ftrn.org is an information hub designed to grow the fair trade movement. together, we can create a market that values the people who make the food we eat and the goods we use.

Teaching Tools

Stay connected:

Power Point showoutline-slide

Version from April 2012 – Power Point presentation of an Overview of Fair Trade in N. America. The file is free to download and view. 37 slides are shown in a 7-minute show, free to open as Read-Only file, size 8 MB. Get a copy of the booklet, or PDF file, to access the password (at the bottom the Table of Contents) to edit and copy the Power Point file. Please attribute proper credit to FTRN and others if you create a new file. Download Power Point file

Mac users and others unable to open the Power Point file can Download a PDF file of the presentation.

Curricula in the US

  • Global Exchange

    Fair Trade Cocoa Curriculum and Online Resource for Educators

    Elementary School

    Kids love chocolate! Stimulate elementary school students’ hunger for learning with Global Exchange’s Fair Trade cocoa curriculum, a clever multi-dimensional classroom resource that can be adapted into lesson plans satisfying a variety of standards, including social sciences, language arts, and math. The curriculum addresses social justice issues such as the significance of the difference between Fair Trade and market prices for cocoa, as well as modern child slavery in the cocoa fields. Global Exchange also invites you to join Sweet Smarts, its online group of educators dedicated to teaching about Fair Trade!

  • Fair Trade Sports

    Sports-Themed Modules on Fair Trade and Social Justice Advocacy

    Grades K-12

    Soccer is the most popular game in the world and what better way to capture your classroom’s attention than a game?  RESPECT Fair Trade Sports provides school curricula based on using a Fair Trade Certified soccer ball as a tangible teaching tool.  As elementary students create their own paper soccer balls, teachers are able to discuss social justice, global solidarity, development and Fair Trade.  Meanwhile, the middle and high school curriculum delves deeper into the Fair Trade principles through a variety of questions and activities, and leads your classroom a step further by providing tools and actions students can take to advance Fair Trade in their community and school.

  • Catholic Relief Services

    ‘Teaching Modules on Fair Trade and Catholic Social Teaching’

    Grades 1-12

    Catholic Relief Services offers eight modules for middle school and high school classrooms focusing on the connections between Catholic Social Teaching and Fair Trade principles. The focus is on Fair Trade chocolate and relates to CRS efforts to help students “Raise Money Right” through ethical fundraising. Educators can use modules as a complete unit or individually. The modules draw from the work of other organizations as well as the actual experiences of Catholic classrooms.

  • Equal Exchange WIN-WIN SOLUTIONS

    Grades 4-9

    The Equal Exchange curriculum resources help students begin to build a just and sustainable future, and understand the links between our personal actions and life for all on this planet. These curriculum materials have been designed to take your students from passive consumers to active citizens who make a difference in the world. The Equal Exchange curriculum consists of a wide variety of participatory activities, including visual, auditory and inquiry learning. The curriculum consists of four units: “Our Choices Matter”, “Understanding Fair Trade”, “Understanding Cooperatives”, and ” Make a Difference.” Educators may choose one or two lessons, or all four — depending on time available.

  • Pro Arte Maya – Marilyn Anderson

    KIDS and FAIR TRADE – A Teacher’s and Parent’s Guide

    Grades 3-8

    This free Guide contains six lessons for grades 3-5, for which a suggested coloring book is for sale. Lessons Four, Five and Six can be used by grades 6-8 without the coloring book.  The coloring book is available in a bilingual version of English and Spanish. The teacher’s guide and coloring book are designed as tools and resources to help children:

    • gain an awareness about handmade Maya traditional arts and crafts, their meaning, importance and how they relate to Fair Trade
    • understand the meaning of  “handmade” as contrasted with “factory made”
    • learn how buying Fair Trade items helps the artisan producers to earn a living wage
    • learn about the history and principles of Fair Trade
  • Heifer International GET IT!®

    GET IT! is a curriculum-based global education and service learning program that teaches students and teachers about sustainable solutions to world hunger and poverty. The curriculum engages students as investigative journalists to research, write about, and act on issues surrounding consumer choices and international trade. Students learn how to ask questions, think critically, and communicate what they learn. By writing and circulating stories based on their research, students get hands-on experience in spreading awareness about consumer issues. Curriculum focuses on three products: bananas, flowers, and coffee. One lesson highlights a Fair Trade coffee cooperative in Guatemala.

  • “Bananas Unpeeled: The Hidden Costs of Banana Production and Trade”

    Teachers’ Guide and online curriculum includes suggestions for engaging learning activities. Resources were designed to complement the film Banana Split (2002) which gives an excellent overview of the banana’s rise to become one of America’s staple foods and the simultaneous history of banana farmers coming to operate under oppressive conditions. Promotes a model of smallholder banana production as a potential means for international economic development. Mentions Fair Trade Certification – produced in Canada.

Resources from the UK

(There are various useful resources available online which have been developed for use in British schools. However, please note that some units of measure and language may be unfamiliar to your students and may require clarification.)

  • PaPaPaa Curriculum – Divine Chocolate and Comic Relief

    Upper Elementary, Middle school – Ages 9-11, 11-14

    Comprehensive curriculum focuses on Fair Trade cocoa and Ghana, from Divine Chocolate, and highlights Kuapa Kokoo cooperative of cocoa farmers. Photos available online. Free to download. Curriculum is UK-focused.

  • CAFOD Fair Trade Resources for Schools – Fair Trade: Responsible Consumer

    In this set of lesson plans, students examine the role of the consumer, the local, national and global impact of consumer behavior, and explore how consumer power can change the lives of people in other countries. Includes lesson plan: Buy a banana – who’s affected?

Online Activities

  • Oxfam GB Cool Planet

    From Oxfam GB in the UK, offers other links and role play games. Includes trade game, what’s in your shopping bag, farmer profiles (banana and cocoa), and online interactive learning site.

Books that can be used in the classroom

  • Think Fair Trade First!

    By Ingrid Hess, published February 2010 ~ Ages 3-8 ~ 40 color pages 8×9 inches, softcover book ~ 25 FREE copies for WFTD events, $2 each for additional copies.

  • FTRN says: “A fun educational read and a joy to look at, this book is a rare and engaging Fair Trade resource for kids aged 3-8. Younger children can search for the ladybug on each spread, and listen to or read the fictional story. Older children can also read the nonfiction sections on each spread.”Summary/review: Stella & Henry are on a mission to find the perfect gift. With help from Aunt Mabel, the two children discover the world of Fair Trade and learn how shopping wisely can improve people’s lives.

    “Think Fair Trade First!” explains Fair Trade’s comprehensive approach to business and development with fun, educational content for kids and grown-ups alike. A great find for teachers to explain how their students can make the world a better place.
    ~ Carmen K. Iezzi, Executive Director, Fair Trade Federation

    Order it from FTRN

    Download free Scavenger Hunt Guide to use with this book.

  • An Overview of Fair Trade in North America

    By FTRN, published Nov 2011 ~ 34 pg. booklet ~ High school & above ~ 25 FREE copies for WFTD events, $2 each for additional copies. Hard and soft copy includes password to edit and copy the Power Point presentation of booklet highlights!

    FTRN says: “A quick read offering a comprehensive overview of the North American Fair Trade movement. The definitive booklet on Fair Trade’s various models, success stories, major names, facts and figures, brief history and key challenges and opportunities.”

    Summary/review: This publication will help readers:

    • Understand how Fair Trade relationships in over 70 developing countries enhance the quality of life of producers and their communities.
    • Interact with a global community taking action to ease inequities wrought by traditional trade structures.
    • Navigate the complicated world of organizations, labels and definitions of Fair Trade.

    Buy it from FTRN

    This booklet was supported by the following sponsors:

    Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps ~ Once Again Nut Butter ~ Fair for Life ~ Fair World Project ~ Ganesh Himal ~ HandCrafting Justice ~ Ten Thousand Villages USA ~ Theo Chocolate

  • Fair Trade: A Human Journey

    By Eric St-Pierre, 2010 ~ 240 pg. book (10 x 13 inches, 4 lbs.) ~ high school level & above ~ $49.95

    FTRN says: “Simply the best photo book available on Fair Trade and its producers! Through 350 stunning and highly illustrative photos combined with very well-researched narratives, St-Pierre presents an inclusive, broad picture of Fair Trade. This complete book also includes a brief history of Fair Trade, key statistics in global and Fair Trade, as well as discussions of certifications, labels, multinational corporations, producer networks and more.”

    Summary/review: This journey into the lives of artisans, peasants and workers from 15 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America traverses 14 Fair Trade sectors – from the most common, such as handicrafts, coffee and cocoa, to the lesser known, such as shea butter, quinoa and guarana. The author introduces us to producers, describes the processing chain for each product, and outlines the advantages and challenges of Fair Trade.

    Buy it from FTRN

  • Zapizapu Crosses the Sea: A story about being fair

    By Diane Abad Vergara. Available from Trafford Publishing.

    The script and colorful illustrations of this children’s book work together to simplify the concept of international trade and personify those involved around the world from grower to consumer. In the story we discover that the simple yet important concept of ‘playing fair’ is important for children and grown ups alike.