Students are part of something bigger than themselves, and giving them the opportunity to understand this can ignite a passion to become more culturally responsible and sensitive.
However, with classes that are always short on time, it can be tough to add global learning activities on top of all the other learning objectives you already have. If you feel strongly about global awareness, however, you can prioritize these activities without taking up too much time.
Here are seven easy ways in which teachers can incorporate more global issues during class time.
1. Multicultural Books
One of the easiest and most effective ways to teach children about global awareness is to encourage them to read multicultural books, in which characters of different ethnicities, religions, and cultures can transport them on a global adventure.
Multicultural children’s books can not only help children learn about their cultural heritages, but it can also teach respect, dispel stereotypes, and showcase universal human feelings.
Multicultural books can teach children about the world that exists beyond their communities.
2. International Sports
Different countries play sports in different ways (such as European vs South American soccer), and others may have sporting events that aren’t readily seen in Canada. Exposing your students to international sporting events, such as the World Cup or the Olympics, or having them play different international sports during gym or recess can help them get excited about the differences that exist in the world.
What better way to allow your students to explore different cultural experiences than through food? Having a class potluck, where each student brings a dish from his or her cultural heritage, can be an excellent opportunity to teach kids about cultural diversity and sensitivity.
4. Field Trips
Taking a class trip to another country to expose your students to local cultures and foods around the world may not be possible. However, they can still encounter new cultures through field trips to nearby ethnic restaurants or heritage museums.
5. Online Programs
Children from kindergarten to high school can participate in the collaborative Worldwide Book Club project, in which students can connect with other students from around the world to discuss books.
Skype in the Classroom is another excellent program that allows classrooms to connect with other people around the world for free.
6. Google Field Trip App
The Google Field Trip app can allow your students to explore new geographies from the comfort of the classroom. Students can zoom in to specific locations using the map feature, or search for areas of interest, and find a wealth of information about interesting sites in the area, such as monuments, museums, haunted hotels, and theme parks.
7. Global Games
Exposing children to games that are played around the world can make global awareness teachings a lot of fun. Global games like Cat and Mice from the Philippines, Wee Bologna Man from Scotland, Kukla, Hit the Can from Turkey, and Crab Race from Japan can keep global awareness teachings engaging for younger children in particular.