Muncie resident Kelsey Timmerman has written an entertaining and insightful book about global economics and geography entitled Where Am I Wearing. The book chronicles his journey to learn more about his clothes… where they came from and who made them. Kelsey’s journey took him to Honduras to visit the garment worker who inspired the book. He visited Bangladesh in search of his underwear’s roots. He traveled to Cambodia to learn about his blue jeans. He trekked to China to discover the story behind his flip-flops. He visits the birthplace of his American made t-shirt. Along the way he shares the stories of people and factories, explores child labor and its impact on local and global economies and tells the touching stories of those who made his clothing. Students reading this will gain a deeper insight to how they are connected to the world through decisions they make every day and will learn that they can impact the world in small ways. The book is appropriate for well-read middle school students through adult readers/learners.
- How did Kelsey overcome the difficulties of visiting foreign factories?
- Americans have often protested child labor overseas. How do these protests impact the people working in these factories? How do these protests impact the economies in these places?
- Which workers made the biggest impression on you and why?
- How had the lives of the workers Kelsey visited change?
- What is globalization? How does it affect your life?
- How can you be a more engaged citizen?
- Have students look at their clothing and identify all the things needed to make that clothing. Map where their clothing comes from. Gather similar data from students throughout the school. Create a graph; map; explore why the countries producing the most items are doing so.
- Have students create a product and determine how and where it should be made. Chart the steps of production from the beginning to the time it is sold.
- Make a timeline showing the evolution of a garment produced over the past 100-200 years.
- Visit a factory or business in your community to learn how a product is made. Have students interview a worker to learn about their job and how it affects his or her lifestyle.
National Geographic Society: www.nationalgeographic.org
http://www.whereamiwearing.com (offers interactive and service learning suggestions)