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Growing Up GLOBAL Chapter 3: Food for Thought

Growing Up Global: Early Years Global Education Handbook



Food For Thought is part of a larger compilation entitled Growing Up Global: Early Years Global Education Handbook. This resource book and supporting CD demonstrates how global education can be introduced to students at a very young age (five and under) through the use of fun activities such as songs, games, poems and recipes. The resource contains background information, suggested activities, such as songs and games, stories, book lists, useful website links, ideas for extension learning and a resource CD with pictures, colour photos and reproducible sheets.

Food For Thought has students take a look at the food we eat and how it is produced by many people from many places, learn to identify and recognize the Fair Trade logo and learn about producing and buying food that are better for the future of the planet.

Food Tasting/Smelling/Drawing – Students use their senses to explore food from around the world.

Fruit Basket – Students identify different fruit in a picture and use a map to identify where they come from.

Fruit Salad Game – Students identify where different fruits come from and play a chair game.

Where Did Your Breakfast Grow? – On a paper plate, students draw what they had for breakfast. The plates are placed around a world map and using pieces of string they link some of their food items to their place of origin.

It’s Not Fair – Students begin exploring fair and unfair trade by participating in an unequal distribution of raisins.

On Your Marks – Students learn to recognize the Fair Trade Mark by looking at different products. They participate in an in-class shopping activity to collect as many Fair Trade products as possible.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • How to identify Fair Trade products from a variety of food products.


  • The activities are very age-appropriate for students five and under.
  • The resource is available to download immediately.
  • Well organized, easy to use and supplies all necessary materials.
  • Excellent background information, list of website links and extensive book list.
  • Each lesson plan includes learning objectives, goals, materials needed and detailed teaching instructions.


  • No opportunities for students to share what they have learned with their parents or peers.
  • The activities suggested do not always attain their learning objectives.
  • No assessment mechanisms provided
  • The resource lacks a significant action component.
  • No outdoor activities suggested.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Economics (1)

    • Trade
  • Food & Agriculture (1)

    • Local Food
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory
  • Students learn about Fair Trade through some simple activities but are not exposed to the inequalities and injustices in the current world trading system.
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 Satisfactory
  • economic
  • justice
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 Satisfactory
  • The resource helps the students become familiar with the Fair Trade logo but does not ask students to brainstorm ideas or solutions to the inequalities and injustices that take place in the trading system.
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory
  • The resource suggests that students set up a fair trade cafe or local shop in the home corner.
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 Poor/Not considered
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
  • The resource encourages teachers to support Fair Trade farmers but does not include this in any of the students activities or discussions.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • No outdoor activities are suggested.
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
  • The activities enable the students to become aware of where food comes from and how it reaches them.
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 Poor/Not considered
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
  • The activities are very age-appropriate and encourage the students to discover products by using their senses, discuss food origins, explore Fair trade products. The activites lead to a variety of different answers.
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Music
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 Satisfactory
  • Most of the tasks are teacher directed and could not be completed without the guidance and knowledge of an adult.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • No adaptations are suggested or provided.
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 Satisfactory
  • The experiences are very age appropriate. They include the use of the students senses and an in-class Fair trade shopping experience,
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
  • Student participate in a simple representation of a fair trade activity and are encouraged to talk about how it feels when things are unfair and what could be done to make it more fair
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 Poor/Not considered
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 Poor/Not considered
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 Poor/Not considered
  • The concept of Fair Trade is introduced in this resource but not fully developed by including descriptions of real events.
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 Poor/Not considered
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.