Title: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Mill#111

National Standard: 11 The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface.

State Standard: 13

Teaching Level: E

Lesson Introduction: Prior to this lesson you will need to introduce students to the process used in making cloth from raw wool.

Objective/Purpose: Students will participate in a simulation of trade. Students will problem-solve solutions to situations caused by forces beyond their control.

Materials: signs reading: sheep farm, yarn mill, textile mill, trade port, 10 large cotton balls or raw wool, 10 pieces of yarn measuring various lengths, 10 pieces of cloth of various sizes

Procedure:
1)Mark the classroom off into the following sections: sheep farm, yarn mill, textile mill, trade port.

2)Assign two students to be stationed at each location. One student receives materials and the other distributes material.

3)Choose another student as the transporter. Select another student as a consumer.

4)Tell the students that they are now in the 1800's.

5)The farmers hand the transporter a piece of "wool". The transporter takes his boat down the river to the yarn mill and passes the wool to the receiver. The shipping department passes a long piece of yarn to the transporter, who continues down the river to the textile mill. He gives the yarn to the receiver. The shipping department hands the transporter a large piece of cloth. The transporter heads down the river to the trade port. He hands the piece of cloth to the trade official who then passes the cloth to the merchant ship. The merchant ship heads into the ocean and to the next port where he gives the cloth to the consumer.

6)Repeat 5 a few times allowing opportunities for all children to play a part.

7)Pose one of the following problems before allowing the children to start the simulation again: a beaver dam has caused a problem in the river just above the textile mill, it was a hard winter and the trade port is still frozen, a strange disease caused many of the sheep to die. As the participants begin the simulation ask the class to determine what problems will occur during the transportation of the raw materials to the various stages of transformation. Have the group offer solutions to these problems. Continue the simulation utilizing the class determined best solution.

8)Debrief the activity. Ask students to identify the sequence taken in creating cloth from wool and get the cloth to the consumer. Discuss other problems that might occur. Ask the students to identify problems that may be created by man.

Evaluation/Assessment: student participation, teacher observation. Ask the students to write a narrative titled, A Day in the Life of a Piece of Wool. They should include the route and stops taken by the piece of wool to the consumer.

Extension/Enrichment: Add to the simulation a stop at the clothing manufacturer. Include the use of money and barter. Have students calculate the cost of the final product.

Reflection: How successful was this lesson? Did all students benefit? Were there any surprises? What might you do differently another time? Please note any changes that will make this lesson more effective and useful in the future and pass them along to the NHGA. We appreciate your comments.
Thank you.
The authors.


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