Product Line

Economics and Geography Activity

Students research products imported from Europe and use a map to show the routes the products might have followed to reach this country.



  1. To demonstrate that commerce is worldwide, take a field trip to a store that carries imported products (such as a supermarket). Have students look for products that come from Europe. Suggest that student partners focus on one product (such as Dutch chocolate, English tea, or perfume from France), and examine its packaging to note exactly where it was manufactured.

  2. In class, have students locate on a large world map the sources of the various products they are tracking, and mark those places with sticky notes or labels attached with pins. They may need to use an atlas to pinpoint exact locations.

  3. Distribute outlines of maps of Europe and of the world and have partners highlight on them a shipping route (or routes) their product might have followed to reach this country. Have them label such geographical features as canals, rivers, and ports in Europe, using an atlas for details.

  4. Have partners complete the maps by highlighting a delivery route to their city or town from a U.S. port.


Before making the field trip, you may want to call on a local grocery distributor for more information or invite that person to come in and speak to the class about importing.

Display packaging of imported products. Have students note the use of different languages on packaging of products shipped around the world. Discuss the advantages to the producers of having text in various languages. Then have students use the world map to show where those languages are spoken.

Suggest that students examine an almanac to learn what kind of information it provides about imports to the United States from Europe. Students can make an oral or written report on the information they found in the almanac.

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