A series of crop and livestock diseases have spread around the globe, swiftly wiping out all crops and animal herds which were not native to the lands in which they were being grown. Crops and herds are only able to survive the plagues in lands in which they originally developed. A worldwide treaty has been signed, barring countries from further attempting to grow non-native crops and livestock.
As a result, populations around the globe are dealing with the economic and supply consequences of the loss of so many items they’ve taken for granted. Some areas are facing possible starvation, the balance of power between countries has shifted, and countless businesses must adapt or shut down. Those left unscathed will be in the fortunate position of having far less global competition for their product, seeing potential fortunes made from exportation.
Your student groups will become researchers and on the spot television reporters in this involved and personal exploration of how the collapse is or has effected the world, and more importantly, their city. They will research, guided by prepared charts, write a script, and film on set and around local businesses, interviewing local stakeholders acting the parts of those affected by the collapse. Download includes teacher and student instructions, relevant research chart handouts, and a evaluation rubric. Their ultimate product will be an edited news story to be shown in class.
In the end, students will develop a keen understanding of global trade, our deep dependencies on non-native goods, and how much the meeting of Old and New Worlds changed the way we live even today. Forget teaching the Columbian Exchange the "Old World" way - let's make it real and relevant!