TeachersFirst's China and Cross-Cultural Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Every culture tends to focus on its own way of thinking and doing. In order to prepare our students for life, twenty-first century classrooms must foster cross-cultural understanding as a vital aspect of learning in today's global society. This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students build a better understanding of other cultures, especially China, through related projects and classroom activities. We welcome suggestions of additional free teaching resources for our team to review. Please mention "cross-cultural" in your message.

 

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Diversity Workshop - USC School of Social Work

Grades
9 to 12
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Diversity Workshop is a training guide for facilitating discussions on diversity and the role of identity in social relationships. Training focuses on two key areas - the concept of...more
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Diversity Workshop is a training guide for facilitating discussions on diversity and the role of identity in social relationships. Training focuses on two key areas - the concept of culture and identity. Different activities offer participants the opportunity to learn about and practice ideas within each concept.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), diversity (36)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the activities shared within the guide to use as part of community building in your classroom or to teach diversity. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Before and after activities have students or groups collect ideas and thoughts about diversity using Dotstorming, reviewed here. The Dotstorming application creates free online bulletin boards. Embed Dotstorming on your class website for students to access at home.

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Global Conflict Tracker - Council on Foreign Relations

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8 to 12
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This interactive provides up-to-date information about global conflicts, and specifically the impact on U.S. interests. Colors display the impact on the U.S. with red being more critical...more
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This interactive provides up-to-date information about global conflicts, and specifically the impact on U.S. interests. Colors display the impact on the U.S. with red being more critical and green as limited. Hover over any highlighted area to learn the area affected. Click to find out more such as the number of people affected, recent developments, and background about the conflict. Use filters to view information by region or different types of conflict.

tag(s): conflict resolution (8), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), journalism (45), maps (287), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this interactive for use throughout the year when discussing current events or studying different regions around the world. Share the locations using Google Earth, reviewed here, to get a first-hand look at the geography of the region. This tool is a great find for gifted students. Have them explore different regions of conflict and research the background of events in the area. Challenge students to make a multimedia presentation using information found in their research. Use a tool like Zeetings, reviewed here. Zeetings allows adding polls, videos, embeds, web links, PowerPoint, and PDFs. Have students create & embed a timeline to their presentation using Dipity, reviewed here, to demonstrate important events in the conflicted area. You may wish to share this tool on your website for parents and students to review when planning a trip, or if they have family in an affected area.

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Spanish Christmas Food - Mama's Box

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K to 12
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Do you need new ideas for a Christmas Around the World celebration or a unit about Spain? Try some authentic Spanish dessert recipes for starters. The easy to follow directions ...more
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Do you need new ideas for a Christmas Around the World celebration or a unit about Spain? Try some authentic Spanish dessert recipes for starters. The easy to follow directions along with vibrant images offer interesting suggestions to liven up any event.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (64), cooking (34), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), spain (9)

In the Classroom

Ask parents to volunteer to cook and bring in items for celebrations. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to describe the different foods or ingredients. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops from their around the world food tasting! If teaching Spanish, have students rewrite recipes in Spanish.

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Global Oneness Projects - Global Oneness Project

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8 to 12
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Search this site to find photos, articles, and videos used to explore various issues spanning the world. Learn about different lifestyles and cultures from all over the globe. Sign...more
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Search this site to find photos, articles, and videos used to explore various issues spanning the world. Learn about different lifestyles and cultures from all over the globe. Sign up for the newsletter to receive more free lesson plans, stories, videos, and more to go along with spreading cultural awareness.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115)

In the Classroom

Promote global awareness by sharing the videos, articles or photos and using the accompanying lesson plans to enhance the learning experience. Explore how other cultures are different from your own using the artifacts found on the site. Have the students watch the videos on their own and complete a discussion about the video on a discussion board or in class. Starting a new study of a different culture? Use one of the videos as an anticipatory set. Share the video on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Journeys in Film - Journeys in Film and USC Rossier School of Education

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8 to 12
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Journeys in Film provides lesson plans for teaching cultural and global understanding through movies. Use links to download lessons including correlation to standards by subject area,...more
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Journeys in Film provides lesson plans for teaching cultural and global understanding through movies. Use links to download lessons including correlation to standards by subject area, global issue, or culture. This site doesn't provide access to films used in lessons, but it does share options for renting. Other downloads include discussion guides for films with accompanying clips available on the Journeys in Film site.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), holocaust (38), journalism (45), movies (63), video (251), women (101)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans for classroom use. These resources and videos are extremely flexible for classroom use. Use the film clips for current events, and to highlight events from the past. Use a video segment to get students thinking about their understanding of issues, solutions, and whether today's environment has changed from that of the past. View a variety of clips from one theme and discuss events in the clip or use a writing assignment to provide time to process the events. Discuss in what ways these clips are similar and other societal, economic, and political factors that affected them. Be sure to brainstorm how different people, in other areas of the world, would view these issues. Research these issues using resources from other areas of the world. Use Today's News, reviewed here, to see editorials and news clippings that are not of American origin. If you'd like to to create your own clips from these films try using a tool like EDPuzzle, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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PenPal Schools - Joe Troyen

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4 to 12
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PenPal Schools connects learners from around the world with three to six-week courses in cross-cultural learning and understanding. After sign up, PenPal Schools matches classes based...more
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PenPal Schools connects learners from around the world with three to six-week courses in cross-cultural learning and understanding. After sign up, PenPal Schools matches classes based on class size and age range. Choose courses from four categories based on global issues or American issues. Each week, students log in to complete an assignment that typically involves viewing a video and reading a news article before answering a set of questions. Assignments are aligned with the Common Core Standards.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), DAT device agnostic tool (192)

In the Classroom

Create an account and participate in different courses as part of your studies of current events. Enrich course content by having students create an annotated image based on discussion questions including text boxes, related links, and even video. Use Thinglink, reviewed here, for this activity. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a tool such as podOmatic, reviewed here.

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The Walters Art Museum - The Walters Art Museum

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K to 12
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The Walters Art Museum opened in 1934 in Maryland. This site has information about the museum, its founders, the long history, and more. Take a deeper dive by looking at ...more
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The Walters Art Museum opened in 1934 in Maryland. This site has information about the museum, its founders, the long history, and more. Take a deeper dive by looking at exhibits and the pieces of art found there. Use the educators section to find lesson plans and resources, or take advantage of the potential for video conferencing with museum educators. Utilize the section for Integrating the Arts to teach cross-curricular lessons in any of the core subject areas. Find the integration lessons categorized by ancient civilizations such as China or Islam. Also check out the Teacher Resources area for quite a few lesson plans that include different topics such as Ancient Storytelling, Egyptian Symbols, Coat of Arms, Warhol Stained Glass, The Nutcracker, Mapping the Past - Mapping the Present, and many more.

tag(s): art history (69), artists (75), museums (49)

In the Classroom

Use the Integrating the Arts sections to find printable lesson plans to create cross-curricular lessons. The lesson plans include objectives, multiple activities, examples, and a wrap-up. Students can then use the site to find other pieces of art that demonstrate or support the same concept.

Connect middle and high school students to the museum through one of the prescheduled video conference calls to learn about specific topics. Be sure to prepare students for the conference call, and encourage students to participate with comments and questions to enhance the learning experience. After the conference, have students navigate through the pieces of art on the site that relate to the topic from the video conference.

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Borderland - NPR (National Public Radio)

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8 to 12
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Take a 2,428 mile road trip along the US/Mexican border to see and read the stories, culture, and goods that come together at the meeting points of these two countries. ...more
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Take a 2,428 mile road trip along the US/Mexican border to see and read the stories, culture, and goods that come together at the meeting points of these two countries. These 12 stories tell the tale of individuals along the border as told to reporters accompanied by US Border Patrol Agents. Each story includes stunning photography along with personal stories of those living on the border or attempting to cross into the US. The main page also includes a ticker that shows how many vehicles cross the border legally, how many pedestrians cross the border legally, how many people are detained for crossing illegally, and drug information. All of the numbers shown occur during your visit to the site Be sure to preview information before displaying for students as there is some content that may be inappropriate for younger classes.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), immigrants (20), immigration (58), mexico (34)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Assign a story to different student groups to explore and share with the class. Challenge students to create an infographic sharing their findings using Piktochart reviewed here.

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World Affairs Council - Resources

Grades
6 to 12
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The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you understand global issues. Find free lesson plans and templates categorized by Comparative World Affairs, Conflict Analysis/Mapping,...more
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The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you understand global issues. Find free lesson plans and templates categorized by Comparative World Affairs, Conflict Analysis/Mapping, Culture and Communication, Freedom of the Press, and Justice. You'll also find links to Other Materials and Webinars.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (181), climate change (64), cross cultural understanding (115), ecology (135), foreign policy (16), germany (28), news (261), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans and templates hosted by WAC. Use these in conjunction with their archive on YouTube for their weekly program World Affairs TODAY. Their YouTube channel contains various topics; some are specific such as Spying on Germany and Other Allies or Emerging Africa, and some are more general like global warming (or climate change) and the failure of the global economy.

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World Affairs Council - Washington, DC - World Affairs Council - Washington, DC

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6 to 12
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In today's world, we need to understand and get involved in global issues. The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you do that. Click on About Us to ...more
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In today's world, we need to understand and get involved in global issues. The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you do that. Click on About Us to read the history of the World Affairs Council (WAC), find an explanation about their Global Education Program, information about their summer institute, and read about their Public Programs with the weekly national television program World Affairs TODAY; find out where to see the broadcast or get a link to the YouTube channel. There is a student section that describes their annual contest called WorldQuest. Explore the drop down menu tabs across the top and find free lesson plans and templates (under Resources), upcoming events, local WAC councils, and much more. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (181), climate change (64), cross cultural understanding (115), ecology (135), foreign policy (16), germany (28), news (261), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Thanks to instantaneous news shows and social media, the students of the 21st Century are very aware of global issues. That is not to say they understand them. Start a current events program in your class, you may want to look at Newsela, reviewed here, TweenTribune, reviewed here, or Flocabulary, reviewed here. Then turn to the World Affairs Council and their YouTube channel to get explanations about global issues. The topics are extensive; some are specific and some are more general like global warming (or climate change) and the failure of the global economy. All are current, and all will give your students a different perspective on the topic. With older students, each week you could put a different small group in charge of featuring a current event and ask them to research its history, and see if they can also find the topic on the WAC YouTube channel. Have those students create an annotated, narrated image including text boxes and related links using a multimedia tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to present to the class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Global Virtual Classroom - AT&T and Give Something Back International Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time...more
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time and has learned what is needed to create global citizens. They've done everything for you from Lessons, Resources, and a Web Design Contest, to directions for becoming part of the community, providing a list of other educators who would like to participate, and a Clubhouse for your students. Be sure to register by mid September each year!

tag(s): competitions (14), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Take students to another place, encourage them to understand other cultures and create global citizens by signing up to join GVC. After introducing GVC on an interactive whiteboard or projector, create a quick poll (with no membership required) using SurveyRock, reviewed here, to vote for which country or region to communicate with and share information. Begin a blog for each student to share reflections. Consider asking the partner teacher to have their students blog, too, and encourage students to respond to each others' blogs. Students' writing improves when they have an authentic audience. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

Another idea would be to use a projector and Lino, reviewed here, (no membership required) to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom students will be working. Lino creates virtual sticky notes on a bulletin board. Once the project is underway, go back to Lino occasionally, and add what they learned and whether it coincides with the students' original ideas. Before culminating the project, ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Lino. Consider starting a lunch time or after school club for students to have more time to participate in the Clubhouse.

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Parable of the Polygons - Vi Hart and Nicky Case

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6 to 12
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Parable of the Polygons is a playful, yet serious, interactive look at how racism shapes our communities. The underlying theory is that people are generally tolerant and will only want...more
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Parable of the Polygons is a playful, yet serious, interactive look at how racism shapes our communities. The underlying theory is that people are generally tolerant and will only want to move if less than 1/3 of their neighbors look like them. Using that pretext, you move unhappy polygons until everyone is happy through an ongoing scenario of different situations.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), percent (82), racism (18), ratios (52)

In the Classroom

Parable of the Polygons is excellent for use in both math and social studies classes. Use in your social studies class to discover how bias affects diversity beginning with small situations through a larger picture. Challenge students to explore and interact through different scenarios to view changes. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic, reviewed here. Share this site as an excellent interactive for use during math fairs.

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OmniLibros - Carthage College Center for Children's Literature

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K to 12
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Find recently published (since 2010) English-language children's literature that promotes global understanding through this annotated bibliography. Choose the Indices tab to search...more
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Find recently published (since 2010) English-language children's literature that promotes global understanding through this annotated bibliography. Choose the Indices tab to search by title or grade level. Narrow the search using the keyword search tool. Be sure to check out the Book Map, and find books by country. Click on the marker on the country to view and go to those resources.

tag(s): book lists (124), cross cultural understanding (115), literacy (102), maps (287)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for finding reading material with settings from all over the world. Encourage students to choose a place that interests them, and then find books set in that location. Use this tool as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard about setting or geography. Be sure to share a link to this tool on your class website or blog for students to use at home.

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Kid World Citizen - Becky Morales

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K to 6
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Kid World Citizen offers a large variety of resources to encourage kids to become global learners and thinkers. Explore categories such as books, food, and art to find international...more
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Kid World Citizen offers a large variety of resources to encourage kids to become global learners and thinkers. Explore categories such as books, food, and art to find international learning activities. Look for topics on specific countries using the map search. Be sure to check out the For Fun area with links to movies, music, games, and toys.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), chinese new year (3), christmas (64), cross cultural understanding (115), earth day (112), hanukkah (16), holidays (147), italy (17), mexico (34), ramadan (10), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year when teaching about countries, holidays, and for cross-cultural literature resources. Choose a country to explore each month using resources found on the site. Learn about your students' backgrounds to find countries and regions to explore using activities on the site. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast your culture with that of a different country.

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The Global Flow of People - Nikola Sander, Guy J. Abel, and Ramon Bauer

Grades
7 to 12
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Investigate migration patterns around the world from 1990 through 2010 with this interactive chart. Choose a five-year period for an overall view of global migration during that time....more
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Investigate migration patterns around the world from 1990 through 2010 with this interactive chart. Choose a five-year period for an overall view of global migration during that time. Click on individual regions to narrow down information on migration from country to country. Be sure to click on both individual lines and countries to take advantage of all the information this resource has to offer. Information for 2005-2010 is available for download as a two-sided poster using the link near the bottom of the website.

tag(s): continents (50), countries (77), cross cultural understanding (115), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Share The Global Flow of People with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard as part of any global studies unit. After finding the numbers of people migrating, have students brainstorm or collect ideas for the reasons of migration on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here, quick start- no membership required. Challenge students to explore further and share their findings with a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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What has the United Nations ever done for you? - The Guardian

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive offers the opportunity to view what the United Nations has done to help people of all ages from around the world. Choose a persona by entering gender, age, ...more
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This interactive offers the opportunity to view what the United Nations has done to help people of all ages from around the world. Choose a persona by entering gender, age, and country to view a list of ways the United Nations has had a positive influence on their situation. Categories include items such as Human Rights, Child Mortality, and Cultural Heritage. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), united nations (8)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore on their own. Social studies teachers will want to bookmark this interactive for use throughout the year as students learn about different countries and cultures. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, to explain what they learned from this site.

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Arts Connected - Minneapolis Institute of Arts & Walker Art Center

Grades
K to 12
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Access more than 100,000 resources including art, audio/video, text, and interactive resources. With the robust search features, narrow searches by keyword, institutions, method of...more
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Access more than 100,000 resources including art, audio/video, text, and interactive resources. With the robust search features, narrow searches by keyword, institutions, method of instruction, or grade level. Be sure to look at the interactive primary resources. Registration is quick and easy and does not require an email address. Begin by watching one of the brief videos that outline the Art Finder feature or Art Collector. Find answers to common (and some not so common) questions at "ask an educator" in the upper left corner.

tag(s): 20th century (50), art history (69), artists (75), cross cultural understanding (115)

In the Classroom

Start by pulling together a collection of video, audio, art pieces, or text. Mix and match your set or use one of the already created sets. Give the set a title and description once you have selected all the pieces. Attach a PDF to provide more information, questions, notes, or directions. Duplicate sets for use with multiple sections of a class. Create custom slides to include YouTube videos.

You can use the digital classroom section to discuss and get more information on fair use, creative commons, copyright, and public domain. Find links to information that can be used to teach students the correct way to use information that was created by others. Once you have created a set or found a resource that is appropriate for your students, have them identify the different elements and techniques that are present in the pieces. Students can compare multiple pieces of art that are either similar or very different. Zoom into an image to get a better look at the skills that were used to create the artwork.

For secondary students, use Arts Connected to research and compile a set of works that demonstrate a certain concept or idea. Use this opportunity to have students practice their digital citizenship skills by properly crediting works chosen as well as demonstrate learning. Students can save sets as a PDF and submit to the teacher in hand or electronically.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Google Newspaper Archives - Google

Grades
6 to 12
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Browse and read hundreds of newspaper archives from around the world at Google Newspaper Archives. Information under each publication title includes the number of issues included and...more
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Browse and read hundreds of newspaper archives from around the world at Google Newspaper Archives. Information under each publication title includes the number of issues included and dates of publication. After choosing a publication, view thumbnails of available issues and click on the title of any article to read. Share articles using the link provided.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), media literacy (56), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Share with students to show them different perspectives on historical events. This site would also provide contrasting texts for close reading as required by Common Core. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast information. After researching events in history, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Build student awareness of the limited view provided by some publications, especially during times of international tension. Explore this site during Newspaper in Education Week or as part of a unit on the basics and nuances of journalistic writing. World language teachers can use newspapers to teach about both language and culture. Have world cultures or social studies students learn about local culture through advertisements and articles and share their findings using a screencast (or screenshots) of the newspaper and talking about their discoveries.
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International Dot Day - Reynolds Center for Teaching Learning & Creativity

Grades
K to 12
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Become part of a global celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration on International Dot Day. Formed in response to The Dot written by Peter H. Reynolds, this day is...more
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Become part of a global celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration on International Dot Day. Formed in response to The Dot written by Peter H. Reynolds, this day is set aside to rekindle and inspire the power of creativity in all of us. Sign up for free to download the Educators Handbook. Explore the site to find many pictures of Dot Day in action. Don't forget to follow International Dot Day on Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with all of the latest updates from around the world. Sign up to become a member of the Dot Day Community and celebrate with others around the world each September! Some of the videos are on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): creativity (108), cross cultural understanding (115), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Although the official International Dot Day is in September, use ideas from the site to inspire creativity and collaboration throughout the year. Read The Dot to students and encourage them to collaborate ways they can make their mark in the world. Challenge older students to explore their place in the world through the use of a blog such as Throwww, reviewed here. This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided. Throwww is as easy as using a basic Word program! Consider following International Dot Day on Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with all of the latest updates from around the world.
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The Global Flow of Refugees - Nikola Sander & Ramon Bauer

Grades
7 to 12
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The Global Flow of Refugees offers an interactive look at refugee flows between countries during the past few years. It is based on a New York Times visualization. Choose a ...more
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The Global Flow of Refugees offers an interactive look at refugee flows between countries during the past few years. It is based on a New York Times visualization. Choose a year to view the complete flow circle for that year. Click any segment to narrow down information to individual countries showing the flow to or from that country. In addition to the interactive chart, scroll down further on the page to view two static versions of the chart featuring 50 selected countries.

tag(s): continents (50), countries (77), cross cultural understanding (115), immigrants (20)

In the Classroom

Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to research and understand the flow of refugees throughout the world. Use this as an introduction to understanding complicated events in the Middle East and other volatile regions in the world. After viewing the interactive, have students study the regions for large migrations of refugees from one region to another. Have them share their findings with a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Have students use Little Memory, reviewed here, to create a diary entry as a refugee traveling to a new country.

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