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Topic- Geography and History

Summer Term Topic

This term our topic is Going Global. In History children will learn about the history of global trade. In Geography they will learn about global trade, the global supply chain, what the UK exports and to where and about Fair Trade. To link with the term’s global citizenship theme of Ecological Awareness they will consider the Environmental impact of global trade.


Lesson 1 - How did trade get global?

The Key questions you will be exploring are:

• What is ‘trade’?

• Could you live without trade?

• What different scales can goods be exchanged at?

• What makes trade ‘global’?

• How and why has trade changed through time to become global?

• What was trade like during each time period?

• Where do the products we buy come from?

What is Trade?
Look at these brand logos. Do you recognise them? What are they for? Do you know the country they come from?

The definition of trade is ‘the buying and selling of goods and services we want and need’. It involves an exchange of goods (and/or services) in return for other goods and services or money.

“Every man lives by exchanging.” Adam Smith economist

Could we live without buying, selling or exchanging? What do you think?

Scales of a Trade - Local to Global

Trade through Time
  • Trade has occurred between people since the beginning of civilisation when people exchanged goods and skills within their community on a local scale. 


  • Even in the Stone Ages people exchanged goods such as tools, clothing and food. 


  • Trade largely occurred on a local scale at this time. People had no contact with people from distant places.
Click on the link to see a timeline of global trade:

The origins of Trade

Find out about the history of trade of two commodities spices and tea.

The History of the Spice Trade

Watch this video to find out about the history of the global spice trade.

The History of the Tea Trade

Our trip this term would have been to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. The Cutty Sark was built in 1869 during the height of the tea trade to bring tea from China to the UK. Have a look at the Cutty Sark website below to find out more about the tea trade.

Cutty Sark - the fastest ship of its day

Discover the fascinating history of the Cutty Sark - the world's last surviving tea clipper. The fastest ship of its day.

Global Trade 
The scale of trade has increased through time and exchanges can now happen on a global scale. 

The development of communication, technology and transport have enabled trade to be carried out on this scale.


A process called ‘globalisation’ has occurred.


Definition of Globalisation: the process of the world’s countries becoming more connected as a result of international trade and cultural exchange. 


Trade now happens on a larger scale (global) and at a faster pace than ever before. This means we can sell and have more access to larger range of products.

Look at the slides to explore the growth in Global trade in the last 50 years

Activity - Trade through time

You are going to research how and why trade has changed through time and create a time line.


Success Criteria :

  • Write at least threebullet points on how trade was carried out during this time and at least two reasons why trade was carried out this way.  
  • Make sure you consider whether trade occurred on a local or global scale during their time period or between the two (national/regional). 
  • illustrate your timeline and/or stick on the images provided and write captions for each.  


Choose one of the time periods on the Information Sheets below (either the Stone Age, 17th Century or 21st Century). Read the information on the Information Sheets and think about the images before recording your ideas in bullet-point form on the Trade Timeline Template below. If you don’t have a printer just create your own timeline.



Lesson 2 : Import and Export: food and global trade

Key questions

• What resources do different regions have?

• Where do the food products we buy come from?

• Why do we import food?

• What are imports and exports? 

• What do different countries import and export?

Learning Objective

To recognise that food bought in our local supermarket comes from different locations all over the world.

 The definition of trade is : ‘the buying and selling of products we want and need’. 

Everything we want and need cannot be always be got in the UK, so we must import these goods from other countries in the world to meet demand. Think about your  favourite food :

  •  Where were the ingredients to make that food grown?
  • Could they have been grown in the UK? If no, what factors prevent it from being grown here?



Have a look at the labels on the food in your kitchen to find out where it is produced .

Import and Export 

We ‘import’ and ‘export’ food in a system of global trade. 

Some foods we buy and eat are not grown here in the UK because of the physical Geography of the UK.  For example, tropical, exotic or out-of-season fruits, vegetables and spices must be imported from overseas. Also, some products such as wheat can be grown on a larger scale which reduces cost in countries with a greater landmass such as the USA.

“Before you finish eating breakfast this morning, you have depended on more than half of the world”. Martin Luther King Jr.

What did you have for breakfast this morning? Your morning orange juice may be from Spanish oranges, tea from India, sugar from Brazil,and cereal from corn grown in the USA.



Use the Food Sources and Images  sheet, which includes the shopping list item images, name, and source location. 

  •  First you must use an atlas to clearly label and colour the relevant countries on the Blank World Map and the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
  • Next, cut out and stick the food images at their source location.


You can use Google Earth or online atlas instead of an atlas if you don’t have one at home.

If you can’t print the sheets out just use Google Earth or an online atlas to locate the countries and Oceans.


Make sure you include a map key: the colour of countries where we import the shopping list items from and any other features you may add (e.g. capital cities ) 


Extension: Use the food mile calculator to calculate the distance travelled by each food and add this to the map. You could also use the ruler tool on Google Earth.


Buy Local


Which food item in the activity you just did travelled the furthest to reach our shops? Does this surprise you? Would it be possible to source this food within the UK? 

If a food can be sourced locally, why it might be a good idea to do this rather than import?



Field to Fork - Episode 2 "Food miles"

Short animations aimed at educating a primary audience about local food.

Activity - Food miles

Look at the information on the Eco kids website about food miles. Make a list with the arguments for and against for buying food produced locally.

Lesson 3 - The Global Supply Chain


Key questions

• What different stages do manufactured goods go through on their journey from source to sale?

• Do these stages take place at different locations around the globe? Why?

• Who is involved with the production at each stage and what is their job role?


Learning objective

To discover the multi-stop journeys different products travel before reaching our shops.


Global Supply Chain

Definition - ‘the journey travelled by clothing, food items and other products through different factories, suppliers and warehouses before ending up as the finished product we buy in shops’.


Manufactured goods (e.g. clothes, toys, electronics, cars) go through more stages before reaching our shops than unprocessed and unpackaged products such as fruit and vegetables. Manufactured items go on a multi-stop journey from source to sale and more people from a range of different places around the world are involved in their production.

This is shown in the slide below.





Manufactured items go through three stages of production that take place at different locations around the world: primary, secondary, and tertiary.


1) Primary- Extracting the raw materials e.g. farming, mining, fishing, and forestry.

2) Secondary- Turning raw materials into other products (processing/manufacturing stage) e.g. wood into furniture, tin into mobile phones, fish into fish fingers. 

3) Tertiary- Services as provided to businesses (shops selling the brand) and other customers. The distribution to retailers around the


This lesson involves a case study of the global supply chain of cotton clothing items.

Watch the video below about cotton production. Make some notes about the different stages of the production of cottonand supply chain.

Made in Peru | Exploring Cotton

Look at the slides below which demonstrate the stages of production in the context of the production of cotton clothes.


Activity 1
Look at the slide below and use Google Earth to find the locations in the Cotton  supply chain.
Use the zoom tool and look closely at the surrounding area and the detailed views of each location.
  • The primary and secondary stages are usually in developing (less economically developed countries) and the tertiary stage is usually in developed (more economically developed countries).


  •  The further along the supply chain, the more value is added to the cotton through its processing, manufacturing and sewing, and packaging as the delivery of the items to locations where consumers are.

Activity 2

Use the Sorting Cards Activity sheet (see below).  Read the sort cards and then order with numbers before sticking the cards in the correct space on the Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Table handout (see below) and colour the primary stages red, secondary orange, and tertiary green.

Which workers do you think make the most profit from the T-shirt?  (Cotton farmers, factory workers, transporters, shop workers, clothing company)?

Environmental Impact

This term our global citizenship theme is Ecological Awareness.

Read the article and watch the documentary with Stacey Dooley on BBC I player below about the environmental impact of the cotton industry. Would this make you think twice about buying cotton clothes? 

What 3 things could you do as a consumer (someone buying things) to reduce your environmental impact when buying clothes?

Lesson 4 - What does the UK export and to where?


Key questions

• What products does the UK export to other countries?

• What are ‘trade links’ and ‘trade partners’?

• Which countries does the UK export the most to? 

• Does the UK export raw materials or manufactured goods?

• Why does the UK export this type of goods?


Learning Objective

To discover what products the UK exports, and which countries the UK exports the most to.  

So far our learning has focussed upon imports into the UK from other countries around the globe.

This lesson involves looking at global trade from a different perspecitve. It focuses upon what products the UK exports to other countries.





Remember what import and export means

The table on the slide below shows data of where the UK exports the most to. These countries are the UK’s ‘top trading partners’ because the most money is made through trade with these countries. 


Try and answer these questions from the information below:

• Are the countries the UK exports to more or less developed countries? 

• Which country is the UK’s top trading partner?

Data related to global trade can be read more clearly when it is presented in graphs. A key skill in geography is presenting geographical data in graph form. 

Look at the pie chart and bar chart below and think about what the graphs tell us about the UK’s trading partners. Write down your ideas.


There are patterns of global trade: usually more developed countries export valuable manufactured goods such as electronics and cars and import cheaper primary products such as tea and coffee.

The UK is a more developed country and exports valuable manufactured goods.

The physical and human geography of the UK determines what we export. The climate, land mass available for growing, and natural resources (physical) and skills, wealth and education/skills of population(human). 


Try and answer the following questions:

  •  Could the UK export coffee beans or gold? Why?
  • How might the skills and education of the population affect what we export? 

Did you think about the following:

The UK climate is temperate maritime so certain things cannot be grown,

What natural resources are available off shore such as fish and oil or underground in the UK?

The Uk highly skilled and educated workforce.

The average income is high in the UK which means the cost of labour is higher than some less developed countries.



You are going to use your mathematical skills and interpret data and create graphs related to the top 10 exports of the UK. 


  • Use the table below and the UK Exports Table handout (download below) to create your own table ordering the top ten UK exports.


  • Next create a bar chart either on graph paper or using a computer graph program such as Excel / 2Simple2Graph. Ensure you label the axis appropriately and include a clear title.
  • Use the self-assessment checklist on the PPT to ensure they have completed the task properly.

Find out more about some of the UK’s main exports:

Answer the following questions using the data:

What have you discovered about the products which the UK exports? Does this surprise you?

- Does the UK export valuable manufactured products or raw materials?

- How does the human and physical geography of the UK affect what we export?

Lesson 5 - Investigating Fairtrade


Key questions

• What is fairtrade?

• Do fairtrade products cost more to produce and purchase than non-fairtrade products?

• Why might fairtrade products cost the consumer more?

• Why should we pay more for fairtrade products? What is the benefit?


Learning Objective

To understand the positive impact that buying fairtrade products has on communities in other countries.


There are huge benefits to global trade, however it needs to be done in a way that benefits the workers in the early stages of the supply chain (farmers, miners etc).




Countries are described as being ‘less developed’ and ‘more developed’ countries (see slide below).

Often the primary stage of the supply chain is in less economically developed countries and the tertiary in the more economically developed. 


What is Fair Trade?


 “Trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers”.


Watch the video below to find out about Fair Trade.



Fair Trade explained in under 2 minutes.

Read the Fairtrade Foundation statement on the slide below. Then read about the benefits to fairtrade on the following slide.
Examine the pie chart of fairtrade products by volume. Do you know any other products you can buy fairtrade?

Look at the bar chart below showing the difference in price of fair and non-fairtrade items. Are Fairtrade  items  more expensive to buy? Why?



Create a poster promoting fair trade. You can design your own or use the template provided Why Pay More? 


  • Write the reasons why people should pay more for fairtrade products and the positive impact of buying fairtrade products on people in developing countries. 
  • Illustrate the poster with pictures of different fairtrade products (five from the price comparison table-football, chocolate, gold ring, roses, face cream) linking their source location to the correct location on the world map.

Poster template

Example of a Fair a Trade Poster

Global Citizenship

What can you do?


Watch these videos to find out more about fair trade

What are the positive impacts on the communities when we purchase fairtrade items?

When we are purchasing items in our shops should we try to understand why an item may be cheaper or more expensive? (E.g. consider those who have made the items and their working conditions).


Next time you go shopping look for the fair trade symbol. Talk to your parents about choosing fair trade products and explain why they should do this.

Playing Fair: The Story of Fairtrade Footballs

How are footballs made? And what do footballs have to do with Fairtrade? To find out, we go to Sialkot in northern Pakistan to see the production process first-hand. We speak to stitchers and workers in two factories who talk about the difference that Fairtrade has made to their lives.

The Story of Chocolate: Unwrapping the Bar

This film explores the unfairness at the heart of the cocoa industry and looks at the need for cocoa farmers to get a living income and the role of gender empowerment.