Monday 7th June 2021 – Geography ‘Growing Bananas’
Learning Objective: To introduce the concept of Fair Trade and the benefits it can bring and enable pupils to empathise with Caribbean banana growers in the Windward Islands.
In today’s lesson, we introduced the children to the concept of Fair Trade and the partnership between producers and consumers, based on reciprocal benefit and mutual respect. We discussed how Fair-Trade works to overcome the injustices of ‘free’ trade, promotes sustainable development and considers environmental damage. The children really enjoyed working in teams to represent a family of Caribbean banana growers. The simulation game ran for 3 rounds, each round representing a year of banana growing. The children allocated a team member to be complete their balance sheet for each year which required calculating income and expenditure for the years produce. After year one, the children quickly realised the importance of crop quality and the high expectations of consumers in Britain (no yellow bananas!). To enable the children to gain more empathy each round introduced ‘chance cards’ which allowed some groups to experiment he benefits of becoming Fair Trade producers whilst others remain ‘locked’ into the injustices of conventional world trade. This helped the children understand how Fair-Trade works and realise that there is no ‘quick cure’ for the problems faced by producers. This activity allowed the children to enrich their cooperation, communication, and decision-making skills.