Key Stage 3 Communities & Identity

Year 9 Ethical Consumerism

Return to Key Stage 3 Framework

Lesson Plan

Teaching ObjectivesPossible Teaching ActivityLearning Outcomes

Pupils should gain a basic understanding of:

  • the different factors that influence choice and what we mean be the term ethical consumerism
  • the range of 'green issues' that affect consumers
  • the importance of tourism and the effect that it can have on countries
  • the meaning of the term 'fair trade'

Begin the lesson by talking to the students about going shopping. Ask the students to identify what factors influence their decision to purchase. What do the students feel is meant by the term 'ethically wrong'. Would any ethical reason affect their decision to purchase particular goods or services?

Look at the idea of 'green consumption'. Do the students think about 'green' issues when deciding which products to buy. How do they view recycled products?

Ask students to think about the decisions people make when deciding to go on holiday. Are there certain countries they would not travel to? Talk to the students about the advantages and disadvantages of tourism for a country.

What do students understand by the term 'fair trade'?How can students find out more about the way in which the products they buy are produced. What types of fair trade schemes exist in the UK?

  • Students will be able to recognise that there are many 'ethical' factors that can affect the way in which consumers make their choices and decisions.
  • Students will be able to understand the impact that 'tourism', 'green consumption' and 'fair trading' have on different countries and the environment

Teachers Notes

What ethical factors affect the way in which I choose to shop?

Teaching Information

The term 'Ethical Consumer ' is used to describe a whole range of different issues that cross over many areas of the curriculum.

You may, therefore, find it useful to access the Ethical Consumer diagram which was developed by Juliet Wells.

Background Information

Everyone needs to go shopping. Most people actually love to go shopping and for some it is a hobby that takes up all of their time and their money.

We all make decisions about the way in which we buy goods and services. Many factors affect the decisions that we make:

Why we shop:

Where we shop:

All of these things can influence our decision. However, there are also other factors that may influence our decisions if we were to actually stop and think about them.

These factors may concern areas such as:

There are many practices that we may consider to be ethically wrong but actually know very little about.

Many organisations provide information on consumer issues which enable individuals to act ethically in the marketplace when making their decision about purchasing.

Suggested Teaching Activity

The area of ethical consumerism can be difficult to teach because views differ from one person to another. It is therefore suggested that you base teaching activities on research work and allow students to examine different areas for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

Research Work

Identify 3 or 4 large campaign groups with concerns in areas such as the environment, animal testing, vegetarianism, etc.

Divide your class into groups and ask your pupils to research and produce a report on that particular organisation. Ask them to identify areas such as:

Once a report has been written, ask the students to make a presentation to the rest of the class on that organisation. Do any of the presentations change the way that the other students feel about different areas of ethical consumerism?

Extension Work

The Department for Education and Skills (www.dfes.gov.uk/) has developed a Scheme of Work with suggested teaching activities in this area (www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/ks4citizenship/cit09/). Although the Scheme of Work is aimed at KS4, many of the areas of work are also suitable for Year 9 students.

Other Resources

The Global Gang website (www.globalgang.org.uk/) contains Teaching Notes and Activities covering a range of relevant topics.

Return to top

 

Are green issues really important for the consumer?

In recent years, the world has become generally a more environmentally aware place. All products have an impact on the environment, no matter how small.

History of Agenda 21

Agenda 21 is an attempt to create a comprehensive strategy for environmental protection as well as community well being. It is local government-led and involves the community participating in an effort to improve their own local areas.

This requires the joining up of planning and action across economic, social and environmental areas. Key elements are full community participation, assessment of current conditions, target setting for achieving specific goals, monitoring and reporting.

Further information relating to environmental issues is available on the Sustainable Development Commission website (www.sd-commission.org.uk/index.php).

Suggested Teaching Activity

The area of ethical consumerism can be difficult to teach because views differ from one person to another. It is therefore suggested that you base teaching activities on research work and allow students to examine different areas for themselves and make their own conclusions.

Project and Course Work

The subject of Global Warming is featured on the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website (www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/index.htm) and contains ideas for projects and course work.

Extension Work

The QCA (www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/) has developed a Scheme of Work with suggested teaching activities in this area (www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/ks4citizenship/cit09/). Although their Scheme of Work is aimed at KS4, many of the areas of work are also suitable for Year 9 students.

Return to top

 

How does tourism affect different countries?

Background Information

Tourism affects the lives of millions of people. It is the largest industry across the whole world and is growing rapidly in developing countries.

Nowadays, people can choose from package tour holidays in Europe, eg Spain, and long-haul package holidays, which are now available to countries in Africa and Asia.

Tourism obviously has its benefits but these, unfortunately are rarely distributed evenly. The religious and cultural traditions of people living in certain holiday spots are being lost and their environments affected.

There are now a number of organisations and charities that are working to ensure that tourism is fairer.

Suggested Teaching Activity

The area of ethical tourism can be difficult to teach because views differ from one person to another. It is therefore suggested that you base teaching activities on research work and allow students to examine different areas for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

The Lonely Planet website contains information to allow students to research and understand the possible impact of tourism on different countries (www.lonelyplanet.com/responsibletravel/travel_tips.cfm)

Project Work

The QCA (www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/) has developed a Scheme of Work with suggested teaching activities in this area (www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/ks4citizenship/cit09/). Although their Scheme of Work is aimed at KS4, many of the areas of work are also suitable for Year 9 students.

Return to top

 

What do we mean by the term 'Fair Trade'?

Background Notes

Fair Trading is concerned with the fact that there are many people throughout the world who live in poverty or work in unacceptable conditions.

Various organisation around the UK now support different ethical trading initiatives, which are designed to provide producers in developing countries with a fair share of the returns from the sale of their products.

The problems experienced by poor producers and workers in developing countries differ from product to product.

For instance, small independent farmers may grow coffee and cocoa on their own land. Therefore, the most important aspect of fair trading for them is receiving a fair price for their produce. In contrast to this, tea is usually grown on estates and the main concern about fair trade in this circumstance is that the workers on the estate are paid a fair wage and have decent working conditions.

Suggested Teaching Activity

The area of fair trading can be difficult to teach because views differ from one person to another. It is therefore suggested that you base teaching activities on research work and allow students to examine different areas for themselves and draw their own conclusions

Project Work and Videos

The Fairtrade Foundation website (www.fairtrade.org.uk/) contains activities on fair trading and includes lesson plans and assembly ideas. They also have a Fair Trade in Action video which includes case studies and photocopyable material. A free downloadable resource (www.fairtrade.org.uk/downloads/pdf/fairtradeinyourschool.pdf) is also available

Extension Work

The QCA (www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/) have developed a Scheme of Work with suggested teaching activities in this area (www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/ks4citizenship/cit09/). Although their Scheme of Work is aimed at KS4, many of the areas of work are also suitable for Year 9 students.

Return to top