6 - The Children of Fairtrade
In this lesson the class learns about some Fairtrade producers and then writes an imaginary excerpt from the autobiography of one of their children.
This lesson plan has links to Curriculum aims and programmes of study in English, Citizenship, Geography and PSHE.
To explore the impact of Fairtrade on the children of producers through writing autobiographies.
Students will be able to extract and interpret information and ideas from producer stories and use these ideas in their writing.
Vitalianao’s Story, Subush Chand’s story, Juan and Marina Inostroza’s story (N.B. Teachers may need to adapt these producer stories slightly as some are long with complex vocabulary)
Students work in pairs and summarise what they know about Fairtrade in 5 bullet points. They then reduce this to 5 words before reducing it to 1 word.
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Ask the class what an autobiography is. What type of information do you find in autobiographies? In general, how old are people when they write their autobiography. Is the language formal or informal?
Choose one of the producer stories and ask students to skim-read it initially for gist and identify what the producer story is about. Read the story as a class, clarifying any difficult vocabulary and concepts. Students read it again to identify
• The challenges faced by the producers
• How Fairtrade has been important in overcoming these problems.
Students can be asked to read the two other producer stories using the same steps.
Explain that students are going to choose one story and write an excerpt from an autobiography of their children, entitled 'How Fairtrade gave me new opportunities'. As a class, brainstorm some ideas of what the children of Vitalianao, Subush and Juan and Marina might grow up to do and how Fairtrade may have helped them to achieve their dreams.
For Example: Because Juan and Marina were able to expand their blueberry business through supplying Apicoop with seedlings they could expand their business to include their sons. So their sons were able to become honey farmers/blueberry farmers, just like their father instead of having to move away from home. As Subush could afford to send his children to school, one of them was able to go to university and become a scientist, who was then able to develop new, more effective ways of rice farming and help his community.
Model some sentence starters for students to use. Here are some examples:
• When I was young my parents’ farm wasn’t doing very well because…………
• Then they joined a group called ____________ which sold Fairtrade ___________ to other countries. This meant that…………
• When I left school I decided that I would…………
• I became a……….. because………..
• Without Fairtrade I……..
• Fairtrade helped me to achieve my dreams because….
Draw an empty suitcase on the board. Ask students to work in pairs and think of one thing they are going to take away with them from the lesson. This could be a new piece of knowledge, idea or a new skill. They write this on a post-it and then stick it into the empty suitcase.
As an extension exercise, students write their own autobiographies written at the end of their lives, where they look back and remember what was important to them.