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Program Illicit: The Dark Trade


1. Introduce globalization.
Explain to students that globalization, in its simplest form, means a more connected world. Globalization is the movement and integration of goods and people among different countries. Globalization is driven by international trade and aided by information technology. Make sure students understand that there are pros and cons to globalization, all of which have economic, social, political, and cultural impacts. Ask them to brainstorm what some pros and cons may be, and write them on the board.

2. Distribute the worksheet and have students research globalization.
Distribute copies of the worksheet Decision Matrix to each student. Have students use the provided websites to conduct their own research and to learn more about the issues in the debate over globalization. They can also find resources at the school library or a local library. Ask students to record the information they find on the worksheet.

3. Have students decide what they think about globalization.
Based on their research, tell students to select the arguments that they believe are most valid.

4. Have students write about globalization.
Have students write a bulleted list of information that supports the views they selected. Tell students they can choose one aspect of globalization, such as economic costs and benefits, or they can look at the issue as a whole.

5. Have students debate globalization.
Divide the class into two groups: students who focused on pros and students who focused on cons. Have the two groups debate the issue. Make sure students back up any statements with factual information from reliable resources.

Extending the Learning

If possible, have students watch the National Geographic film Illicit: The Dark Trade. An excerpt of the film is provided in this activity. Go to the PBS website to find out where you can get the full DVD.


Subjects & Disciplines

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • define
  • conduct research about globalization
  • identify pros and cons of globalization
  • choose and support one side of the debate

Teaching Approach

  • Learning-for-use

Teaching Methods

  • Information organization
  • Research
  • Writing

National Standards, Principles, and Practices

National Geography Standards

Standard 11
The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface

Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics

Standard 3: Allocation of Goods and Services
Different methods can be used to allocate goods and services. People acting individually or collectively through government, must choose which methods to use to allocate different kinds of goods and services.


What You’ll Need

Materials You Provide

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Pens

Background & Vocabulary

Background Information

Globalization is the movement and integration of goods and people among different countries. There are advantages and disadvantages to globalization, all of which have economic, social, political, and cultural impacts.

Prior Knowledge

  • None

Recommended Prior Activities

  • None


Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry



connection of different parts of the world resulting in the expansion of international cultural, economic, and political activities.

Encyclopedic Entry: globalization

For Further Exploration



Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.


Nancee Hunter


Kim Hulse, National Geographic Society
Christina Riska, National Geographic Society
Alice Manning, National Geographic Society

Expert Reviewer

Katie Wilson, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


adapted from National Geographic’s Illicit: The Dark Trade activity “The Debate Over Globalization”

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