GEDB Feeding the World: International Commodity Investigator (Lesson 7 of 12)
In this lesson, students will continue to investigate the term commodity and its relationship to agriculture. Students will also review how agriculture is different and the same in other areas of the world, and discover, through their investigations, the importance of international agriculture. Note: This lesson was created in accordance with the VIF Global Competence Indicators for Grade 4. For more information about VIF and these indicators, please visit https://www.vifprogram.com/. This lesson was developed by Brenda Todd as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.
In this lesson, students will continue to investigate the term commodity and its relationship to agriculture. Students will also review how agriculture is different and the same in other areas of the world, and discover, through their investigations, the importance of international agriculture. Note: This lesson was created in accordance with the VIF Global Competence Indicators for Grade 4. For more information about VIF and these indicators, please visit https://www.vifprogram.com/.
Review American Commodity Investigations; the top commodities are North Carolina and the USA. We learned in previous lessons that food comes from many different places in the world and that explorers, and later travelers, brought foods home to eat because they liked them. Some foods grow only in certain parts of the world.
- What makes something a commodity?
- Why would something be a commodity in one place and not another?
- Does culture influence what is a commodity?
Learning Targets and Criteria for Success
I can define “commodity” and compare the top commodities in various countries around the world.
I can conduct research about a country to identify its top commodities.
Criteria for Success:
I will create and deliver a presentation with visuals to report on one of 8 international countries’ agriculture production.
- Computers / internet-accessible devices for student use
- SMARTBoard™ or other Interactive Whiteboard or Projector
- Country Cards (attached as a resource file)
- Poster board
- Document camera (optional)
Learning Tasks and Practice
- How do things get from American gardens/farms to other people around the world?
- What are some foods your family eats that have come from another country and which country was it?
- Are commodities the same in all countries?
Investigate and Analyze
Students will receive a card (“Country Cards” is attached as a resource file) with the top 5 commodities from a country listed. Students will research and gather information about the country and its commodities as they investigate world commodities. Student might locate information about particular commodities to learn more about how they are used and where they grow.
Possible sites to use for research:
Synthesize and Create
Groups of 2-3 students will create a poster which illustrates the important information from their assigned country focus card. Poster information should include the following:
- Name of Country
- Top 5 commodities and what they are used for (things they are used in), other places they grow -- Example: cow’s milk—used in ice cream, yogurt, cheese -- and a fact or two about the commodity.
- Where the country is located? (Continent)
- Foods eaten in that country
- Foods they import
- Interesting Fact about Country
- Water/Landforms in Country
Students will also explain verbally why it is important to learn about international agriculture. Student responses will vary and might include comments about the variety of products we have available to us, why different countries are able to produce different products, etc.
Students will share posters with the class, and while doing this, others will take notes to be used later.
Students could alternatively create Google Slides or PowerPoints instead of posters and share in small groups or present to the whole class.
Students will use technology tools to gather information and/or present information for the final product.
Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning
- Monitoring of student discussions
- Checklist to track student participation and responses to questions posed throughout the lesson
- Posters/Presentations (Rubric – Lesson 7 provided as an attached resource file)
- Students will answer questions about the commodities using the notes taken and engage in a Kahoot or another format of test with questions.
Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps
Ask students questions like the following: What did you learn from your research inquiry? What would you change? What did you like the best? How did your research go with your partner? Did you use time wisely or waste time? Were there any difficulties in finding answers?
The gradual release model is suggested for use with this unit. In this model, the teacher demonstrates the work/skill, then the teachers and the students work together, then the students work together, then the students work independently. Because students have many opportunities to practice the skill/concept, the teacher has ample time to assess understanding and address student misconceptions.
A variety of instructional activities are also used in order to meet the learning needs of diverse students.
Remediation, if needed, would be through ongoing discussions (both teacher-student and student-student) and extending or repeating during a new lesson as some lessons build on others.
Extended Learning Opportunities
- In collaborative working groups of 4-5 students , have them brainstorm a list of products they learned about which are produced in other countries. Students will then each star the product(s) most important to them.
- As investigators, students are to go to the store with their family and look at produce, meats, dairy products and packaged goods to determine their country of origin. They should keep a chart to see where items originated, and create a graph showing how many items come from these countries— Canada, Mexico, China, United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile and Australia.
Teacher Reflection of Learning
During the lesson students realized that many things are grown in more than one area of the world. The commodities around the world offered them a chance to compare and contrast why these foods were top commodities in particular locations yet they were not in top 5 in other countries.