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Children need lots of opportunities to learn about the diverse world around them. Exploring world geography, reading multicultural literature, researching world cultures, playing traditional games, and being involved in service to others are just some of the 40 Ways to build your classroom community of global learners.
TOOLS & RESOURCES
1. Display a world wall map. Laminate it first and use wet erase markers to write/draw on it as you introduce different regions of the world. OR… get a world map shower curtain to attach to your wall. If it’s transparent, consider hanging it in front of a window.
2. Have at least one globe accessible to students. (Who didn’t love spinning the globe to discover new places?) Inflatable globes are great for individual and small group work – and are fun for the kids to bring outside.
3. Diversify your class library. Provide a variety of books that teach kids about world geography, cultures, landmarks, people, animals, and more. Include picture books, chapter books, magazines, biographies, poetry, and lots of reference books. Be sure there are books that represent all of the students in your classroom.
4. Bookmark resources for diverse book suggestions, reviews, and activities you can use all year long. These are some of my favorites.
- Kids Travel Books
- Colours of Us
- 2016 Multicultural Children’s Book Day Linky (with 250+ posts, there’s something for every one)
- Diversity Book Lists & Activities
5. Use Printable Maps for free continent and country maps for students.
7. Explore the World! with National Geographic Kids’ interactive map.
8. Print FREE World Flags. Great for decorations, presentations, table signs, international events, and more!
10. Play Free Rice – an online multiple-choice quiz game. For every correct answer you choose, 10 grains of rice are raised to help end world hunger through the World Food Programme. Free, and fun for all ages!
LESSONS & ACTIVITIES
11. Read What Does It Mean To Be Global? using the discussion questions and lesson plans provided in this post to introduce the concept of being a world citizen.
12. Participate in the Global Read Aloud, October 3rd – November 11. The idea is simple – teachers around the world read the same book aloud to their students and then use technology to share the reading experience with other classrooms. Sign up now.
13. Investigate world geography and cultures with our Country Research Projects. Designate one composition notebook ( or a journal, a binder, even stapled pieces of paper) for country research.
Begin with one country to research as a class – allowing you to model the process. After that, the projects can be completed individually, with a partner, or in a small group. The notebook can be shared with family, friends, and other classes throughout the year or at the end of the year. It makes a wonderful keepsake.
14. Discuss current events. DOGO News provides interesting articles about topics from around the globe. You have to subscribe to get the related worksheets, but you don’t need those – let the kids guide the discussion.
15. Read If the World Were a Village. Shrinking the world’s population down to 100 people, this book helps kids understand “who we are, where we live, how fast we are growing, what languages we speak, and more.” (Amazon editorial review)
*Be sure to get the most current edition.
16. Visit schools around the world. First, watch the video. Then, click on the map to see each photo and read the caption. Discuss similarities and differences.
17. Read multicultural folk tales, fairy tales, and myths to younger students.
19. Recognize Human Rights Day on December 10. Teach students about The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948. Here are some resources to help.
20. Discuss the the right to education, and how that is not the reality for all. Introduce Malala Yousefzai‘s story and her fight for this right. Decide how you can help.
21. Explore world languages. Learn different ways to say hello and goodbye in different languages. Create a class poster to display and use as a reference throughout the year. As you study different countries, make a word wall to display common words and phrases in the official language(s) of the country.
22. Play traditional games from other countries. Games Around the World includes directions cards, a world map, and response sheets that kids will love all year long.
23. “Globalize” your brain breaks and dance parties. Kid World Citizen compiled 25 songs from around the world that are sure to get kids (and teachers) moving and singing.
24. Kids Yoga Stories by Giselle Shardlow provide a great introduction to yoga poses through a story format. Sophia’s Jungle Adventure involves kids acting out a journey through the Costa Rican jungle. They are also available on YouTube.
25. Schedule global art projects. We have a Pinterest board with lots of fun ideas for you.
26. Discover musical instruments from around the world with Daria – World Music for Children. Listen to the sound of an instrument, listen to that instrument being played in a song, color the instrument online (or print & color), and then follow written directions to make the instrument.
27. Introduce the concept of time zones with Nine O’Clock Lullaby. Model how students can use a globe to figure out what time it is around the world.
28. Practice solving elapsed time problems with real-time data from the World Clock. – Have students take turns choosing two cities and locating the cities on the world map. Then ask students to figure out the the time difference between them. -Ask students to solve problems that involve adding and subtracting time. For example, it is 10:32 a.m. in London right now. What time will it be in London 3 hours from now? What time was it in London 6 hours and 45 minutes ago. For an added challenge, adjust the times to involve switching between a.m. and p.m. and days.
29. Most countries use the metric system. It is important for students to understand this system. Click here for an introduction to metric units.
31. Introduce lattice multiplication – a method used for centuries in many different cultures. Challenge students to find other math algorithms from around the globe.
32. Host an international luncheon. Each student finds and prepares a dish to share. They provide recipe cards for students to take home. (Be sure to have allergy alerts as well.) Make a class recipe book for students to give their parents as a holiday gift.
33. Celebrate cultural holidays with books, activities, food, and crafts. Diversity Calendar
34. Find ways to help and give back, locally and globally. Consider making donations of books, clothing, and toys to charitable organizations, holding fundraisers for a cause, or volunteering to help those in need.
CONNECT OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
35. Skype in the Classroom. “Take your students around the world without ever leaving the classroom. Skype lessons are live learning activities given by experts via Skype around a specific topic or theme.” Microsoft Educator
36. Mystery Skype. “The global guessing game that gets kids learning about geography, culture, and the similarities and differences of how children live all over the world.” Microsoft Educator
37. Virtual Field Trips. “Take your students for an adventure without leaving the classroom. Visit our experts out in the field all around the world!” Microsoft Educator
38. Find Guest Speakers. “Find hundreds of volunteer guest speakers from around the world on a wide variety of subjects.” Microsoft Educator
39. Organize PenPals, ePals or KeyPals for the year.
40. Schedule visitors (family members, business leaders, and community members) to share their culture and travels.
What do you do to Go Global in the Elementary Classroom?
To celebrate her 40th birthday, Leanna from All Done Monkey has organized a virtual party, where each blogger shares her list of 40 favorite things, plus we are giving away a big cash prize to a lucky winner! Don’t miss these creative Top 40 lists, and be sure to enter the giveaway, which is open internationally. (Thanks to the Piri-Piri Lexicon for designing this beautiful series button!)
All Done Monkey: 40 Ways to Celebrate Turning 40
The Piri-Piri Lexicon: 40 Tips for Parents of Bilingual Children
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: 40 Things to Do with Kids in Puerto Rico
Play Dough & Popsicles: 40 Paper Plate Crafts for Kids
Hispanic Mama: 40 Books for Hispanic Heritage Month
Pura Vida Moms: 40 Best Cupcake Recipes
Globe Trottin’ Kids: 40 Ways to Go Global in the Elementary Classroom
Spanglish Monkey: 40 Dishes from Around the World You Should Try
Peakle Pie: 40 Free Family Fun Things to Make and Do
Witty Hoots: 40 Amazing Books to Read Before You Get Old
MommyMaestra: 40 Ways to Have a Multicultural Homeschool
MarocMama: 40 Things to Do in Morocco You Haven’t Thought Of!
Multilingual Parenting: 40 Ways to Motivate Bilingual Children to Speak the Minority Language
Creative World of Varya: 40 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to China
Pack-n-Go Girls: 40 Fabulous Travel Tips
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