Sustainable Consumption Food in a globalised world

Introduction

Background information and didactical perspective

There are few topics that illustrate the divided state of our world as starkly as does that of food. Approximately 800 million people worldwide without enough to eat contrast with the unprecedented levels of food waste in industrialised states. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition as well as promoting sustainable farming. This module’s purpose is to support teachers across subjects in incorporating global perspectives and participatory methods into their classroom practice when teaching on the topic of food. In accordance with its pupil-oriented approach, it takes learners’ own lives and experiences as the starting point of the learning process.

Learning outcomes

Competencies
Changing perspective; handling complexity; understanding diversity; making connections between local and global contexts
Topics / National curriculum
Ability to exercise critical judgement on political processes and act in the political sphere; the economy; globalisation; diversity
Sustainable Consumption
  • Suitable age
    13-16
  • Time frame
    4 x 45 min.
  • Required materials
    board/flip chart; buttons; dice; blank flashcards; smartphones/computer with internet access for students; mounting material (magnets/tape/push pins); moderation cards; seewing needles; blank note cards; colored A4 printing paper; pens; computer with internet access and attached projector; mobile phone or other recording device; writing utensils (as needed); white board; scraps of wool and fabric; computer workstations or mobile terminals; world map;
  • Description
    The topic of food encompasses issues from development policy relating to labour, responsibility, the environment, and the global use of resources.
  • Subjects / Topics
    Biology Communication Cosmopolitan issues Dialogue Diversity English Ethics/Religion Geography History IT Language Media Education Political Studies Signs Social Studies/Civic Education Social Learning Symbols

Lesson plan

Abbreviations:

  • A = Activity
  • D = Discussion
  • GW = Group work
  • HW = Homework
  • PW = Partnerwork
  • PTS = Previous Teacher’s Study
  • PO = Pupils opinions
  • PP = Pupil’s presentations
  • TP = Teacher’s presentation

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In this lesson, pupils learn about various fishing methods and their impact on the environment and on fishers’ lives, as well as about sustainable fishing methods. Pupils reflect upon their feelings about the content.

Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

This lesson encourages pupils to think about sustainable fishing. Most of this unit takes place in small-group work. The lesson ends with a whole-group discussion. The activity is designed for 8-30 pupils.

Objective
  • By the end of the lesson, the pupils will have learned about various fishing methods and their impact on marine flora and fauna.
  • Pupils will have explored the impact of non-sustainable fishing on people and the environment.
Preparation
  • Copy the handout on Fishing for each small group. Make one copy of the discussion cards on ‘Fishing’ and cut them out so that each group can be given one card.
Execution
  • Step 1 Read out the paragraph headed ‘Fish’ from the background information on sushi.
  • TP
M1
Background information “Sushi”

Main section
(35 min.)

Execution
  • Step 1 Divide the pupils into four small groups. Give each group the handout detailing fishing methods.
    Note: The first five fishing techniques listed on the handout are regarded as sustainable in the English-speaking world. However, other countries (e.g. Germany and Austria) do NOT consider purse seining and gillnetting to be sustainable. Selective fishing methods are generally preferable to non-selective ones, because they are targeted at specific species or individuals and do not produce bycatch. Such methods include handlines, rods, fishing lines, or baskets for catching shellfish. Check regulations for your own country!
  • Step 2 After reading the information about fishing methods to one another in their small groups, pupils should divide the techniques into sustainable and non-sustainable methods.
  • Step 3 Get two posters or flip chart sheets ready, one each for sustainable and non-sustainable methods. Get the whole group back together and ask the small groups to report back on their categorisations.
    • Are the groups in agreement?
    • What is the impact of the methods described on marine fauna?
    • Which are the most frequently used methods?
    • How can you tell whether a fishing method is sustainable?
    • What are the advantages of sustainable fishing methods for people and planet?
  • Step 4 Now move on to the discussion cards. Each small group should be given a card to discuss, and should consider the relevant impact on the environment and marine life and on people. Ask the groups to note down their thoughts on a poster or large sheet of paper (discussion results).
  • A
  • GW
  • PO
  • PP
M2
Handout “Fishing”
M3
Cards “Fishing”

Discussion
(10 min.)

  • Step 1 Display all the posters together, each one with its discussion card. The pupils should now move from poster to poster and read them all.
  • Step 2 After this, bring the whole group together and give them the following instructions for the discussion:
    • Describe the aspects of fishing you have found out about today
    • Mention any facts that shocked or surprised you
    • Compare and contrast your newly acquired knowledge with what you knew about the subject beforehand. What has changed?
    • Tell the group whether there is anything you would like to change about the situation you have been learning about.
  • D
  • PO

This lesson will encourage pupils to think about global challenges in the context of food. The use of pizza as an example for discussion of these challenges creates a direct link to pupils’ daily lives and makes this abstract topic more accessible.

Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(10 min.)

The pupils will think about global challenges in the context of food. Most of this unit takes place in small-group work. The lesson ends with a whole-group discussion. The activity is designed for 5 to 30 pupils.

Objective
  • By the end of the lesson, the pupils will be able to identify connections between food consumption and global challenges.
  • Pupils will have learned about the potential impact of their and others’ eating habits.
  • Pupils will have become aware of the close interconnections between the food industry and the environment.
Preparation
  • Make enough copies of each activity sheet (Pizza.Part I and Pizza.Part II) for each small group to have one copy of each to work with.
  • Step 1 Ask the pupils which issues they perceive as ‘global challenges’. In other words, ask them to name problems which affect all (or a large number of) people around the world and which need to be solved by people working together.
  • Step 2 Write up their views and suggestions on the board (discussion results).
  • PO
Additional material
  • pens

Main section
(30 min.)

  • Step 1 Each small group of up to 5 pupils will now work with the Pizza.Part I activity sheet. The pupils should read the list of global challenges on the activity sheet and select the eight challenges which they consider to have the closest connection to pizza production and write them down in the eight pizza slices. Each small group should discuss the reasons for their choice. Make sure all pupils understand the terms and concepts in the list on the activity sheet and give explanations where necessary.
  • Step 2 Are all the challenges equally important? Pizza.Part II of the activity requires the pupils to discuss and decide on the importance, in their view, of their eight selected challenges. Their task is to divide a ‘pizza’ into eight slices, whose size can vary according to the importance they ascribe to each challenge. The bigger a slice, the more important the group considers tackling the challenge to be. The pupils should also think of arguments and reasons to justify their choice and their ranking of the challenges.
  • Step 3 Now the small groups should discuss and decide the extent to which they, as consumers, can exert their influence over the eight challenges on their pizza. To illustrate this, they should shade in, using coloured pencils, the proportion of each pizza slice which represents the extent to which they believe they can influence the challenge.
  • Step 4 Ask the pupils to present their results to the whole class and explain how and why they chose the ‘toppings’ for their pizza. Discuss the similarities and differences in the groups’ results.
  • A
  • PO
  • GW
  • PP
  • D
M4
Worksheet “Pizza, Part 1”
M5
Worksheet “Pizza, Part 2”

Discussion
(10 min.)

Now it is time to have a whole-class discussion of the exercise so that pupils can reflect on it and make links between their pre-existing knowledge and experience and the things they have learned during the activity. Give the following instructions to the class:

  • What did you think of this activity? Mention things you found difficult.
  • Summarise the new things you have learned from the activity.
  • Discuss the responsibility and influence we have as consumers.

  • D
  • PO

The aim of this lesson is for pupils to learn about fair trade, organic products and locally sourced food.

Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

In this lesson, pupils learn about fair trade, organic products and regionally sourced food. Most of this unit takes place in small-group work, with a period of internet research. The lesson ends with a whole-group discussion. The activity is designed for a maximum class size of 30.

Objective
  • Pupils will gain awareness of issues around fairly traded and organic products and regional produce.
  • They will learn about the differences between various ways of producing food and growing produce.
Preparation
  • Collect at least 5 examples of packaging for each of the following products: cocoa, vanilla, milk and sugar.
  • Shortly before the activity begins, place the packaging samples on four tables (one for each of four small groups), with one product (cocoa, vanilla, milk, sugar) per table.
Execution
  • Divide pupils into 4 small groups. Each group is assigned to a particular product (for instance, group A gets milk, group B sugar, and so on). The groups sit down at the appropriate tables.
  • Tell the students that they are now going to take a closer look at the ingredients of a typical cup of drinking chocolate, with each group focusing on one ingredient.

Main section
(30 min.)

  • Step 1

    Give the pupils the task of categorising the examples of product packaging on their table as follows:

    • Fairly traded
    • Conventionally farmed/produced
    • Organic
    • Regional produce

    You might want to supply the pupils with Post-It notes or plain labels which they can stick onto the packaging, or give them the cards from the Categories worksheet and get them to place the relevant packaging around each category card. Pupils should be able to assign a product to more than one category.

  • Step 2

    Then ask the groups to go from table to table and look at the products and categories on each table.

    Once all pupils are sitting down again, ask them how they assigned the products to the correct categories. Lead a brief discussion, noting any important points on the board or a flip chart.

  • Step 3 The pupils will now find out more about the ingredients of a typical cup of drinking chocolate by researching them online. You can copy the worksheet for them to note down results.
  • GW
  • A
M6
Cards
M7
Worksheet “Internet research”
Additional material
  • smartphones/computer with internet access for students

Discussion
(10 min.)

Now it is time to have a whole-class discussion of the exercise so that pupils can reflect on it and make links between their pre-existing knowledge and experience and the things they have learned during the activity. Give the following instructions to the class:

  • Tell us what additional information you found online.
  • Tell us what you found out during the activity that you didn’t know before.
  • Talk about how you might be able to find out where a food product comes from and how it was produced and traded.

  • D
  • PO

The sequence concludes with pupils exploring products they encounter in their day-to-day lives. This will help them appreciate that they, like all other people, are global citizens, as well as raising awareness of ways in which they might take action to initiate change.

Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(45 min.)

To conclude the sequence, pupils explore products they encounter in their day-to-day lives. This helps them appreciate that they, like all other people, are global citizens, and raises awareness of ways in which they can take action to initiate change. Most of this unit takes place in small-group work. The lesson ends with a whole-group discussion. The activity is designed for 6 to 30 pupils.

Objective
  • At the end of the lesson, pupils will feel encouraged and inspired to get involved in campaigning for change.
  • Pupils will have learned how to discuss potential solutions to environmental and societal challenges.
  • The lesson will have laid the foundations for pupils’ continued interest in food issues and potential involvement in action for change.
Preparation
  • Provide each small group with a set of 11 laminated A5 {1}cards{1/} giving ideas for action.
Execution
  • Step 1 Ask the pupils: ‘What can I do to make my food more eco-friendly and fair on its producers?’ Write the question on a poster or flip chart sheet, a PowerPoint slide, or the blackboard or whiteboard. Give the pupils 20 seconds to think about the question by themselves. Tell them they can close their eyes while they think if they want to. Then give the pupils one minute to share their ideas with a partner.
  • Step 2 Divide the pupils into 3-5 small groups of 2-5 people. Explain that each group will now be given a set of 11 cards. Explain that nine of the cards have pre-prepared ideas on them, that two of them are for creating a rank order of ideas (‘Lowest impact’ and ‘Highest impact’), and that there will be a twelfth, blank card for ideas of their own. Read out the ideas on the nine pre-prepared cards and give the groups the task of ranking the cards in accordance with the degree of positive impact they think each idea could have. They should put the card with the – in their view – highest-impact idea furthest to the left (or at the top), and the one they think would have the lowest impact furthest to the right (or at the bottom), arranging the others in between in descending order of impact. Give each group a set of cards, reminding them that there is a twelfth, blank card for their own ideas. Now allow the groups 15 minutes to agree on a rank order. Go round and make sure that everyone has understood the task.
  • Step 3 Ask each group to present their ranking and their own ideas to the others.
  • A
  • GW
  • PO
  • PP
  • D
M8
Cards “Ideas for action”

Discussion
(10 min.)

The aim of the subsequent discussion is to reflect on the activity or share thoughts on the pupils’ rankings and their own ideas. You should decide on the appropriate amount of time for the discussion in accordance with your judgement and your specific aims in teaching the session.

You might give pupils instructions such as these:

  • Working in your group, make notes about how you reached your ranking decision and note down which positionings were particularly unanimous and those which took a lot longer for you to agree on.
  • Tell one another what you learned from the activity that you didn’t know before.
  • Discuss and agree on some feedback on the activity.