World Wonder

Inspiring Global Citizenship

Learning Ignited!

on August 11, 2016
Students waving hands in the air.

Author with students in Thailand.

With back to school here, I thought it would be fun to feature one of my earlier blogs that still seems relevant.  For additional ideas on how to ignite global learning in your classroom and at home, take a look at some of my favorite resources.  So here it is…

Back to school fever is on!  After a fun filled summer of travel, outdoor play, beach time, and lazy mornings, it is time to settle in to another activity packed school year.  In today’s global learning environment where schools are experimenting more with blended learning, UDL and online curriculum, I get excited to think about how we can better serve our kids through more project based learning, collaborative assignments and global interaction. Today’s global economy is for real! How can we as a community better prepare our students with the skills, tools and knowledge they need to successfully participate in this more complex and intertwined world. Below are a few ways we can incorporate more global awareness and learning in the classroom environment. By providing a diverse range of ways to access information, I believe more students will get excited about learning and experience improved outcomes overall.

  • Incorporate a global corner in every classroom where students can access books in various languages, music, art-making, photographs and other resources. Use this corner as a place to explore the world and access information in a variety of formats and media.
  • Create monthly exhibits in a classroom. Involve the students and ask them what topic they would like to explore. For example, if the topic is global health, each student can decide how they would like to contribute to the classroom exhibit by either creating art, writing a story, presenting an interesting resource or sharing a personal story about the topic. It’s a great way for students to work collaboratively and to take charge of their learning!
  • Bring in volunteer speakers from your community. You’ll be amazed at how valuable this interaction can be for everyone. Have your students write up questions they would like to ask and what they would like to learn. It’s a great way to explore different career paths, history and culture.
  • Celebrate the cultures of your classroom. This can be done every day! Examine art, music, dance, food, and traditions of your student’s ancestors. It can be a great way to encourage your students to learn more about their own heritage and roots.
  • Get your students writing letters to Pen Pals around the world. I’m a traditionalist and still believe in the value of sending a hand written letter via snail mail. What young person doesn’t enjoy opening up a letter, especially if it is decorated with drawings, stickers or exotic stamps? Encourage your students to include pictures and art work to enhance their letters to their friends abroad.
  • Connect with a classroom in another country. Skype in the Classroom is an amazing resource. Plan monthly Skype sessions on various topics that match the monthly curriculum.   There are some schools participating in monthly book clubs with their international partner schools.
  • Plan a service learning project. There are a zillion causes and organizations to support. Ask your students what they are interested in supporting. Here are some great tips for planning a successful service learning project from the National Dropout Prevention Network. Research shows that hands on learning can be one of the most effective ways to impact student success.

Ideas, comments or resources to share?  Contact World Wonder today!


One response to “Learning Ignited!

  1. Fran Cohen says:

    This is so exciting – I love your ideas and zest for this important work! Love you, Fran


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