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Where Was Your T-shirt Made?

Quick - without looking - where was your shirt manufactured?  You might need to have some help from someone else (I couldn't see my own tag-Jamie tells me it's Indonesia) but odds are it was not made in the United States.  Have you ever done this activity with your students - check out their clothing labels and then discuss the global path their t-shirt likely made before it ended up in a local store?  How about plotting those locations on Google Maps or in Google Earth(There are many other possibilities for an activity such as this - discussing the working conditions in those countries, economic policies, etc.)

Were you aware of the the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)?  This Act requires that manufacturers of children's products (generally for children ages 12 and younger) must place permanent marks on their products manufactured after August 14, 2009.  On Twitter this week, I favorited a tweet from @SuzanneWhisler about the TrackMyT website.  While the website is designed with lesson plans for children ages 6-10, there is so much good information here for older students as well.  How many students really know the journey from a cotton seed to a t-shirt? 

This site lets student type in a unique lot number from their t-shirt to see if they can track it (it may only work with youth styles from the creator of the website, Anvil Knitwear, Inc.,) or they can choose to track a random t-shirt.

This might be a good way to get students thinking beyond just being a consumer of clothing.  Students might be able to use this information to prepare an Illustrated Talk about the issue of clothing and consumerism.  Have fun with TrackMyT

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