~ by Elizabeth O. Crawford
On September 17th, educators and professional organizations worldwide will come together for the first annual Global Collaboration Day. This international, full-day event will bring awareness to the power and impact of connected learning. Classroom teachers and other professionals may host or join an event on a range of topics, such as the study of monarch butterflies and the new UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. By exploring the Global Collaboration Day site, you will find themes and issues of global significance appropriate for young learners, as well as adults.
Participation in Global Collaboration Day is an engaging way to ignite teachers’ passion and vision for global learning opportunities year-round. This summer, graduate students enrolled in my global education course at the University of North Carolina Wilmington partnered with Kid World Citizen to develop integrated, global collaborative projects for implementation in their elementary classrooms. Defined simply as a plan for enhancing cross-cultural awareness and knowledge of global issues among elementary students, these global collaboration projects are inquiry-based and solution-focused. In other words, they aim to empower children to take action in ways that are meaningful to them.
Each project includes students-created Pinterest boards of diverse resources to engage their students. By clicking on the titles, you’ll see the proposed calendar of activities and exchanges, and a project assessment and scoring rubric. Each project aligns with Common Core State Standards and state standards in social studies, science, and the arts.
We invite you to explore these global collaboration projects and leave a comment at the end of the post if you would like to partner on the study of any of these global themes. Together, let’s make learning global today and everyday!
GLOBAL COLLABORATION FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS
by Caitlin Fischetti (1st grade)
Hunger and food insecurity is a domestic and global crisis, with 1 in 7 people suffering. With staggering statistics about hunger and food insecurity, it is of the utmost importance that children are educated at a young age about the global hunger crisis and how they can help. This project’s goal is for students to become problem solvers and take action to help end this global epidemic. Students will participate in the Read to Feed project through Heifer International, blogging their findings and action steps with global partners.
by Lindsey Faircloth (1st grade)
Interest in school gardens and the benefits that they bring to young elementary students have been growing rapidly around the world. Through this project, students will participate in growing and nurturing plants in our school garden. They will learn about different plants around the world and collaborate with other students to find out what plants are native to their respective regions. They will learn about health, hunger around the world, communication, comparison skills, and improve their writing abilities. Students will make meaningful connections with others, while participating in a life-changing curriculum that will fulfill state standards.
by Sibyl Barksdale (1st grade)
“Recycling for a Better World” includes 5 weeks of activities designed to foster the awareness of the importance of the 3 Rs and how pollution affects our world. Students will identify items that can be recycled and will participate in reducing, recycling, and reusing waste products that could end up in our landfills. Students will collaborate on activities that will help conserve our natural resources and share them with partner classrooms from around the world.
by Lauren Pike (2nd grade)
The “Food Around the World” project will introduce students to our global food system. Students will compare and contrast the role food plays in their lives with children in other parts of the world. They will learn about want and waste, brainstorm ideas of how we can end the global food crisis, and design posters explaining the problem and urging others to get involved. The project will culminate with a classroom garden to be shared on the ANIA Children’s Land Project website, as well as an Empty Bowls event at school to raise money to give to the local food bank.
by Ashley Melton (2nd grade, Southern Hemisphere)
Weather is a natural occurrence that children are already curious about, that affects their daily lives, and that can be observed from any place in the world. Together with a partner class in the Southern Hemisphere, students record daily weather conditions and learn about natural disasters and safety procedures. Students will generate conclusions about weather and natural disasters, imagine solutions, and test their theories. They will collaboratively write an article to inform others about natural disasters and safety procedures to follow before, during, and after various natural disasters.
by Jane Yap Ewican (2nd grade)
The harmful effects of climate change have continuously changed our environment so much that it has been silently changing our ways of life. In response, the push for the use of clean energy in many nations is promising. The aim of this project is to instigate a ‘green perspective’ within our students and to integrate ‘green living’ into their daily lives. Students will study weather changes and energy, engage in in-depth conversations about energy and our environment through technology with peers globally, and practice energy conservation. At the end of this project, students will develop thoughtful judgment in their energy usage and become ‘active’ advocates for the environment.
by Johanna Murphy (2nd grade)
The future of our planet will be directly impacted by the choices humans make today. The goal of this project is to educate students about environmental degradation and the importance of conservation. Foundational knowledge about pollution and the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) will inform students’ development of a school-wide recycling program. Students will partner with peers globally as they identify an environmental problem within their school or community and work toward a solution. This project will engage students in the 4 C’s of 21st century learning skills: communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking!
by Katie Fischetti (2nd grade)
Each year, 1.4 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the ocean and more than 100,000 sea mammals are killed by pollution. This project will focus on the causes and effects of such ocean pollution derived from trash, sewage, oil, noise heat, and chemicals. Through books, movies, websites, games, and more, students will learn about the local and global impacts of ocean pollution are to marine life. Together with a global partner, students will conduct research and write letters and blog postings informing the community about ocean pollution and how individuals can create change.
by Shani Thompson Galloway (3rd grade)
Deforestation is an important global issue affecting our world, causing harm to wildlife, humans, and the environment. The goals of this project are for children to develop an awareness of the causes of deforestation, the impact it is having on the world, and become global problem solvers by creating solutions to deforestation. Students will be introduced to multiple perspectives on deforestation, research the issue, communicate their findings to diverse audiences, take action and promote change. This project fosters global competence by allowing students to develop an awareness of a global issue while fostering curiosity, compassion, and empathy.
by Michelle Lee (3rd grade)
“Communicating Mathematically” is designed to involve students in hands-on activities that will enable them to gain an understanding of metric mass and capacity. The United States, Liberia, and Myanmar are the only countries in the world who still use the customary measurement system, thus creating the potential for miscommunication in mathematics. This project builds students’ understanding of the history of measurement systems, the differences in the US system versus the metric system, and how these differences can create communication issues. They will learn how to use metric measurement to solve problems by partnering with global partners. Students will draw conclusions regarding the benefits and drawbacks of a worldwide system of measurement.
by JoAnn Torres (Sp.Ed K-3, Honduras)
“A Celebration of Children around the World” is a focus on students with learning disabilities, providing them every way possible to learn and to realize that they are not alone. For special education students, writing often creates frustration. This project will target communication through writing with a pen pal, via traditional paper, pencil, and technology such as assistive technology software, video chats and Skype, to include taking pictures of what is ‘outside their window, to share with their pen pals. This project will allow the students the opportunity to virtually travel and make new friends, learn about a different culture, and through modes of communication, bring the world to them, and allow them to share their world with others.
by Laura Montague (4th grade)
Too quickly, the trash produced in modern civilization is “out of sight, out of mind.” As society encourages production and use of the products of today, our trash piles are adding up and causing issues of global proportion across the world. This four-week project will offer students experiences to inquire into our production and disposal of trash, as they collaborate with the global community to enrich their understandings and urgency to invoke change. Upon conclusion of the project, students will have a variety of enduring understandings surrounding this topic as well as have participated in the creation of a Reducing Trash campaign with technology tools.
by Anne Watkins (7th grade, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, and Kenya)
This project is designed to help students understand how access to safe drinking water is a variable that threatens the existence of human beings in different parts of the world.This project will help students understand how the struggle to obtain clean drinking water impacts the advancement of societies, especially regarding education, gender equality, and health. Students will learn that water on our planet is a limited resource which we need to conserve and protect. Along with a global partner, students will explore the issues surrounding access to safe water, test the water quality of different sources, and discover solutions to improve water quality, usage, and access locally and globally.