Posted on

Fairtrade (Fortnight – to be completed over 2 lessons)

Topic: Fairtrade (Fortnight – to be completed over 2 lessons)

Learning Outcomes

The child shall be enabled to:

  • Realise that not all children in the world have their rights respected
  • Discuss, analyse and debate controversial issues at both local and global level
  • Actively support fair trade
  • Become more aware of and empathise with the different working conditions of people throughout the world



Ask the children what did they eat for breakfast?

List the possibilities on the whiteboard. Elicit where these products came from, what country were they grown in? Elicit that ‘before you’ve finished your breakfast this morning, you’ll have relied on half the world’.




Step 1: Who produces all this food and where? Read the producer profile of ‘Sivapackiam’ (attached) to the children. Invite the children to listen. As I read, we will have a class discussion and questioning about World Trade of such foods and their growers. 

  • What is this profile about? 
  • What views are shown? 
  • How do you think this lady feels? 
  • What work does she do?  
  • Is it healthy? Why/why not? 
  • Does she make a lot of money?
  • But tea is expensive to buy, why does she not make money?
  • Who makes the money? Is this fair? 


Step 2: Elicit from the children the meaning of Fair Trade. What do you think Fairtrade means? I will read a short piece about the work of Fairtrade Ireland. 

I will show the children a PowerPoint presentation of products with the Fairtrade mark on them. I will try to elicit where in the world these products may have originated from. Use of google maps/online atlas’ so as to locate the country of the product.


Step 3: Pairwork – Discuss in pairs how they would feel if they: 

  • was a young worker picking tea leaves.
  •  start work at half past four in the morning and will finish work at three o’ clock the next morning. 
  • earn 8cent an hour and will have one break at one o’clock the next day. 
  • work carrying kilos and kilos of tealeaves everyday 


Step 4: The teacher gives the children a chance to prepare a possible conversation, one as the worker, the other as a news reporter. The news reporter must carry out an interview with the worker about his life picking tea, and how things could be improved. Sample questions for the reporter may include; 

  • how he/she feels as a worker. 
  • How do you feel? 
  • what type of work do you do? 
  • Have you a family? 
  • Why do you not stop working here?


Step 5:  To stimulate a discussion on the topic of interdependence, I will re-introduce the quotation at the beginning from Martin Luther King- “Before you finish eating your breakfast this morning you’ve depended on half the world. . . . I will introduce who said this famous line.

I will state that ‘We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact.” 

The teacher then asks the students to think about all the foods that we would not have in Ireland if it were not for the Third World – tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, bananas, pineapples, oranges, rice, etc. 

The teacher should draw the students’ attention to how dependent we in the First World are on the people of the Third World in terms of food, and how producers in the Third World depend on First World markets for their products. The common term for this fact is called ‘interdependence’. This word will be written on a flashcard and displayed on the board, with it’s meaning being made clear to the children. 


HP Reveal (using iPads – teacher will need a login): the children will carry out a scavenger hunt of different pictures of supermarket items hidden around the room. As they find the pictures of the items, they report back to the various ICT managers, who then scans the item and reveals whether it is a Fairtrade item or not. Each group must try and collect the most amount of Fairtade items as possible.


Fairtrade Globingo:

Using worksheets: each student must find 10 different people to supply an answer until all questions are completed.  Students need to be able to move around the class in order to find 10 different names to fill in the bingo squares. The first to complete calls out, Globingo! and is designated the winner of the game. However, all students continue until each completes the worksheet. 


Other Resources for teaching this topic

HP Reveal

Use of iPads

Use of Google Maps/online Atlas

Powerpoint Presentation