September 10, 2009

Fair Trade Curriculum Resources

Source: NYSUT Fair Trade Committee

win win solutions curriculumWin Win Solutions: An Introduction to Fair Trade and Cooperative Economics
Equal Exchange’s 124-page curriculum provides a link between personal actions and community efforts to create a more just and sustainable world. This interdisciplinary resource is designed for grades 4-9 and addresses standards from a wide variety of subjects. The flexible structure allows teachers to incorporate individual experiential activities into current lesson plans or use all four units. Addresses national curriculum standards from a variety of subject areas.

Setting a Higher Bar: Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Cocoa Unit for Kids
This full unit from Global Exchange has nine ready-to-use lesson plans using inquiry-based learning and encouraging critical thinking. The unit was written broadly for grades 2-5, but is suitable for younger and older students with adaptation. While primarily a social studies unit integrating language arts, it also includes art, math, and life science. Designed to be supported by the Global Exchange Fair Trade Chocolate Book.

Focus on Fair Trade
Each unit from TransFair USA highlights our global interdependence by focusing on three different Fair Trade foods: Chocolate Explorers (grades K-2), Banana Bonanza (grades 3-6), and Coffee Connections (grades 7-12). Units include lesson plans and address relevant national standards with ideas for accessible, interactive activities on topics ranging from geography, economics, social studies, history, environmental studies, and marketing.

Bilingual Coloring Book: Maya Arts and Crafts of Guatemala /Artes y Artesanias Mayas de Guatemala
Pictures and text in this bilingual coloring book illustrate the importance of arts and crafts in the lives of the Maya. Two teacher/parent guides are available online for free download: "Kids and Fair Trade", which contains lessons designed to help children understand how Fair Trade helps address some of the injustices inherent in our present trading system, and "Learning From the Maya About Diversity, Culture and Ecology". For more information about ordering the coloring book or to download teacher guides, visit:

Sample Resources: Videos and Voices of Cacao Farmer Kids
Children of cacao farmers talking in Spanish about their daily life. Six segments are available online for use with Equal Exchange curriculum, Unit 2: Class 3 - "Day in the Life." Here's a sample:

Interview with Alexandra de los Santos Mansueta, Dominican Republic, 2008.

reverse trick or treatReverse Trick-or-Treating

Help your students give and receive treats this Halloween by participating in the Reverse Trick-or-Treating campaign. The concept is simple. On Halloween night, after receiving a "treat," trick-or-treaters offer a gift in return - a small Fair Trade chocolate bar, and a card promoting the use of fairly traded products. Reverse Trick-or-Treating kits are free; participants pay only shipping costs.

Are you using Fair Trade curriculum in your classroom? Let us know!

Secretary Treasurer Lee Cutler says: "I am providing two email addresses for you to communicate with me if you are using these lessons or developing your own, and how the experience has been for you. If you have questions about this initiative, feel free to use that email too. If at all possible, I'd appreciate it if you send your communication to BOTH email addresses."