PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • define fair trade.
  • read about the principles of fair trade.
  • discuss choices about spending as they relate to fairness and the common good.
  • relate fair trade to justice.
  • A printout of Handout One: Fair Trade Symbol or access to the Internet to display the symbols of fair trade (URLs available in Bibliographical References and on the handout)
  • Student copies of Handout Two: How Can You Act Fairly with Your Spending?

Fair Trade Federation--building equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty https://www.fairtradefederation.org/

Global Exchange--Human rights organization promoting justice around the world https://globalexchange.org/

World Fair Trade Organization--the voice of fair trade and the guardian of fair trade values https://wfto.com/

Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International--a group of 24 organizations working to secure a better deal for producers https://www.fairtrade.net/ 


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Show the students a symbol for a Fair Trade organization. See Handout One: Fair Trade Symbol or Bibliographical References for URLs. Ask the students if they know what fair trade means. Discuss.

  2. Teacher: In the previous lesson, we discussed that paying for music downloads is a way to make sure artists are paid fairly for their work. Fair Trade organizations represent artists, farmers, and others around the world to make sure they get paid a fair wage for their work. The following definition of Fair Trade comes from Wikipedia:

  3. Fair Trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate and flowers.

  4. Have the students work in small groups to read about fair trade on Handout Two: How Can You Act Fairly with Your Spending? and discuss the questions.

  5. After groups have completed the worksheet (about ten minutes), reflect on the discussion as a whole group. Ask representatives from each group to summarize the group discussion for the whole class. Review the meaning of justice, fairness, and equity from Lesson One, and discuss which term best describes the efforts of fair trade and what they can do with their money for the common good.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Describe how different needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society, and family.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Give examples of needs not met by the government, business, or family sectors.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Explain why economic freedom is important to the civil society sector.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss why some animals and humans will sacrifice for the benefit of unknown others.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify civil society organizations that protect and speak for minority viewpoints.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.