At-home and at school learning resources from Learning for a Sustainable Future
Week 17: SDG #8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
This week's LIO is all about UN SDG #8, the promotion of sustainable and inclusive economic growth and decent work for all. According to the UN, “sustainable and inclusive economic growth can drive progress, create decent jobs for all and improve living standards.” They define decent jobs a “opportunities for everyone to get work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration”.

Even before COVID-19, it was projected that 1 in 5 countries were likely to see a decline in per capita income in 2020, exacerbating existing poverty and inequality. The pandemic only further worsened this unfortunate reality. In 2019, 22% of the world's youth were not participating in either education, employment or training. One of the goals of this SDG is to achieve full and productive employment for all men and women by the year 2030 - including work for young people, persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value!
The activities outlined below to introduce students to many concepts of the global economy such as trade, social entrepreneurship, and addressing some of the various issues that exist in our global supply chain.
The video introduces students to the nature of work and its value to both the individual and society. It emphasizes everyone’s right to a good job and the need to ensure workers are provided with a healthy work environment and fair compensation. Attention is paid to the injustices many workers face as well as the efforts being made to address them.

What did you think of Understand Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth?
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This resource helps students begin to understand the basic principles of global trade. Starting with everyday items, such as items from the supermarket, the activities explore where the items actually come from and how they reach us. Drawing links between raw materials and finished products help students understand the concept of supply chain and global trade rules and who benefits from them.

  • Complete the World in My Shopping Bag activity with the students to get a better understanding of the origin of our food choices
  • What’s on my Plate? have students examine the poster to understand and discuss how food plays an important part of SDG 8
  • Have students complete the What’s on my Plate? activity sheet. Discuss if the people who helped produce their food were treated fairly
  • Have students pick one ingredient from their plate and investigate the origin of that chosen ingredient. Use these interactive maps to learn more about where our food crops come from
  • Get outside and Play for Goal 8 with the Global Goals Impact Games
What did you think of Find Your Way Through Trade?
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Social enterprises trade in order to tackle social problems and improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services on the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community. In this resource, students can explore examples of social enterprises started by children and adults around the world. By the end of this learning unit, students will have created their own social enterprise project.

  • Watch the SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth video to understand more about SDG 8
  • Have students complete the KWL Chart for decent work and economic growth
  • Watch Stand with Sanju and discuss with students what they think makes a job decent and the importance of social enterprises like Goodweave
  • Watch the Decent Work video. Complete the different jobs worksheet and determine if the job descriptions are decent, why or why not
  • Explore Dollar Street with students and learn how poverty, lack of resources, unequal pay and different living conditions affect families all around the world
  • Learn more about starting a social enterprise in Canada. Create a business plan for a social enterprise that would benefit your community (via The British Council, full resource here).
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Grades 9-12
This resource encourages students to take action in addressing the suffering that exists within the global food supply system as part of its Behind the Barcodes campaign. Students are presented with a number of questions designed to promote discussion, provide information and bring to light many of the injustices that plague the global food chain. 

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About Learning Inside Out

Above you will find a selection of activities, broken down by various grade levels. These guides will be released weekly and archived on our Learning Inside Out page, so you can always access the full catalogue.

All activities have been modified from resources on our R4R database, simplified and adapted for both outdoor learning in the school yard or at-home as needed. The activity descriptions above should contain all the information and links that you need!

If you'd like to view the full original resource on R4R, including curriculum connections for every province/territory, click the activity title.

We want this guide to work for you, so your feedback is invaluable to us.
Use the feedback button at the bottom of this Guide, or email us at We would also love to see photos of students engaging in the activities, please e-mail us any pictures or videos you have!
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Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) is a Canadian charity with over 25 years of experience working within the education system. Our Resources for Rethinking (R4R) database is an award-winning collection of resources that are peer-reviewed by certified teachers and connected to curriculum in all provinces and territories. R4R is recommended on many Ministry of Education websites.
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