Product or Resource?

Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 in 4-7, Trade | 0 comments

This lesson, and its partner lesson, Where Does Our Stuff Come From?, are informed by the big ideas of Community and Connectedness. Students learn the difference between a product and a natural resource. They explore the connections between the products and resources we use in our daily lives and the imports and exports that pass through the Port of Prince Rupert. The lesson is most appropriate for students in Grades 4-6.


40 – 50 minutes


Students will:

  • Be introduced to the concept of natural resources and products.
  • Identify and categorize some of the main resources and products that are imported into and exported from Canada and British Columbia, and through the Port of Prince Rupert.


  • The picture book, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Priceman
  • Chalk or white board markers, scissors, glue and plain paper for all students
  • Old magazines containing images of resources and products (for cutting out)
  • Pictures of resources and products traded through the Port of Prince Rupert
  • The tables of Goods Traded Through the Port of Prince Rupert for teachers and for students (see Resources section)


Optional: Computer with a projector, overhead projector, Smart Board


  • Read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Priceman.
  • Select and cut out from an old magazine five pictures of products that you might need, want and/or enjoy. These will be used as examples for the students in Activity 2.

CRITICAL VOCABULARY (see Glossary for definitions)

Commodity, International trade, Export, Natural resource, Good, Needs and wants, Import, Product


  • Before reading How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman, lead a discussion with the class about apple pies. Questions could include:
    • What do you know about making apple pie?
    • What ingredients do you need? Where would we get them?
    • Where are these ingredients grown or produced?
  • Write two headings on the board: Natural Resources and Products.
  • Give students the definitions of a “natural resource” and a “product”.
  • Ask the students to think about the various resources and products that are in the story as they listen to you read.
  • After reading the story, ask students to give examples of natural resources and the products they are related to from the story. Write the examples on the board under the appropriate headings. Draw a line to connect each resource with its product.
  • (Products mentioned in the story are: flour, butter, egg, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and apples. Natural resources mentioned are: wheat, cow, chicken, sugar cane, kurundu bark, and salt water.)


  • Discuss with the students the difference between things that we need and things that we want. Give examples and ask for a few examples from the students.
  • Distribute magazines and scissors. Tell students to cut out 5 pictures of products that they want, need or enjoy. Show the students your own examples.
  • While students work, create a Natural Resources Chart on the board with the following headings: Land, Animals, Forests, Fossil Fuels and Minerals.
  • trade-47_image01

  • Working with your own 5 pictures, use the chart to demonstrate how to categorize the products according to the resource from which they are principally made or derived.
  • Put the students into pairs and direct them to copy the headings of the Natural Resources Chart from the board. Ask students to categorize their five pictures according to the resource from which each is made or derived.
  • Ask each pair to choose one of the products they have been working with and invite one student to come up to the board and place their picture where they think it should go on the chart. Support them to find the right placement as appropriate.


  • Using an overhead projector, a Smart Board, or a handout, show students the table of Goods Traded Through the Port of Prince Rupert (see Resources section).
  • Optional: Circulate pictures of some of the resources and products, e.g. logs, wheat, textiles, coal.
  • Lead a discussion with students about the goods. Questions could include:
    • Which of these goods do you recognize?
    • Which of the products do you own or use at home?
    • Are you surprised that these goods travel through Prince Rupert’s port? Why?
  • In the same pairs, students determine which of these goods are resources and which are products. Ask students to pick five examples of each and write them down in a T-chart.
  • trade product image 2

  • Students share and discuss their findings with another pair. They can edit their T-chart based on their discussion.


  • Students submit their T-charts for review.
  • At the end of the lesson, have each student write his or her name on the back of two yellow sticky notes. Ask students to think of a product and its related resource (the examples can be from the lesson or ones that the students have thought of by themselves). On one sticky note, students write the resource and on the other, the product. As students leave, they place their sticky notes under the appropriate column on the board. The sticky notes can be used as a quick gauge of their basic understanding of the concept of product and natural resource.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>