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Simulating the impact on trading potential of an unequal distribution of necessary resources. Before students enter, the classroom is arranged as follows On each desk, the teacher places "raw materials" in different quantities. For example, desk one might have 2 sheets of paper, and 5 currency units; desk two, 4 sheets of paper, a pair of scissors, and 10 currency units; desk three, 2 sheets of paper, a pair of scissors, a ruler and 20 currency units; desk four, a sheet of paper, 2 pairs of scissors, 2 compasses and 50 currency units; desk five, 6 sheets of paper, 2 pairs of scissors, 2 compasses, a ruler and currency units.
The quantities can vary according to availability of resources. It is important, however, to have an unequal distribution among the desks. When students enter the room, they are asked to form groups of four and are assigned to a desk.
The shapes must be made exactly to the measurements displayed on the chart, and the Banker i. The teacher should allow the game to proceed without interruption for a fixed period, or until after all of the available resources have been used.
At the end, groups count up their units of currency and the "winners" are declared. This activity is likely to generate a strong sense of injustice among the groups with the fewest resources as the cumulative impact of the unequal distribution becomes evident. This emotional energy can be tapped at the beginning of the debriefing by concentrating first upon the students' feelings. The vocabulary used by both "winners" and "losers" can be written up on the board. Once feelings have been explored, students should be asked to reflect upon whether this activity is a realistic simulation of any situation they know.
Examples from within their own society are likely to be given; statistics about global distribution of wealth and the operations of multinational corporations can be introduced at this stage. Students can be asked to consider how the trading system in this activity could be made more fair, and what parallels there might be in the wider world.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of "free trade" agreements. What role can individual consumers play in creating more just and equitable trading systems? Pippin Publishing Corporation, Atlas of Canada and the World.
Key Porter Books, The Atlas of Canada and the World. Whitecap Books Limited, World Trade Organization - Here's a link to the WTO's homepage where you can find statistics, publications, current events in world trade, and an option for related links. Economics for Kids - A great website if you are looking for basic definitions of economic terms.
It is a great place to start for students who have had no previous experience with economics. As well as definitions, there are mini-quizzes, resources, links and even lessons that you can use. Economics Website - This is another website for beginners. It, too, has links to many terms and definitions which are a bit more advanced that the Economics for Kids page. Social Studies for Kids - Another great website for beginners in the field of Economics. It is more advanced than the Economics for Kids, but there is a lot of useful information on this page.
The main page deals with the Importance of Trade, but there are also links to pages dealing with: This page maintained by David A Reid, Email: