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Activity 3

Essential Question

How does global trade influence the lives of people?


The influences of global trade on people are evident in many ways. One of the most apparent are consumer items such as toys, clothing, small appliances, and electronic equipment.

Other good examples include cellular telephones, portable CD players, and video games. These items, for the most part, are imported to the United States from other countries in the world. Most people would be surprised at the number of things we import that have become a part of our daily lives.

Instructional Strategies

Strategy 1

Conducting a Survey


Strategy 2

Collecting and Organizing the Data

Divide the class into groups of three. Each group will represent a survey team. Each member of the survey team will identify ten clothing items, ten electronic items, and 10 packaged items. The team will use the Survey Data Sheet to report their findings, highlighting the country of origin.

Printable Student View

Survey Data Sheet (Example)

Electronics Country of Origin Clothing Country of Origin Food Item Country of Origin
1. DVD South Korea Winter Jacket Guatemala Seedless Grapes Chile
2.       Milk United States


Strategy 3

Processing the Data

Talk to the students about how we want to use the data. Instruct each group to combine their data. Use the combined data to make a bar graph showing the number of items observed along the vertical axis and the names of the exporting countries on the horizontal axis. Label the bar graph with a title and label the axes. The bar graphs may be displayed in the classroom.

Provide time for each group to present their information to the rest of the class. Be sure each group addresses the following questions:

Follow-up Activity: When the reports are completed, discuss with the class that the survey results from each group convey just one small part about trade.
Ask: How can we show the results of each group on just one graph. Guide the discussion to suggest using a computer to set up a spreadsheet so that all of the groups can enter their data. Use the computer to graph the information. Use the graph to discuss the following questions:
  • How has technology impacted how and where we get imported products?
  • Why do we trade with other countries?
  • How does global trade influence our lives?

Strategy 4

Using Maps and Globes

Distribute a world outline map to each group. World outline maps may be printed from the following website:

Use the information from the graph or spreadsheet to develop the following map key.

Have the students use a color code and shade in each country with the appropriate color. Display the maps and graphs from the survey in the classroom.