Teaching about trade justice?

Get these following resources FREE from Trade Aid!


List of Resources:

Primary students

'a day in the life of...'

Forty-one colour images within a powerpoint presentation create the opportunity for students to discuss what life might be like for others living around the world. It encourages students to think about the impact different lifestyles might have on the environment, and offers a visual aid for talking about each person's different footprint.

This presentation suggests extension activities such as creating photo stores or creating a Junk to Green Funk Exhibition in class where recycled and local resources are used to create useful or fun items.

The slide show can be reduced to fewer images and slides according to the age and understanding of the children, or split out into topics relating to specific areas of everyday life such as transport, housing, food etc.


Social Sciences Units

1. Evaluating TRADE through a ‘FAIR’ lens

A Social Sciences Unit adaptable for levels 3 - 8

This unit attempts to take students through a process where they evaluate basic aspects of global trade based on their individual values, and how they interpret the word ‘fair’.

Linked to key competencies and achievement objectives, modify these lessons for students of all ages.

Download the following documents here:

  • the unit -  
  • The Cookie Game (part of lesson 2) -
  • images for screening or printing during lesson 3 -

2. Toys and the Environment

A Social Sciences Unit adaptable for levels 1 - 5
- Do your toys have a good or bad effect on the people who make them and on their environment?

- What can you do?

Ideal for a variety of age ranges because the activities use toys (a concept that all students are familiar with) to walk them through a process of thinking about where things come from and what the larger picture behind the toy might look like.

Extension activities incorporated into the unit are aimed at extending the scope of the topic and encouraging deeper thinking for older or more advanced students. Why not use a product such as a mobile phone throughout the unit for older students?

This unit aims at developing the following understandings:

  • that toys we buy in New Zealand, are made in countries all over the world
  • that depending on how the toys are made, they can have a positive or negative (polluting) impact on people and the environment
  • that the poor have less opportunity to make decisions about the environment they live in than we do
  • that the poor are more vulnerable than the rich when the environment changes
  • that our behaviour in New Zealand has an impact on our global community
  • that how we choose to act can have a positive impact on the global community.


3. Environmental Justice

A Social Sciences Unit adaptable for levels 2 - 5

This unit aims at developing the following understandings:
  • that the poor are more vulnerable than the rich to changes in the environment
  • that what we choose to buy and consume affects our carbon footprint
  • that how we choose to act can have a positive impact on the global community
  • why does being rich or poor make a difference to the way you may be impacted on by environmental degradation?


Upper Primary and Secondary

Teacher Activity Booklets on TRADE and POVERTY

Use these resources to stimulate ideas for the creation of units or individual lessons encouraging students to think critically about the issues of trade and poverty. Adaptable for students of all ages. Colourful and packed full of information.
order your free booklet(s) today
NB: This is a teacher resource so please order one per teacher

Upper Primary

Children of the World - hardcopy resource only
Resource designed for teachers of Year 7 to 8 students but easily adapted for older and younger students.
Children of the World contains chapters on children's rights, poverty, global trade, a case study on India and a book of stories from child labourers. It uses activities, stories, facts, poems and recipes to introduce useful and interesting ways to teach global education issues to students. It attempts to make a connection between students in NZ and children of a similar age in developing countries using information directly from Trade Aid producer partners.

Download the two sections of the resource here:

  • The activity book
  • A book of stories created from interviews with child jewellery labourers -

Trade Aid Education Series: our publication on global justice issues

This series focuses on a single issue in each publication and presents up-to-date research from around the world with links to Trade Aid partners.

Aimed at Adults and Year 12 and 13 students, the idea of these publications is to provide an opportunity for the New Zealand public to begin thinking through some of the complexities of achieving development in our global community. They can be used as a tool for teachers to start their students discussing some of the complexities we raise, thinking through various solutions, and continuing on a longer term learning path. Our ultimate aim as a thinking organisation is to have highly engaged, critical thinking, active supporters who appreciate that a development organisation needs to be dynamic in its approach to development. We need to be open to new ways of working in order to continue providing support that best addresses the problems faced in global communities.

  • Learning Issues - looks at access to education, a concern for all developing communities around the world.
  • How fair is fair?  -  discusses the concept of fair trade internationally, certification issues and Trade Aid's approach to fair trade.
  • Slavery Today  - examines the reality of modern day slavery and how fair trade organisations such as Trade Aid support growing demands for a slave free- world.
  • Women at Work - explores the lives of women working in developing countries and the empowerment they have gained through fair trade employment.
  • Partners in Trade - investigates how Trade Aid works together with our trading partners in a way which is not charity, nor a top down model of development but is instead a system of partnership where Trade Aid responds to the needs and initiatives already identified by its trading partners.
  • Business Matters - challenges the concepts of current day business practice and discusses other positive alternate ways of doing business.
  • Greening Trade - examines the challenges of protecting the environment through the use of sustainable materials and production methods while still meeting the demands of business profitability. 
  • Trade Rules - confronts the systems and regulations which govern international trade and the injustice this creates for many of the world’s most disadvantaged craft and food producers.

We hope you will enjoy reading the publications in this series and will encourage your friends and family to read these as well.

Teachers - we also encourage you to order these as excellent teaching resources for your students. As always we welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Download the PDF versions of the Education Series from our publications section.

Why not have a speaker come to your school? 

A Trade Aid speaker may be available to visit your class or you can arrange for your class to visit your local Trade Aid shop. Please note that our shops vary in size and not all shops can accommodate large groups. Shop visits are available at the managers discretion and visits during school hours may not always be convenient in our busy retail environment. Please contact your local shop directly to make arrangements.

Request a speaker below and find out if there is someone available in your area. Speakers can bring products from a range of different countries to illustrate stories or principles; they can talk about the impact of fair trade on the producers we trade with, and provide answers to your students' questions about fair trade. The perfect complement to teaching fair trade in class.

Request a speaker here