Discussion Questions, Summary Writing, Role Play, and Vocabulary
By Laura Greenwald Frommer, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced
International Studies (SAIS), Washington, DC
This lesson plan is most appropriate for World studies and/or Economics
classes. It focuses on international trade, specifically highlighting
the recent collapse of the World Trade Organization conference in Cancun,
Mexico. Students will debate real world issues by watching and discussing
three NewsHour reports, Trade Impasse, Subsidy Struggle and Textile Blues.
Trade Impasse includes discussion of the recent WTO conference in Mexico;
Subsidy Struggle examines the impact of U.S. cotton subsidies on Malian
cotton farmers; and Textile Blues focuses on the connection between U.S.
trade policy and the plight of textile workers in North Carolina. Students
will develop their critical thinking skills and ability to understand
the key points of the debate on free trade and U.S. trade policy, compare
and contrast attitudes, and formulate their own opinions on the topic.
This lesson consists of four parts, which can be used separately or together:
is free trade? Students will become familiar with the topic by reviewing
pre-listening discussion questions. Students will express their views on free
trade and the impact of globalization.
and Contrast/Summary Writing:After listening to the video, students will
complete a short True/False section and will compare and contrast attitudes of
interviewees during the NewsHour discussion.
After choosing a country, students will conduct research on their country's views
on international trade. Students will write a position statement for presentation
at the WTO conference.
Practice: Students will complete a vocabulary matching exercise.
NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (September 15, 2003): Trade Impasse
NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (September 23, 2003): Textile Blues
NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (September 9, 2003): Subsidy Struggle
and answer sheets:
and Contrast questions
to National Standards:
Each student should receive a handout with the pre-listening
discussion questions and the following NewsHour and WTO Web sites for background
students have reviewed both Web sites, place students in small groups of three
or four before the class joins together in a larger discussion. Students will
write short answers to the pre-listening discussion questions based on their small
group interaction. (These questions may also serve as essay questions for homework).
Activities for Trade Impasse:
join the class for viewing of the background report and discussion entitled "Trade
Impasse". Each student should receive a handout
with the True/False section and discussion questions. After listening to the report,
review the answers to the True/False section (answer
place students in small discussion groups so they can share ideas about
the main themes, compare and contrast attitudes, and express opinions
on key issues. Students should write short answers to the discussion
questions based on
the small group interaction. Then, moderate a larger discussion.
Ask students to form small teams. They will role play
as trade representatives from a country of their choice. Students will prepare
a statement outlining their country's perspective on international trade for
presentation at the Cancun WTO conference. Students may want to conduct background
research for homework before presenting statements to their classmates.
These additional comparison/contrast activities can be used as
a supplement to the Trade Impasse lesson. Tasks can be completed in class on school
computers or as individual homework assignments on home computers. First, read
or watch the reports to familiarize yourself with the programs. Ask students to
listen to one or both reports online on school or home computers. Using the handout,
students should write concise summaries that highlight the main ideas of the report.
Check that the students have used their own words when writing their summaries.
It is important that they avoid plagiarism. After students complete their summaries,
you may want to break the class into two groups so students can share their summaries
and opinions with their classmates.
vocabulary activities may precede or follow the viewing of the Trade Impasse.
Students may work in pairs for both exercises. Pass out the handout
and ask students to read the excerpts from report; excerpts are provided so students
may study new vocabulary in context. For each excerpt, students should match vocabulary
words with definitions. Check answers against the teacher
to National Standards:
National Council for the Social Studies Global Connections
b.Explain conditions and motivations that contribute to conflict, cooperation
and interdependence among groups, societies and nations;
e.Analyze the relationships
and tensions between national sovereignty and global interests, in matters such
as territory, economic development, nuclear and other weapons, use of natural
resources, and human rights concerns;
g. Describe and evaluate the role of
international and multinational organizations in the global arena.
Laura Greenwald Frommer teaches English for International Relations at the Johns
Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
in Washington, DC. She has a Master's Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of
Other Languages from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Master's
Degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University SAIS. She has
a B.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.
find out more about opportunities to contribute to this site, contact Leah Clapman