30th May 2003 at 01:00

* Bananas, coffee and other traded goods could be used to develop an understanding of "how places are linked to other places in the world" (PoS 3e), which provides a basis for pupils' understanding of global citizenship in later key stages.


* At KS2, the environmental impact of plantation farming would be an excellent topic to develop the concepts of environmental change and sustainable development (PoS 5 a and e).

KS3 and above

* Ask pupils to describe what they think a banana plantation is like and then challenge their "prior knowledge" with information from the article.

* Relate the description of Chavanria's locality and ask them to draw and label what they think it looks like.

* Cut up a banana so that each segment is proportional to the money earned by those involved in its production, distribution and sale. Decide which member of the class gets the supermarket's piece and which the grower's piece * "Fair trade" can be the focus for economic activity (6h), development (6i) and environmental issues (6j). An in-depth study of a commodity such as bananas or coffee is ideal for linking the local to the global, and for giving pupils an opportunity to clarify their values and attitudes towards social, environmental, economic and political issues (1e). There are plenty of good resources available to support these topics - eg "Go Bananas" from Oxfam, and many websites, such as and www.


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