Social Studies/Language Arts
Students research the products of countries in Central and South America.
What You Need
- Reference materials on Central and South America
- Examples of sales brochures
- Art materials
What to Do
- Choose several countries of Central and South America that students are familiar with. Ask students to share what they know about the economies of those countries, such as what products make up their major exports to other countries. Explain that one way countries increase their exports is by arranging trade missions to other nations. Trade missions may be made up of both business people and government officials interested in promoting trade.
- Divide students into teams, one for each country. Explain that each team is to take part in a trade mission to promote its country's products. Suggest that students learn as much as they can about the history and economy of the country they represent, then present that information in informative and persuasive brochures and other handouts that they can share with their counterparts in other countries.
Point out that the information they present should include such facts as these:
- how the product would, depending on geography, best be transported to other countries (for example by tanker, train, truck, or plane);
- in what quantities it is normally sold (for example, by tonnage);
- if it is produce, when in the year it would be ready for shipping;
- current production figures, presented in tables and/or graphs.
- Encourage students to use representative scenes from their country to illustrate their brochures.
- Have students schedule meetings with the representatives of all the other countries to make their presentations.
- Encourage students to work out trade deals that are mutually beneficial. Have each team present a written summary of what it accomplished.
- Have each trade mission create a bulletin board display of its work. The display should include a product map of the country as well as the brochures and handouts.
- Students might research which products from the countries they represent are imported to the United States. Have them create tables and/or graphs to indicate annual totals. Another possibility is to have them make a comparison of two countries that export similar products to the United States. They can use a double bar graph to show which country sells more of each product.
- Have students use a product map of their country to plan a guided tour for a trade mission on a fact-finding tour. The route should show which sites would be most impressive (for example, major industrial areas, fertile agricultural regions, bustling and efficient ports).
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