A morning meeting in an elementary classroom is a structured gathering at the beginning of each school day that serves multiple important purposes. It is a time for the teacher and students to come together as a community, set a positive tone for the day, and engage in activities that promote social-emotional development, academic readiness, and a sense of belonging.
By integrating global learning into the morning meeting, you not only enhance your students’ understanding of the world but also foster a sense of curiosity and cultural awareness.
Key Components of a Morning Meeting – and How to Globalize Them!
This is where students and the teacher warmly greet each other. It helps create a positive and inclusive atmosphere, setting the stage for a productive day. For example, students might say, “Good morning” or use a unique handshake or gesture.
Globalize It! Greet each other in different languages or with gestures inspired by various cultures. For example, say “Bonjour!” for French or bow respectfully as a Japanese greeting.
This is an opportunity for students to share something about themselves with the class. It could be related to their interests, achievements, or experiences. This fosters a sense of belonging and encourages open communication. For example, a student might share a drawing they made over the weekend or talk about a special event in their life.
Globalize It! Ask students to share the story behind their name, a cultural tradition in their family, an interesting fact about a place they traveled to, an item related to a specific culture, or a current event that has caught their attention.
3. Activity, Game, or Read-Aloud
This involves a brief, interactive activity that engages students while reinforcing important skills. It could be a quick math problem, a word game, or a team-building exercise. For instance, a teacher might pose a riddle for students to solve together.
- Integrate culturally diverse stories, folktales, and literature into your morning meetings. This not only exposes students to different perspectives but also encourages empathy and understanding. Browse our selection of Global Read-Aloud Videos and Activities.
- Read and discuss brief news articles and age-appropriate current events worldwide. This is an opportunity to tie in geographical knowledge with real-world applications.
- Introduce simple crafts or art projects inspired by a particular culture or region. Share an example and review the directions during the Morning Meeting so that children can work on it later.
- Hold a mini Geography Bee with students working in pairs or teams to answer questions such as, “Which country has the largest population in the world?”
- Engage students beyond their classroom walls through a project such as The Global Read-Aloud, Go Pangea, or National Geographic Explorers.
- Practice mind and body exercises. Try Mindful Kids, Yoga Pretzels, and Global Kids activity decks with detailed instruction cards. (Click the individual links to try some FREE activities!)
- Introduce music and dance from various cultures. This sensory experience not only exposes students to new sounds and rhythms but also fosters an appreciation for cultural diversity.
- Explore forms of poetry from around the world.
When the sun rises, it rises for everyone.– Cuban Proverb
- Play traditional children’s games like Luta de Galo, a tag game from Brazil, and Lotería, a bingo-style game from Mexico.
4. Morning Message
The teacher typically shares a message with the class, which could include important announcements, the day’s schedule, or a thought for the day. It serves as a way to communicate vital information while promoting literacy skills. For example, the message might contain a short poem or a question for students to ponder.
Globalize It! The message could include a fun fact about a country, a landmark, or a cultural celebration. The Global Minute includes 400 facts from around the globe!
5. Closing or Reflection
The meeting concludes with a closing activity that helps summarize the learning and set intentions for the day ahead. It could involve a brief reflection, a sharing of one thing students are looking forward to, or a closing quote or affirmation.
Additional Tips for Globalizing the Morning Meeting
Create “passports” for each student and “stamp” them as they “visit” different countries during Morning Meetings.
Use Visual Aids and Maps
Utilize maps, globes, and visual aids to provide a tangible representation of the countries and cultures you’re discussing. Pinpointing locations helps students grasp geographical concepts and understand the spatial relationships between different regions. Virtual tours, using resources like Google Earth, can also provide a firsthand look at distant locations.
Create a Weekly or Monthly Theme
Designate specific weeks or months for exploring different global topics. For example, focus on a continent each month or celebrate cultural festivals from around the world. This thematic approach adds structure and coherence to your integration efforts.
Encourage Discussion and Questions
Create a welcoming atmosphere for open dialogue. Encourage students to ask questions and share their thoughts. This fosters a sense of curiosity and promotes critical thinking.
Invite Guest Speakers or Virtual Tours
Whenever possible, invite guest speakers to share their experiences and insights.
By integrating global learning into your elementary classroom morning meetings, you’re not only expanding your students’ horizons but also nurturing global citizens who appreciate and respect diversity. Embrace the richness that comes from exploring the world together, and watch as your students develop a deeper understanding of our global community.
* Remember, these activities should be tailored to suit your specific grade level and the diverse needs of your students. Have fun, be creative, and let the world be your classroom!