JA Global Marketplace

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global-marketplaceProgram Overview

JA Global Marketplace® is recommended for 6th Grade. The program provides practical information about the global economy and its effect on students’ daily lives. Students explore six key aspects of the global economy. Following participation in the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate their understanding of these six aspects to analyze historical events and contemporary international business concepts and practices.
  • Apply their knowledge of the global economy to their daily lives.

Session Overviews & Objectives

Session One – “X” Marks the Spot

Overview: Working in groups to identify imported items found throughout the classroom, students begin to recognize that trade with other countries affects their daily lives. Students understand that international trade occurs when nations want or need resources or services from other countries because they themselves cannot satisfy those needs and wants at reasonable costs.


  • Define trade.
  • Explain why countries trade with one another.
  • List at least five products or items imported from other countries and locate those countries on a world map.

Session Two – You Be the Judge

Overview: Students will learn that nations use several methods to increase their trade benefits. Agreements with one or more countries often are made to facilitate trade and avoid conflict


  • Identify quotas, tariffs, subsidies, embargoes, and standards as trade barriers that governments use to control trade and increase benefits for their countries.
  • Describe how multilateral agreements can facilitate trade.
  • Describe how the World Trade Organization (WTO) functions as a court to help nations settle trade disagreements.

Session Three – Let’s Make a Deal

Overview: Students work in groups to identify and understand the business practices used in other countries. Students discover that business practices vary from country to country and that understanding these practices can have a positive impact on trade.


  • Explain how cultural aspects of business vary from country to country.
  • Develop group plans to create a food franchise by learning about the business practices of select countries.

Session Four – People Power

Overview: Students discover how the movement and settlement of people facilitates international trade. They discuss examples of immigration and, through creative activities, gain insight into the lives of immigrants. They learn that economic opportunity often is the driving force behind immigration and global trade.


  • Describe reasons why people move from one country to another, particularly those seeking economic opportunity.
  • Give examples of contributions immigrants bring to the new countries they immigrate to and the hardships newcomers often endure.
  • Identify global trade and immigration as a means of international exchange of human resources.

Session Five – World of Words

Overview: Students discover how advances in communication and transportation have improved productivity and facilitated world trade. From moveable type to the Internet, students trace the international flow of information and its impact on world economies.


  • Describe how improvements in technology and transportation and the sharing of ideas have impacted the flow of information and increased productivity.
  • Calculate productivity.
  • List examples of technological developments throughout history.

Session Six – World of Money

Overview: To participate in international trade, businesses and individuals must be able to purchase goods and services from each other. Students will learn that countries have different currencies with different values. To purchase goods from another country, it usually is necessary to use that country’s currency. Some European countries have facilitated the currency exchange process by adopting the euro as a common currency.


  • Explain why international trade requires an exchange of currency.
  • Convert U.S. dollars into another currency using an exchange rate.
  • Give possible reasons that countries might support or oppose a common currency.

Session Seven (Optional Activity) – Trading Places

Overview: This optional puzzle activity is intended to reinforce understanding of imports and exports. It is recommended for use in after-school settings, in social studies extensions conducted by teachers, and as a tool to engage at-risk students. This activity also is ideal for working with students in a variety of settings to reinforce concepts discussed in Sessions One and Three of the JA Global Marketplace program.


  • Examine various reasons why businesses trade natural, human, and capital resources.
  • Identify supply and demand as reasons why people trade.

Program Basics

  • Includes a series of six sessions recommended for students in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade.
  • Average time for each session is 45 minutes.
  • Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.
  • Provides practical information about the importance of international trade, what makes world trade work, and how trade affects students’ daily lives.
  • Session-specific, student-friendly materials included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA’s experiential approach to learning.
  • Correlates well to state social studies, English, and math standards, as well as the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and mathematics.

JA Global Marketplace enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

Concepts—Business practices, Culture, Domestic trade, Embargo, Emigrate, Entrepreneurship, Exchange rates, Exports, Franchise, Global trade, Human resources, Immigrate, International trade, Market, Productivity, Quota, Standard, Subsidy, Tariff, Technology, Trade, Trade barrier

Skills—Analyzing points of view, Brainstorming, Critical reading, Critical thinking, Gathering and organizing information, Interpreting maps, charts and globes, Math calculations, Oral and written communication, Persuasion, compromise, and bargaining, Working in groups

Training Videos

Courtesy of Junior Achievement of South Dakota: