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Globalization: Why We Care About Faraway Events
Carla Mooney
Published May 1st, 2018 by Nomad Press

Summary: Have you noticed that our planet is becoming increasingly connected?

In Globalization: Why We Care About Faraway Events, kids ages 12 to 15 focus on the definition of globalization and discover how technology drives globalization, which affects economies, political systems, human rights, and cultures around the world. The book also explores the future of globalization and discusses issues the global community might face in coming years.

  • Readers hear news stories about globalization on a daily basis.
  • Investigating previous events in the world’s history can help students understand the causes and effects of current events.
  • Uses links to online primary sources to imbue readers with a curiosity about the topic and engage in further, independent inquiry.

About the Author: Carla Mooney has written more than 70 books for children and young adults. Her work has appeared in many magazines including HighlightsFaces, and Learning Through History. Carla lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Author Guest Post: 

“How can we tell we’re living in a global village?”

Where was your phone manufactured? How many different countries did you send digital waves to when you checked your social media feeds this afternoon? What nations did you read about in the paper over your morning cup of coffee?

It’s pretty easy to recognize that globalization is a driving force in our daily lives. Everything we do has consequences, both our actions as individuals and our actions as nations. It can be a little tougher to get kids to recognize what this means!

For example, consider the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, which kids have probably heard about on the news. What kind of repercussions might this have in the life of an eighth grader? Well, as sanctions are potentially put back in place, global relationships will change, which means the way we trade will change, which might make things such airplane tickets more expensive for the average consumer. A 13-year-old will certainly notice if their family has to skip a summer vacation because the cost of flying is prohibitively expensive. They’ll also notice if digital devices go down in price, because their parents might be more inclined to purchase the most recent version of their phone!

Globalization is a complex topic that can help kids recognize the interconnected workings of our world. While your students’ lives might not be super changed as a result of things like the Iran nuclear deal or the trade negotiations with China, at some level, these issues affect all of us, and exploring these connections can be a lesson rich in discovery.

This is what was in my mind as I wrote Globalization: Why We Care About Faraway Events. As you might imagine, research for this book was a deep dive into the innumerable ways countries are connected, from trade policies to political partnerships to environmental agreements. It’s a very tangled web! But the more kids know about these connections, the better equipped they’ll be to make the kinds of decisions they’ll be faced with as tomorrow’s leaders.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: 

To get them started, here are three activities from the book.

SHOW THE CONNECTIONS

Globalization is the great connector, bringing together people, ideas, and more from all around the world. You can learn about these connections simply by studying something from your everyday life.

Pick three items that you use on a daily basis. They could be music you listen to, a T-shirt you wear, the bed you sleep in, the toothpaste you use, or the apple you eat.

For each item, think about the following.

  • Is your item affected by globalization?
  • Where is it made or grown?
  • Where is it shipped to?
  • How is it transported?
  • What laws affect it?
  • Who benefits from it and why?
  • Who suffers from it and why?

Create a map on poster board or in PowerPoint to illustrate the global connections you have found for each object. Present the map and findings to your class.

How are the journey and connections for each item similar? How are they different?

To investigate more, pick a country to research. Write an essay on how globalization has impacted the country, both positively and negatively.

WINNERS OR LOSERS?

Global trade has many benefits. It lowers the price of goods, increases wages, and fuels economic growth. Yet the global economy has both winners and losers.

To further understand this issue, you can explore the following articles or research some additional information on your own.

“More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone: What Fuels the Backlash on Trade”

“The Toughest Questions About Global Trade”

Based on what you learn, consider the effects of global trade on individuals, companies, and governments. For example, think about the effect of global trade on a multinational toy corporation, an American factory worker, a Chinese factory worker, an Indian software engineer, an American chief executive officer, a local toy retailer, the United States government, and the Chinese government.

Who are the winners and losers? Create a chart that shows the effects of global trade on the different groups.

Do you think that increasing global trade will have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on the world overall? What about for the United States? Do you believe that the United States should enter into more free-trade agreements? Or do you believe that trade protectionism is a better strategy? Explain your position.

To investigate more, consider that as globalization changes the economy, local workers and businesses can be hurt by disappearing sales and jobs. What policies can the government put in place to support workers and businesses hurt by globalization?

VANISHING CULTURES

Many indigenous cultures are facing a battle between traditional ways of life and globalization. As older generations die out, many of the culture’s traditions are dying with them.

Use the internet and other sources to research a specific indigenous culture. You might choose the Maasai of Africa, the Wanniyala-Aetto of Sri Lanka, the Yanomami of South America, or another group of your choosing. Once you have chosen a group to investigate, consider the following.

  • Where does the group traditionally live? What are the climate and environment like?
  • What is their traditional lifestyle? How do they eat and gather food?
  • What tools do they use to get and prepare food?
  • What ceremonies, celebrations, or festivals do they observe?
  • What role does the extended family play?
  • What types of jobs do people typically hold? How do they get around?
  • How are traditions passed from one generation to the next?

Next, research how globalization has impacted these indigenous people and their culture. What changes have occurred in their environment, society, and political systems? What has caused these changes? How have these changes affected the group’s culture, beliefs, and traditions? Prepare a presentation to share what you have learned with your class.

To investigate more, imagine that you were going to live with this group for a week. What items from your culture would you bring with you? Why are these items important to you? How would they help you to live with this indigenous group? What would people from this group think about the items you have brought? Write a diary entry to describe your visit.

Find more resources in the free classroom teaching guide!

Thank you so much, Carla and Nomad Press!

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