The unit overview is meant to provide students with an introduction to
economics. The Introduction states: Students “learn what economics is; see how
economics shapes peoples decisions as they meet their needs and wants, and do
activities that allow them to experience how economic development depends on
choices upon the choices and actions of individuals such as themselves, as well as
Therefore I propose that the students embark on a deep exploration and
interrogation of what it means to be a consumer, how we make decisions as
consumers, and how our decisions affect other people, other parts of the world,
and our environment. I would like to split the unit up into two sections 1)
Consumers of food, ie Global v Local, and 2) Consumers of attire, who makes your
There are many themes within these two categories which can be explored
with the class. Seasonal migrant workers who pick fruit in North America, what it
means to eat locally and the benefits to our health and economy, the
industrialization of the food industry, human health issues, fast food industry and
many other themes. The objective of the unit is to have the students think
critically about where their food comes from, why the system is set up that way,
and what alternatives do they have as citizens and consumers.
The second theme deals with attire/clothing. Where our attire/clothing is
made, have we ever thought about it? Under what conditions are they produced?
Who manufactures our clothing? Is there an environmental impact from the
production of attire/clothing? Do we purchase attire/clothing out of a need or a
April 7th-April 20th
April 7th: Introduction to the unit. The purpose of the introduction is to help
the students build towards the final project. It will provide them with the
essentials/building blocks of knowledge they will need for the lead up lessons and
the final project. In the lesson we will go over key concepts ie “Supply and
Demand”, “Globalization”, “Needs and Wants”, “Hidden Market”, “Personal
Finance”, “Macro and Micro Economics”, Sustainability, and “Economic Systems”.
All of these concepts will be linked to food/attire and the interplay between. For
example Globalisation will not be discussed in isolation of food/attire production
and consumption. A clear connection and relationship between them will be
made clear to the students so that they can use these terms and concepts for the
formative and summative assessments.
April 8th: Introduce ways in which buying local is positive for the local
economy and contributes to a healthier world, ie less carbon emissions, food
travels lesser distance, less preservatives, and provides jobs and sustains the local
economy. Will organize information in power point, and find short video about
buying local. I will use information from the ACORN website and the article it has
provided to introduce the topic of local organic farming and what it means and
the issues involved (http://www.acornorganic.org/news.html) Will be followed
by a discussion.
April 11th: Where does are food come from? This class we will look at where
are foods comes from and the economic forces that contribute to the global trade
of food. Multinational Corporations, global capitalism, and profit margins.
Students will be asked to think of foods they eat or their parents buy that are not
local, and find out where they come from and what companies grow them (The
lab will be booked for the research). *Students will be instructed the class prior to
write down some of the foods that their families buy that are not local, and bring
that list to class. Or perhaps there can be a comparative exercise in which
students are split up between local buyers and global buyers and they can
compare and contrast the two, their benefits and effects on us and our
April 12th: Introduce how food becomes affected when it travels around the
world. Why do corporations send food from one side of the world to the other to
sell? How do large multinational corporations affect small local farmers? In this
lesson we will explore the reasons why Multinational Corporations send food long
distances to be sold
April 13th: Who controls our food supply? Students will be given a list of
food providers, and the profits they make supplying us with our food (will use
portable lab for this). This lesson will explore the idea of our food system being
controlled and the motivations behind it
April 14th: Introduce the concept of buying local to the class in terms of
food. What does it mean to buy local? What defines local as opposed to not local?
Once this is done get them to pair up with their elbow partner and try and come
up with a list of locally grown foods in NB. Then share them with the class.
Compare and contrast the Farmers Market and Super Store, and in what ways
they differ. This lesson focuses on their prior knowledge from the previous
lessons and to see how they can apply it.
April 15th: Now that they know about the difference between local and not
local ask them to discuss with their elbow partners the difference between the
Farmers Market and Sobey’s. What are the different foods sold at these places? Is
one more expensive than the other? What are the pros and cons between the
April 18th: What are the effects at the other end of the supply and demand
chain? Do countries who engage in mono cropping benefit from it? Students will
be given an article about the affects of mono cropping on other countries and
communities, will discuss with their elbow partners, write a reflection about it
and share their ideas and thoughts with the class.
April 19th: Geographical locations of exported food. Have the students
locate the countries in the atlas. The country names and stats will be provided for
the students from a fact sheet.
April 20th: Under what conditions are a lot of our foods from other
countries cultivated? Provide students with a work sheet about labour conditions
in food exporting countries. Have them answer questions and then discuss them
with their elbow partners (http://productsofslavery.org/).
Federal Party platforms concerning Canadian food security:
Bits and Bytes Database: http://www.bitsandbytes.ca/
Food Secure Canada: http://foodsecurecanada.org/bits-bytes-database
Can gov’t: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/16-201-x/2009000/part-partie1-
Eco Evaluator: http://www.ecoevaluator.com/lifestyle/smart-
Health Canada, Pesticides: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-
Problems with imported foods:
Global Food System must be Transformed:
The final project will be a summative assessment. It will be a simulation of a
town hall meeting in Fredericton with representatives from the local farmer’s
food coop, Costco/Superstore, and the Mayor and council members. The issue at
stake is whether there should be more or less imported food in Fredericton. The
local farmers say that they are losing money because the large grocery chains,
who import their food from other countries, buy in bulk and can sell their
products at a cheaper rate. The farmers also claim that their food is much
healthier because they do not use as many pesticides or growth hormones. The
farmers also make the point that they do not contribute as much Co2 emissions
as the large chains because they do not have to travel as far and use as much fuel.
Their final point is that is better to buy local because it does not deplete the local
markets, it makes Fredericton a more sustainable city, and that when individuals
buy local they are supporting local industry and economy. The Large grocery store
chains state that their foods are perfectly healthy and that they are not taking
jobs away from the people of Fredericton. But instead they are providing jobs and
contributing to the economy.