The International Pencil

International pencil image 7-2-15

The International Pencil: by Larry Wolken  is adapted from “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read” and the “How A Pencil is Made” kit.

Looking at a map is not sufficient for students to realize the extent to which people around the world interact with each other. As the world economy expands, these interactions increase in number and complexity. They involve people who have different national origins, speak varied languages, and live under contrasting social, political, and economic systems. As national leaders try to improve the standard of living of their people, more natural resources are needed. Because these resources are not uniformly distributed throughout the world, they are exchanged within and between regions. They are then turned into products that may be used locally or shipped to consumers around the world, resulting in increased global interdependence.

Pencils can be used to teach the abstract concept of global interdependence and a wide variety of geographical concepts. Although a pencil is a simple, familiar object, its production is the result of an amazingly large number of interactions involving many people from around the world.

To use this activity, click below and view the power point presentation for International Pencil.
Recording of PowerPoint presentation of The International Pencil
Transcript: of the PowerPoint presentation
PowerPoint presentation: PowerPoint file
PowerPoint slides of The International Pencil (PDF file)

How a Pencil is Made Kit: use this kit from the General Pencil Company to make The International Pencil in your classroom.  This kit was used in the PowerPoint presentation of The International Pencil.
Pencil Kit

Additional Information about Pencils