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What Makes Our Blue Jeans Blue?

Secondary, Middle

Description

This lesson will make students aware of the environmental, social, and economic issues related to the production of blue jeans. It introduces the concept of corporate social responsibility, and it will encourage students to consider responsible action related to the purchase and use of blue jeans.

At the end of the lesson students will be able to: assess the relationship between individual clothing choices and global issues and critique the conditions under which textile items are manufactured. 

 

The lesson is broken down into 5 parts:

 

  1. Introduction- Students engage in discussion around jeans- who wears them? How they are worn? How much they cost?
  2. Awareness Activity- Where does your money go when you purchase jeans?- Students work in groups to answer the question of money?  A teacher led discussion reveals the true numbers.
  3. Awareness Activity- What makes your jeans blue? Students work in groups to answer the question on the production of jeans. Each group is presented with information cards that they need to classify the information in to categories and then answer a series of questions surrounding production.
  4. Follow-up to issues related to the production of blue jeans- Students engage in a carousel brainstorming activity on questions consumers can ask before they purchase jeans.
  5. Just Jeans fashion show- Students create a Just Jeans fashion show modelled after one they review online (as the culminating task).

 

At the end of the lesson there is a list of assessment strategies, lesson resources and suggestions to extend the lesson if appropriate. This is a well organized and thought out lesson plan, complete with teachers notes, photocopiable handouts and relevant case studies.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • This resource works to teach students: individual research skills, brainstorming skills, presentation skills and group roles. The last component of this lesson plan is to create a script of a fashion show based on the research that they have done.  

Strengths

  • This is a great resource which is relevant and easy for the students to make the bigger links as to the environmental, social, and economic issues related to the production of blue jeans. 
  • It is very timely and creative, and students will feel engaged in every activity.  The group work in section 3 allows students to work on their problem solving skills in a group.

Weaknesses

  • This resource could include more extensions to make it relevant in more disciplines.  It is specifically written for Textile Studies class and could be written in a way that it easily fits into other disciplines.

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Themes Addressed

  • Economics (3)

    • Corporate Social Responsibility
    • Globalization
    • Trade
  • Governance (1)

    • Democracy
  • Human Rights (2)

    • Gender Equality
    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good
  • This lesson plan does a good job at allowing students to explore the multiple dimensions of the jean industry to include the economic, ethical, political, health, justice and labour issues.
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good
  • The final activity is to create a fashion show that creates awareness around the issues.  If this fashion show is shown to a greater audience than the class, then this would be a good authentic action experience.
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Satisfactory
  • Students are given an opportunity to clarify their own values but the range of perspectives could be limited.
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory
  • This lesson focuses mostly on human interaction, and does not focus on students personal affinity with the earth.
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory
  • This lesson focuses on the current situation.  It would benefit from including historical context and future predictions.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • Students explore many different  aspects of the 'jean' industry and this study can be applied too many disciplines.  It is specifically written for a textile class but can easily be applied to others.
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
  • Students work in groups and utilize decision-making skills as a group, but it is limited to that.
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good
  • Ways for assessment and evaluation are discussed in the lesson plan, but there are no rubrics or templates included.
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
  • There is some peer teaching but it is in the form that arises from cooperative learning, groups discussion and presentations.
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Good
  • Students choose a jean company of their interest and explore it through research on the computer.
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good
  • There are extensions provided in the lesson plan, as well students can choose an element that they want to focus on in group discussion.
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.