3 - The Ripple Effect
In this lesson the class considers the impact of buying Fairtrade in the UK and India.
This lesson plan links to Curriculum aims and/or programmes of study in PSHE and Geography.
To understand the impact of choosing Fairtrade in the UK and India
To demonstrate and apply understanding of the economic, social and environmental impact of ethical consumer choices such as Fairtrade.
A stone, a basin of water, A4 paper.
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Write anagrams of the following words on the board and ask students to guess them as they come in.
In pairs students think of definitions for all three words. Invite the class to explain what we mean by 'ethical consumer choices'. In what ways is buying a Fairtrade chocolate bar 'ethical'?
Briefly map other issues on the board which lead to 'ethical' choices. For example: climate change and environmental issues may mean we have to choose between cycling or walking to school and getting a lift. It may cause us to question the type of energy we use or whether we put solar panels in our houses. Child labour in clothes factories in India may mean we choose not to buy cheap articles from big high street shops. The actions of large multinational companies in developing countries who exploit workers may mean we don’t buy their produce (e.g. Nestle).
Ask a student to drop the stone into the basin of water. What happens? Why are the ripples closer together at the point the stone enters the water? Discuss with the class the ripple effect of buying that bar of chocolate, who and what experience the effects straight away? Does this ripple affect many people?
Explain that the class is going to explore the Fairtrade ripple effect on India and the UK. Ask students to help you to define 'economic', 'social' and 'environmental' effects.
E.g. an economic effect is something which impacts on the financial wealth of the individual, family, community or country. A social effect is something which affects people, individually or as a community, or as a country. An environmental effect has an impact on the environment of the farmer or community, or country.
Are there any other effects which students can think of? For example, a 'political' effect; something which influences political decisions of governments.
In groups students use the India resources to make a list of economic, environmental and social effects. They then do the same in the UK.
Students then rate these effects in relation to their importance, drawing their own 'ripple' effect with the most important effects closest to the 'Fairtrade rock'.
Looking at the impact of Fairtrade on India and the UK, has the student’s definition of an 'ethical choice' changed at all?
Using examples of the ways in which producers have benefited from Fairtrade in India, groups of students act out 'Fairtrade charades' where the rest of the class has to guess what benefit they are describing.
Consider the other producer groups. Do they experience different Fairtrade effects?