Lesson: Julie Warr - Made in China

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Lesson Objective

Elementary School/Special Education: Students will investigate different items in the classroom and in a local retail store to see where items are made. They will discuss what kind of items are made or grown local and research using the computer or IPAD what types of industries are in other countries. They will gain information and answer questions on why items are made from three different countries: USA, China and Taiwan .

Lesson Plan

Students will study about where items are made around the world.

Students will read a story about different countries and where things are made.

Students will have the opportunities to locate the made in tag on items.

Students will practice finding the tag on items in the classroom.

A classroom graph will be constructed on chart paper.

Students will answer questions from the information collected through researching them on the computer about items that are made from different countries.

Students will go on a field trip to locate items and collect data to make graphs that will show students where items they use or see every day are made.

Students will understand the concept of  the importance in other countries and their selling items to the  United States.


Steps: 1-hour

1. Students will be read stories about other countries such as: This is the way we go to school (A book About Children Around the World), This book is a good one to introduce other children around the world. Discuss the differences about the ways children go to school and what is and is not available to them in different types of transportation. Have students question and respond to questions about the different areas these children live in. A second book to introduce (Children Just Like Me with a section for Chinese New Year and other topics) 

2. Make a chart and ask students what they have that might come from other countries. Have students walk around the room and choose one item. Show them how to look for  the stamp or label that tells where the item was made.

3. Make a chart of items and where they were made so students can see how many items were made in certain countries.

4. Have students make a bar graph or a pictograph about the items found in the classroom.

5. Have students answer questions about the different items.

Lesson 2- 2 hours

This lesson needs to be extended over a period of time. Students will conduct another research activity by going to the store and locating 20 different items and collect data to make a bar and pictograph showing the differences in where our items come from.

 1. Students will ask questions about where to locate items in the store as well as where to find the label or stamp of where the item was made in to the store employee.

2. Students will fill out the chart by making tally marks as to the orgin of the item.

3. Students will then take the information back to school and develop a graph showing their results.

4. Students will share their results with teachers, peers and some other school personnel such as the principal.

5. They will answer questions from the adults that they share their information with.

Lesson Resources

data tally marks.doc  
data tally marks bar graph.doc  
pictograph 1.doc  
pictograph 1 store.doc  
modified picture sheet.doc  
picture sheet.doc  


Julie Warr Posted 3 years ago:

Thanks Deb on the feedback. I appreciate your input. I do  have a wall map that we are going to put up outside my classroom and as we look at children from around the world and answer questions in another lesson for a class book we are writing, we can add in the information about what we find in the different countries.

I will add the other onthe other charts and pictographs. I hope to expand with my students to thinking about other countries as well as students who go by my room to other classes.

I did share our experiences in China with my Alpha Delta Kappa Teaching Sorority this past week and will do a program for our Rotary and Board of Education in October. If you have any other ideas I can come up with please let me know. Thanks again for the feed back.

Deborah Cunningham Posted 3 years ago:

Julie, this lesson is wonderful way to introduce young students to the ways their own lives are connected to the wider world. In fact, you may want to have a world map available so that when the students find out something is made in Taiwan (for example), they can then find Taiwan on the map and appreciate how far that item has traveled.

The field trip and pictograph components make for a multisensory approach to data collection and recording, building several global competencies and math competencies at the same time. (It would be helpful if you would specify which global competencies you feel the lessons cultivate most.) Altogether, the children’s findings will likely cause them to wonder why so many items are made abroad, or why certain kinds of items (toys, clothes) seem to come from abroad.  You might consider how you will answer those questions for young students. 

Your tally charts are great.  I noticed on the filled-in Walmart items page, you mentioned that students can write whether the toys are made “in China, USA, or Taiwan or other place.”  It would be great to include this “other” category on the earlier tally charts and pictograph charts, too, since students will likely find things that don’t fit the other country categories.  And that may lead on to more questions about why other places?  Overall, this series of activities is a child-friendly way to prompt inquiry about lots of significant global questions!



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