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Where does my stuff come from?
Why can people buy more stuff than they used to?
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Virtual stuff
The kids who make our stuff
Global impacts and possible actions
Stuff: Using Google Earth

The geography of my stuff - Using Google Earth

Geography of my stuff

This module focuses upon the interconnections and inter-relationships that link teenage consumers living in the UK with societies and environments overseas. It aims to introduce students for the first time to some of the moral, ethical and environmental issues that are associated with the global trade in consumer goods.

Within this module, it is possible to use Google Earth for a range of activities:

  • Lesson one: Where does my stuff come from? Activities provided: Where my stuff comes from and Dell laptop case study. Measure the total distance that the different parts of a Dell laptop have to travel to be put together
  • Lesson three: Where do we buy our stuff? Plot the location and name of the shop where students would buy bread, shoes, a television, etc.
  • Lesson five: The kids who make our stuff. Create case studies of child labour using web resources as a basis for research


The main Google Earth activities for this module both fit into Lesson one: Where does my stuff come from? They both follow a similar format; the choice of which activity to undertake can be made by either the teacher or students.

The first activity guides students through a virtual tour of the origins of stuff they carry with them - their mobile phone, jacket, text book, for example. It aims to encourage students to think about where their 'stuff' comes from and to understand the interactions between places.

In order to complete this activity, students will need to download the Where does my stuff come from? kml file and accompanying worksheet.

The second activity for this lesson focuses on the origins of the different components of a Dell laptop. Again, a tour is created of the different countries involved. As an optional extension task, students can calculate the total distance travelled by the different parts. This activity aims to further increase students' understanding of the interactions between places, and the interdependence between producers in different countries.

In order to complete this activity, students will need to download the Dell laptop case study kml file and accompanying worksheet.

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