Rice and Spice
LESSON 5: Spice, rice and the economic histories of Southeast Asia
This lesson plan introduces students to the spice trade and trading routes that linked Southeast Asia and the external world and served not only as thriving hubs for commercial activities and for the exchange and diffusion of knowledge, ideas and cultural influences.
|Subject||History / Social Studies|
|Topic||The spice trade in Southeast Asia: A connected world and societies transformed, fifteenth to sixteenth
|Key idea||The spice trade in Southeast Asia illustrated different types of connections, between countries; between trade
and politics, society and religion; between island and mainland Southeast Asia; and between Southeast
Asia and the world. Southeast Asian societies and economies were transformed by these encounters and
|Key concepts||Cash crops
Hinterland and coastland
Influence / Diffusion: cultural and religious
|No. of periods / lessons||2 periods (1 period is approximately 50 minutes)|
|Facilities needed||Sources and handouts for distribution|
|Prerequisite knowledge||No prerequisite knowledge is required.|
By the end of the lesson, the students will be able to:
Download the lesson plan for details on the talks and activities suggested below.
1. Pre-lesson preparation
The teacher prepares sets of local spices.
2. Hook activity: Explore the spices
Students touch, small and discuss the use of spices. This activity helps students establish links between the topic and their daily lives.
3. Teacher talk
The lecture runs through all sections of the lesson. It gives an overview of the early stages of the spice trade: the interactions within South-East Asia and with other parts of the world. This introduction explains why spices were so important.
4. Group work: Source analysis
Students analyze sources to discover how the spices were used by different groups of people. They share their findings with the rest of the class.
5. Teacher talk
The short talk summarizes how many groups from within and outside Southeast Asia participated in the spice trade.
Students discuss how the spice trade transformed Southeast Asia.
7. Teacher talk
The teacher explain that with the next activity , the students will learn more about how interconnected Southeast Asia became due to the spice
8. Gallery Walk
Through the analysis of sources, students identify what were some of the possible political, economic, social, cultural changes that occurred in Southeast Asia due to the movement of people and goods.
9. Teacher talk
The lectures spice shows that trade gave rise to a ‘Malay world’ of commerce in islands in Southeast Asia. It stimulated urbanization and introduced new religions in the region.
The teacher summarizes the main points of the lesson. Students fill in an exit pass.