PRIMARY RESOURCES: ACTIVITY 4 - MORE ABOUT INEQUALITY
An activity for the brave teacher!
Time: One afternoon
|Gather the materials:
30 sheets A4 paper
10 sheets coloured sugar paper
10 sheets coloured gummed paper
1 sheet gold paper
1 sheet silver paper
6 coloured pencils
6 pots of glue
6 pairs of scissors
- Divide the class in seven groups; Divide the various materials as follows:
Group 1 - 10 sheets of A4 paper
Group 2 - 20 sheets of A4 paper
Group 3 - 10 sheets of coloured sugar paper
Group 4 - 10 sheets of gummed paper
Group 5 - Gold and silver paper, coloured pencils
Group 6 - 2 pots of glue and 2 pairs of scissors
Group 7 - 4 pots of glue and 4 pairs of scissors.
- Explain that each group has to build a house.
- the basic outline is made from the A4 paper glued onto a sheet of sugar paper
- the other materials are to draw the doors and windows and for decorations
(e.g. curtains, flowers around the front door, etc.).
- they must obtain the materials they need by traiding with other groups.
winning group is the one that makes the biggest and most spendidly decorated house.
- After 45 minutes, call an end to the mayhem...
- Gather the children together for a plenary session:
- who made the best house - and the worst?
- why did some groups do well - and others less well?
- was there anything unfair about the situation they found themselves in?
- Explain to the
children that poverty often leads to countries selling their natural resources
for less than they are worth and without thought for the consequences. Why, in
the past few years, has Indonesia been covered in blankets of smoke? Partly because
poor peasants feel driven to destroy the forest in a futile attempt to develop
an unsustainable agricultural system, partly because the wood is a valuable commodity
which can be sold to rich countries - and in the process enrich a small number
of indigenous entrepreneurs and their multinational backers.
WHAT THE WORLD'S RELIGIONS SAY...
What do the world religions have to say about 'fair' trade? What would the great
religious leaders have had to say about this situation?
A SIKH STORY
Read the Sikh story of Guru Nanak and the Banquet of Malak Bhago (from Guru
Nanak and the Sikh Gurus by Ranjit Arora, Wayland). In this story Guru
Nanak prefers to eat with a poor carpenter rather than with a rich man. When asked
why, he takes a roti from the poor man's feast and a kachori from the rich man's.
He squeezes them. Milk drips from the roti and blood from the kachori.
- What do the children think the meaning of this story is?
- What relevance does it have for the trading game?
ISLAM AND FAIR TRADING
Islam contains rules which are meant to make trading relationships equitable.
The compulsory payment of Zakah is designed to redistribute wealth from the rich
to the poor. Payment of interest is also forbidden. To find out about Islamic
economic ideas, see Islam - Beliefs and Teachings, by Ghulam Darwar,
pages 173-5, published by the Muslim Educational Trust.
- What do the children think of these ideas?
- Would those who made the largest house be willing to give away some of their
resources to the group that made the smallest?
A CHRISTIAN ORGANISATION: TRAIDCRAFT
The Traidcraft organisation reflects Christian concern at the inequities of the
global trading system. Visit their website at www.traidcraft.co.uk
- and find out about their philosophy and some of their campaigns.
The children might be interested in two current Traidcraft campaigs:
The Venues Campaign: encouraging catering managers in cinemas, sports centres
etc. to use fairly traded produce.
The Cocoa Campaign: writing to MEPs urging them not to allow chocolate manufacturers
to reduce the amount of cocoa in European chocolate.
Children might also like to visit www.thehungersite.com,
a UN site giving information about poverty and famine. Just visiting the site
activates a donation to hunger-relief charities from sponsors, without any other
action or cost on the part of the site visitor.
© REEP, Lazenby Education