What Came From Where?

What Came From Where? lesson plan

Where do your favorite things originate? Discover how world economies depend on each other to create materials, products, and packaging for everyday items. Follow the paths of imports and exports.

  • 1.

    Do you know where your favorite gum, or shoes, or cereal, really came from? Bring the item, or a picture of it, to school. Share where the items were purchased. What country of origin is marked on the product?

  • 2.

    Pair up with another student who has a similar item. Work together to identify the components of your objects. Write down your ideas with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. For example, a marker has a plastic barrel, end plug, tip, cap, and color. Try to identify what material is used to make each part--wood, plastic (and what is plastic made of?), paper, rubber, wool, cotton, wheat, corn, sugar?

  • 3.

    Use white and neon Crayola Model Magic to create realistic replicas of your products. Roll balls between your palms. Press pieces flat with your hands or roll them smooth with a Crayola Marker. Cut pieces into shapes or strips with Crayola Scissors. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack sticks to itself. Air-dry your sculpture for 24 hours.

  • 4.

    Research time! Investigate how your product is made and take notes. Find out the components/raw materials used to manufacture your item, how it is manufactured, and where the materials come from. Erase to correct your ideas. Discover which countries are leaders in producing the raw materials needed to make your product. You might even write letters to companies who sell your product to find out more about the materials.

  • 5.

    Use Markers to create a chart listing the raw materials, countries of origin, and site of manufacture. Find each place on a world map.


  • • Students research patterns and networks of economic interdependence. </P>
  • • Students work cooperatively to create 3-dimensional representations of common objects and charts describing the objects’ components and countries of origin. </P>
  • • Students identify where raw materials originate and are manufactured, and find countries at all stages of the process on a world map. </P>


  • • Create an imaginary travel plan to tour to all the places you would have to visit to gather the materials needed to create the object you chose. Think of a fun name for your tour, such as the Great Chewing Gum Get-Away. Make a brochure for your tour. Ou
  • • Design a chart to show findings from the entire class. Use yarn to mark where exports and imports leave and enter each country. </P>
  • • Assessment: Hold informal interviews with each pair to determine the resources used for research, how they gathered and recorded information, and to review their component chart. Invite pairs to present their products using charts and the world map to inform the teacher and class about what they learned about their items. </P>