[Return to Ed Tech 541]

Lesson 4—Globalization of Production

Overview: A supply chain is a series of interconnected providers and consumers of materials or services. In this lesson, students will be taking a look at how production has become an increasingly global undertaking, where supplies come from around the world to create a final product that is sold around the world. For this unit, we have studied that products are produced on in different locations. The difference in this lesson is that students will build an understanding that inputs can also be localized and sourced from around the world. Students will complete this lesson by using Google Maps to pinpoint production or supply locations to further demonstrate the vast movements of goods and supplies around the globe.

Curriculum Subject and Topic: Social Studies—Big Idea of Production
Estimated Duration: 180 minutes
Grade Level: 6

Curriculum Goals: Ohio Academic Content Standards

Lesson Objectives: Students will

National Educational Technology Standards for Students:



Motivational/Prepatory Activities

Set Up:

  1. Your students will be building eBooks individually or in terms, at your discretion, to share with classmates their findings on a globalized supply chain in production. You can provide the following sample eBook demonstrating a basic globalized supply chain for a chocolate bar with almonds or create one of your own. This sample was created at mixbooks.com, but your class can use any Internet sample of your choosing. Alternatively, you can direct students to complete the same basic assignment using a presentation tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint or a basic word processor with the ability to import photographs.
Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | Weblink to eBook
  1. Create a class map for mapping each student’s or group’s supply/production chain as noted in their eBooks. For directions on using Google Maps, complete a quick youtube.com search or check out these instructions.
  2. Add your map locations for your sample production chain. Pick one color for all of your links, as each student or group should choose one color to mark their chain, making it easier for everyone to see later. Make sure to add a quick comment to each location sharing the location name and the supply or production step completed at this location.
  3. Share the map to allow students to add their locations.

Information Presentation/Processing Information Activities

Activity 2: Build Background

  1. In previous lessons, we have talked about how different products and services are produced around the world. We have also talked about some of the reasons why these products and services are produced where they are produced. What we are going to see today is that pieces and parts of a final product or service can come from many places in the world and be pulled together in one place.
  2. Have students watch the following videos, either in their groups or projected on a whiteboard for the whole class. Tell them the videos will provide them with a background around how globalized production and consumption have become!
A major aim of this thematic unit is to delve into how production is tied to the increased globalization of our world. This introductory video provides a springboard into this conversation. Text is scant, but the powerful imagery is a solid foundation for a discussion on globalization. This video continues the discussion from the previous video and provides a real-life depiction of how globalization of production has become part of our everyday lives without our even knowing it and on a scale larger than most of us would think about. Through this video, students see some of the facts that make understanding globalization, its drivers, and its effects an essential understanding in their lives.
  1. Use the chocolate bar eBook (or your own example) to discuss a globalized supply chain. Display eBook on an interactive whiteboard or with a portable projector. Focus specifically on some of the reasons why the inputs are sourced in the different locales.
  2. Ask students to identify other products they think might have a multinational production process to them. If students have difficulty, you might suggest cars, televisions, housing materials, or other products with a global components.
  3. Tell students they will be working on their own eBooks to walk through a globalized supply chain for their product of choice. The product should have at least four locations around the world.
  4. In order to complete their assignment, students might want to use the following sample supply chain graphic as a starting point for putting together their outline.

Application Activities

Activity 3: eBook

  1. At this point, provide students access to the tools they need to complete this assignment. If you have chosen to provide access to a photo-sharing resource and/or a free eBook creation tool, walk students through how to access and manipulate these tools. If you choose an alternative method for presentation, prep students on the appropriate tool.
  2. After students have completed their globalized supply chains, have them share their final product with the group. Discuss with students if there are other places to source or produce the component elements discussed in each presentation, reinforcing how globalized production has become in our world today.

Closure Activity

Activity 4: Where in the World—Using the eBooks your students created, Your students completed eBooks individually or in terms, at your discretion, to share with classmates their findings on a globalized supply chain in production. Yyou will use Google Maps tonow revisit this activity to demonstrate the use of online mapping tools and to extend understanding of the global nature of production.

  1. Distance between places is an important understanding to accessing concepts around globalization of production and how it affects quality and pricing. It isn’t enough to just say that this resource is available here or this component is made cheaper there. Talk to students how knowing where pieces and parts come from is all part of deciding where products will ultimately be produced.
  2. Use the virual manipulative below to demonstrate the vast distances it takes to travel around the globe.

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives: Great Circle

Understanding distance from place to place around the world is an important part of knowing our place within the world. Measuring these distances and using arcs and lines to represent the shortest route between points also provides practice in understanding mathematical equations. While the math used in this virtual manipulative is clear, the use of this manipulative in a thematic unit on production is a little more involved.

We have discussed at great length throughout this thematic unit about the globalization of production. The first two science tools centered on understanding why things come from certain places. This manipulative, on the other hand, allows us to dig a little more deeply into how this sourcing of materials and production around the world affects the time to market and the cost to the final production of globalized production. If we live in the Midwest of the United States, how might the cost change if we imported a resource or product from England compared to the Middle East? What are some of the ways the distance from the final market might affect cost?

Link to Virtual Manipulative: http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/frames_asid_308_g_3_t_4.html?from=category_g_3_t_4.html

  1. Direct students to the Google Map you created and shared with them.
  2. Have students work individually or in teams to map locations from their eBook supply chains. If necessary, demonstrate for students how to access the class map, log in (or create account and then log in), and add locations. Make sure each student or group selects a single color and style of push pin to mark all locations.
  3. Once students have completed their maps, display the class map for students on the whiteboard. Discuss with students, quickly, the variety of locations identified in the activity. Focus, again, on the globalized nature of production and how resources are sourced from different locations due to cost, availability, and so on.

Rubric—Lesson 4

Category 4 3 2 1 Points
eBook Point of View/Purpose Establishes a purpose early on and maintains a clear focus throughout. Establishes a purpose early on and maintains focus for most of the eBook. There are a few lapses in focus, but the purpose is fairly clear. It is difficult to figure out the purpose of the eBook.  
eBook Required Elements The eBooks includes all required elements as well as additional information. All required elements are included on the eBook. Most of the required elements are included on the eBook. Several required elements were missing.  
eBook Content Shows a full understanding of the topic. Shows a good understanding of the topic. Shows a good understanding of parts of the topic. Does not seem to understand the topic very well.  
Collaboration with Peers Almost always listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group. Tries to keep people working well together. Usually listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group. Does not cause "waves" in the group. Often listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group but sometimes is not a good team member. Rarely listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group. Often  is not a good team member.  

[Return to Ed Tech 541] [Unit Opener] [Lesson 1] [Lesson 2] [Lesson 3] [Lesson 4] [Lesson 5]