list of ingredients and recap on their predictions. Cut open the bottles. Carefully sift through the compost. Photograph items and compare to ‘before’ pictures. Refer to predictions as ingredients are found, then document findings on original table. Students draw conclusions on the changes that occurred. (Further Discussion – what does this mean in terms of land fill / littering / dumping trash? Students design posters telling people why recycling is necessary / not to drop litter / cigarette butts. Posters could be specific to each item, describing what it is made of and therefore why it did or did not decompose).
Plan and Prepare for Enterprise Project