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Activity 3

Essential Question

What factors sometimes lead nations to restrict and limit free international trade?


Countries are said to conduct free trade when international trade is not limited by their governments. Economics and political factors are some of the factors that sometimes lead countries to restrict international trade. Commonly used trade barriers include embargoes, import quotas, tariffs, and voluntary trade restrictions.

Instructional Strategies

Strategy 1

Computer Research

Review good computer research strategies with students prior to going to the computer lab or using the in-class computers. Be sure to discuss the following concerns:

  • Web sites differ. Some are better then others in terms of reliability and accuracy of information.
  • Web sites come and go. Be sure you are using a web site that continues to provide accurate information over time and is not there for a single purpose.
  • Reliable of information is important. Establish criteria for what you determine to be reliable information.

Choose one of the following websites to determine the criteria for reliability. Put the criteria on chart paper and display it every time you take the students to the computer lab.

Check for Understanding

  • Choose several other websites at random. Use the criteria to assess the reliability of the site.

Strategy 2

KWLH Graphic Organizer

Discuss with the class the importance of “active thinking” when doing research. Talk about the importance of linking prior knowledge to what they want to learn about a topic.

Review the steps in the KWLH graphic organizer with the class. Remind them of what each step in the process stands for:

  • K – what they KNOW about the topic
  • W – what they WANT to learn about the topic
  • L – what they LEARN about the topic as they do research
  • H – HOW we can learn more about the topic

Provide each student with a chart to record their prior knowledge and connect it to what they learn in their research.

Printable Student View









Strategy 3

Group Research

Set the purpose question for the research by discussing the following issue:

Governments control, limit, or restrict trade in order to protect the economic interests of their citizens as well as to prevent trade partners from getting an unfair advantage in the market at the expense of their own industries.

Pose the following questions:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of restricting trade in order to protect our own economic interests?
  • What are the various types of trade barriers that governments use to restrict trade?
    • List the advantages and disadvantages on chart paper and display them in the computer lab and the classroom for future discussion.
    • List the trade barriers on separate chart paper and display them.

Divide the class into work groups. Assign each work group a particular trade barrier that a country might use as part of its trade policy. Have them research this policy using the KWLH chart to record the results of their research.

Check for Understanding

  • Research one of the following global trade organizations:
    1. NAFTA
    2. EU
    3. CARICOM
    4. APEC
  • Decide if any of the policies of the group could be called restrictive. Explain.
Updated December 31, 2019 9:48am