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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Big Dayta - Tsai Hsing School

Grades
3 to 12
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What do you do in a day? Join a worldwide classroom sharing project for students to learn about life in other schools and cultures. This teacher-driven project, begun as a ...more
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What do you do in a day? Join a worldwide classroom sharing project for students to learn about life in other schools and cultures. This teacher-driven project, begun as a collaboration between schools in Tai Pei and California, collects "unique student-generated global dayta" about students' daily life using a simple, online Google Form. Day + data = DAYTA. The dayta is available for your classroom to use in loads of different math, social studies, and writing activities. Click to add your class using the Contact button. The project encourages you to form collaborations with another school. Click the link to the Idea Guide to find curriculum connections and lesson ideas. The project is adding new classes, so why not join in? Be sure to check out the community area where you can share your successes and questions with other teachers.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (122), data (158)

In the Classroom

Introduce Big Dayta in your world cultures, math, or writing class. If you team teach, work together with your computer, math, social studies, or English teacher to have students share dayta and then analyze and use it for your own class projects. Find specific curriculum activities for math, writing, and social studies classes on the site or ask your students what dayta they would like to compare and contrast in a "hands-on" experience with data. If they like learning about life in other places, your class may also want to join in #XW1W (Across the World Once a Week). Be sure to pass these projects along to other teachers! As a geography extension, have students create an electronic placemarker file using Google Maps or Click2Map, or an actual map poster of the places they learn about.

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Explore America - Ballard-Tighe

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5 to 12
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This site is an excellent way for ESL/ELL students to learn more about the history of America. Beginning before Columbus discovered America, and continuing into the present, it presents...more
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This site is an excellent way for ESL/ELL students to learn more about the history of America. Beginning before Columbus discovered America, and continuing into the present, it presents interactive activities, reference assistance, vocabulary activities, and a glossary to ensure student interest and comprehension. Authentic sounds and great attention to detail make the site attractive to students. Complete lesson plans help instructors incorporate the website material with background knowledge using a variety of skills. The Student Research Guide suggests fiction and nonfiction books to read. A built-in dictionary allows students to translate key terms into Spanish, Arabic, Korean and Hmong.

tag(s): colonial america (105), cross cultural understanding (122), cultures (108)

In the Classroom

The interactive activities would work well at a learning station or in a computer lab. The text portions might be challenging. Pair weaker readers with a stronger reader. After completing the interactive activities, have students create their own comics to highlight a specific historical era using comic-creation tools from TeachersFirst's Comic Resources. Or challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast, reviewed here, to create timelines of important historical events and periods.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sound Infusion - Cultural Infusion - a social enterprise

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3 to 12
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Sound Infusion is part of a larger site about world cultures, Cultural Infusion. Use the menu on the right to learn about cultural information. Listen to sound loops of instruments...more
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Sound Infusion is part of a larger site about world cultures, Cultural Infusion. Use the menu on the right to learn about cultural information. Listen to sound loops of instruments from different cultures, compose music from those sound loops, and get a manual for using the program. By clicking on Cultural Information, you can select a country and find out about the geography and topography, history, performing arts, and other interesting facts. For performing arts, you will learn about dance and musical instruments and watch videos about both. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos 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): cross cultural understanding (122), cultures (108), musical instruments (49)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of any country or culture. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class website for students to access both in and out of class. ESL and ELL students will be proud to make presentations about their country of origin using this site as backup and illustration. Be sure to ask them to compose music from the music loops and share with the class. Have individuals or partners create music for the country they are researching and make it into a podcast using Spreaker, reviewed here, to share with their friends and family. Share this site with world language classes as a general resource for cultural information.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visualizing Cultures - MIT

Grades
8 to 12
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We see cultures through our own eyes, a lens that is influenced by our own frame of reference and experiences. Another way to learn about cultures is to view them ...more
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We see cultures through our own eyes, a lens that is influenced by our own frame of reference and experiences. Another way to learn about cultures is to view them through the eyes of others through an examination of images created by others. Visualizing Cultures brings us images from Asia, many not widely circulated before, that illustrate historical events such as the Opium Wars, the Boxer Rebellion, the Black Ships, and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Each set of images is accompanied by narratives, lesson plans, and printable handouts to provide context. While we may have seen photographs of Hiroshima's devastation, we can now view the story through the eyes and drawings of Japanese survivors.

tag(s): asia (71), china (63), cross cultural understanding (122), japan (60), perspective (11), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

Perspective taking is an important skill in learning about other cultures and other time periods. To Western eyes, these images will provide a fresh look at historical events. It is important to note, and to help students understand, that the images are uncensored and may depict a way of seeing others that, to us, may seem racist or disrespectful. Screen the images to determine how they might be best used to help students see the world through others' eyes, and how to manage a discussion of these themes.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National Anthems - INF Anthems

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1 to 12
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Download and listen to instrumental National Anthems from many countries and territories throughout the world. Some also have the lyrics. A very few have the vocal anthem (Flash required)....more
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Download and listen to instrumental National Anthems from many countries and territories throughout the world. Some also have the lyrics. A very few have the vocal anthem (Flash required). And some only provide lyrics and no sound. Included are pictures of national flags and passports. All instrumentals for the anthems are downloaded in MP3 format. There are download instructions for various browsers. This site has many advertisements, but it is worth the distractions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (122), national anthem (4)

In the Classroom

Use this tool in a world language, history, or current events class. In a music class have the students listen to the anthem, and find the sheet music for them to learn to play it. Students researching different countries or their family ancestry will find this site useful. Share the sounds and lyrics on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a world cultures unit on the specific countries.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Asian Art Museum Educator Resources - Asian Art Museum

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5 to 12
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Find a large selection of resources for teaching and learning about Asian art at this resource provided by the Asian Art Museum. Choose from over 100 lessons and activities aligned...more
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Find a large selection of resources for teaching and learning about Asian art at this resource provided by the Asian Art Museum. Choose from over 100 lessons and activities aligned to Common Core Standards. View almost 300 pieces of art and watch over 400 videos presented in an easy-to-use format. Search by keyword or type of resource (In the Spotlight, Most Popular, or What's New). If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos 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): art history (74), artists (78), asia (71), china (63), chinese new year (2), cross cultural understanding (122), japan (60), korea (15)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Allow students to explore on their own or in collaborative groups. Have students or groups collect ideas and findings using Padlet, reviewed here. The Padlet application creates free online sticky note boards. Bookmark and use this site to find resources for Chinese New Year activities. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Stuff You Missed in History Class - Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey

Grades
7 to 12
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Explore interesting history tidbits and background information about world events including topics from Atlantis to Vikings. Scroll through the list of topics and find links to various...more
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Explore interesting history tidbits and background information about world events including topics from Atlantis to Vikings. Scroll through the list of topics and find links to various podcast episodes with archives going back to 2008. Click to play the episodes or download any episode in mp3 format using the download link. Episodes are approximately 30 minutes in length. You can also search for specific topics using the search tool.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (32), black history (59), civil rights (121), civil war (143), cross cultural understanding (122), mental health (27), native americans (78), podcasts (59), religions (67), vikings (10), world war 1 (56), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use podcasts from Stuff You Missed in History to enrich current lessons or lure students into thinking history can actually be "cool." Provide a link on class computers or your class website for students use. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of one of these events (with audio stories and pictures included)! Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the people in these lesser known historic events.

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A Moment in Time - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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What just happened here? The New York Times offers hundreds of user-submitted photographs from all over the world, each capturing "a moment in time" on a Sunday in May, 2010. ...more
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What just happened here? The New York Times offers hundreds of user-submitted photographs from all over the world, each capturing "a moment in time" on a Sunday in May, 2010. Search by theme, and then give the virtual globe a spin to select a location from which to view your moment in time. Repeat. You won't want to stop. See the world in images from all over the world, all on the same day.

tag(s): creative writing (167), cross cultural understanding (122), debate (45), expository writing (43)

In the Classroom

Each of the "moment in time" photographs provides a wonderful thinking/writing/discussion prompt. What Just Happened Here? If it happened somewhere far away from me, how is it different from what happens in my backyard? What do I have in common with what is pictured? What don't I understand? Use this site to generate ideas for writing, for art, for debate. Use this as an avenue to open discussion about different cultures. Imagine a "moment in time" from another date, such as June 6, 1944, Sept 11, 2001, or an ordinary day in 2014. Challenge students to imagine and create their own moments in time to share.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OECD Better Life Index - OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore statistics and data about what it takes to be happy in different locations. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you have the best life? Of ...more
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Explore statistics and data about what it takes to be happy in different locations. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you have the best life? Of course, it all depends on what you think contributes to a better life. The OECD presents the opportunity to choose from among 11 indices related to happiness. Rank them in order of importance to you, and then see graphically which countries in the world have the best quality of life based on those considerations. Want to have a high income? Then the United States ranks first in that category. Is the cost and quality of available housing what matters? Norway ranks first in that category. Other indices include Environment, Education, Safety, Work-Life Balance, Health, and Jobs. A slider bar on each index allows you to select your priorities and then watch as the countries realign themselves according to your preferences.

tag(s): communities (38), cross cultural understanding (122), environment (322), politics (97), safety (92)

In the Classroom

A great classroom discussion starter, and perfect for displaying on an interactive whiteboard, the Better Life Index allows students to consider and debate what makes for a "better life." And once (or if) they can reach a consensus on those factors, where could that life be found in the world? Of course, once you discover that people are healthiest, for example, in Australia, what does that mean? Why are they healthy there? What community, government, and institutional factors make Australia healthy? Do they make choices other countries don't? This is a wonderful tool for guiding discussion about the public policy decisions made by citizens and governments, and how those decisions affect the quality of life. It would also provide powerful information for persuasive writing or debates. If you talk about utopias and dystopias, this is another way for students to decide what the criteria are for each. If you study world cultures, this site can provide a whole different lens to promote crosscultural understanding. Assign students to compare and contrast factors that matter most to them across multiple countries. Gifted students who are designing an "ideal civilization" can find meaningful data here to use as part of their plans.

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Seminole Tribune - Seminole Tribune of Florida

Grades
4 to 12
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Published monthly, The Seminole Tribune of Florida is the official newspaper of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Current issues and archives are available via PDF download. Click...more
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Published monthly, The Seminole Tribune of Florida is the official newspaper of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Current issues and archives are available via PDF download. Click on the appropriate tab on the left. You can also read the history of the tribe and view a timeline. The cultural information includes art, basketry, beadwork, housing, clans, language, legends, green corn dance, food and recipes, and clothing. Read an explanation about the current government within the tribe. Florida Seminole Tourism offers information for events and places to visit. Note: You do not need to subscribe to use this site. Simply click to view Current Issue or Archives.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): civil rights (121), cross cultural understanding (122), cultures (108), myths and legends (26), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Use this site to study the Seminoles as part of a unit on Native Americans. Have students compare and contrast to the Native Americans within your own state or region. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Use this as a resource when discussing civil rights. In language arts class, use it to explore legends.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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CurriConnects Book List: Childhood Here and There - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects collection of books shares tales of childhood in many cultures and countries. Find books that help you realize that what is "typical" for the kids at your school...more
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This CurriConnects collection of books shares tales of childhood in many cultures and countries. Find books that help you realize that what is "typical" for the kids at your school may seem odd to those who grew up somewhere else. Discover what was typical for our grandparents is not the same as what is typical today. This collection includes tales of growing up in many circumstances, books to make you stop and wonder what "typical childhood" means. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® (where available) to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (133), cross cultural understanding (122), independent reading (130)

In the Classroom

Include these books for independent reading during a unit on world cultures, in a guidance class about differences, or in a reading unit about drawing inferences. Spark discussions about what we assume is "normal" and what we should realize about our own upbringing. The conversations will easily evolve into projects where students can compare and contrast or create "profiles" of childhood in different places and cultures.

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Carlisle Indian Industrial School - Dickinson College

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover the controversial legacy of the Indian School. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the US Government encouraged the establishment of so-called Industrial Schools...more
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Discover the controversial legacy of the Indian School. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the US Government encouraged the establishment of so-called Industrial Schools designed to "civilize" Native American children and prepare them for careers outside the reservations and within white society. Today the legacy of these schools remains controversial: did they provide children with useful skills, or were they a form of ethnic cleansing that robbed them of their culture and heritage? The Carlisle Indian Industrial School is probably best known for being the home of internationally renowned athlete Jim Thorpe, but it is also part of the family history of many Native Americans today whose ancestors attended the Pennsylvania school. Dickinson College maintains this digital archive of student records, images and special collections for use by relatives of former students and by scholars doing research on the legacy of the Indian Industrial Schools. Search by student name, by nation, or within collections of school publications and other documents. The archive is an ongoing project and will continue to grow.

tag(s): colonial america (105), cross cultural understanding (122), history day (24), native americans (78), westward expansion (29)

In the Classroom

Too often US history survey classes broadly consider Native Americans and their role in the original colonization of North America, or their role in Westward Expansion, without taking the time to understand the differences among nations, or the impact of European settlement on these pre-existing societies. Even if there isn't time for in depth study, consider asking students to study the individual record of one young man or woman approximately their own age who attended the Carlisle Indian School. How old was he when he left home? What skill was she trained in? What happened to him after he left Carlisle? Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about the individual they researched. This personal contact with the real life of another student from another time and another culture will reduce the tendency to stereotype Native Americans as they so often are during the study of US History. Of course, the site is also a wonderful resource for in depth research such as a National History Day project.
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OECD Data Lab - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover graphical displays of statistics about education, death, employment outlook, migration, income distribution, and more. The best way to understand our world and to educate people...more
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Discover graphical displays of statistics about education, death, employment outlook, migration, income distribution, and more. The best way to understand our world and to educate people is to know what is happening in the many aspects of our lives. Hover over a graph to view an abstract of the data used for the graph. Each graph is interactive. Choosing various countries or other parameters changes the graph. Click on the "Create Your Own" button on most of these graphs to enter your own data for viewing and comparison. Compare your graph to others and share. Graphs even showcase gender differences in responses. The Better Life Index is a great place to start.

tag(s): agriculture (59), charts and graphs (199), critical thinking (119), cross cultural understanding (122), financial literacy (84), foreign policy (16), migration (58), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Start with the OECD Better Life Index that brings together many factors to numerically rank countries by happiness or well-being. Assign this graph as a "Make Your Own," with students rating the topics (or more importantly, asking their parents or grandparents). Compare their results and look at gender differences. Students can brainstorm reasons for gender differences or ranking of topics in importance. Compare the United States to other countries. Allow class time to look at other data found on this site and brainstorm how these are connected. Connect the data to curriculum being discussed in class: economic policies, wars, global problems with food and agriculture, social norms, and more. Connect the information to headlines from around the world, both past and present. Encourage students to write an essay, opinion piece, or elevator pitch on one aspect or social issue that is important to change. What a great example of argument and evidence as required by Common Core! This assignment can also be delivered as a podcast, video, or part of a news segment the class creates. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here) to create podcasts. Try creating a video and share it using TeacherTube reviewed here.
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Worldcrunch - All News Is Global - Jeff Israely and Irene Toporkoff

Grades
8 to 12
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Worldcrunch delivers news from top world-language outlets, translated into English and providing a non-U.S. "view" via reputable sources. The collection was created by a former Time...more
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Worldcrunch delivers news from top world-language outlets, translated into English and providing a non-U.S. "view" via reputable sources. The collection was created by a former Time bureau chief and foreign correspondent for various U.S. publications. He has teamed with a media collaborator from France. Worldcrunch is a great resource for locating news and culture from around the world. During periods of controversy or high international tension, this is an informative source for teens to adults. Explore the interactive map to find news from specific locations or browse through headlines on the main page. This site is very up to date and includes articles from the news today around the world. Choose from topics such as World Affairs, Tech/Science, or Culture/Society. Easily share articles using social networking and email links. Use the "Read Later" link to email, send to Pocket reviewed here. Free app versions are available for both Android and iOS.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (122), DAT device agnostic tool (177), journalism (55), media literacy (63), news (261), newspapers (95)

In the Classroom

Share with your students to show them different perspectives on world 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 coverage between two newspapers. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here after reading and comparing many different articles. 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. Use a free tool like Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, or Screencastify (Chrome app), reviewed here, to create screencasts.

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TPS-Barat Primary Source Nexus - Barat Education Foundation

Grades
2 to 12
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Find high interest primary sources for anything from teddy bears to Abraham Lincoln to King Kamehameha and much more. There are also primary sources for world connections for Serbia,...more
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Find high interest primary sources for anything from teddy bears to Abraham Lincoln to King Kamehameha and much more. There are also primary sources for world connections for Serbia, Iran, and Cambodia. Common Core emphasizes "reading" of visual sources of information, and this is the perfect source. This is a growing resource, so be sure to sign up for their newsletter. The Primary Source Nexus is the online support resource for the TPS-Barat Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. This is a great place to look for ideas to use for History Day! Preview before sharing with students.

tag(s): advertising (34), black history (59), cross cultural understanding (122), history day (24), immigration (59), journalism (55), lincoln (86), martin luther king (36), poetry (221), presidents (121), primary sources (92), professional development (162), roosevelt (16), slavery (68), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Take a look at the free professional development for using primary sources for teachers. In the Archives for Connecting to the Common Core, there are writing prompts for K-5 plus a link to the triangle activity. Download and use the PDF for the Thinking Triangle. Have older students research an interest and report to the class using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to PowerPoint, but easier and free) reviewed here.
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Image Atlas - Taryn Simon and Aaron Swartz

Grades
5 to 12
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Use Image Atlas to search images from several countries instantly! Click the words "Atlas selection" to checkbox the countries you want from among several dozen. Enter the image search...more
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Use Image Atlas to search images from several countries instantly! Click the words "Atlas selection" to checkbox the countries you want from among several dozen. Enter the image search term and choose to either sort them alphabetically or by GDP. For example, search the word "beauty" to view the differences in images of beauty in a variety of countries. Try "home" to see different homes or "lunch" to see differing foods. Try "school" or "teacher" to see how differently they are portrayed (or are they?). Click on each image to view the article from which the image originates. Some of this content may not be appropriate for the classroom. You may want to preview search results, before you share them. Or better yet, complete the searching together with a student or class.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (122), images (274), photography (159)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to compare images that portray words you have searched and hypothesize about cultural differences. GO beyond the images to compare the articles that contain the images. This tool would be especially relevant in social studies, health, and other subjects where a difference in meaning across the world can be discussed. This tool may be useful if doing reports on countries. If you are allowing older students to search on their own, be sure to set firm guidelines/rules ahead of time! As with ANY image search, it all depends on the terms you enter!

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The China Game - Asia Society

Grades
1 to 8
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Follow the dragon to each city on the map while learning about China and its culture. At each city, stop to answer a multiple choice question about Chinese rulers, cities, ...more
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Follow the dragon to each city on the map while learning about China and its culture. At each city, stop to answer a multiple choice question about Chinese rulers, cities, or culture. View the city locations on the map as well as the location of the dragon and the number of remaining stops. This activity does require reading; however it could be used in lower grades as a whole-class activity.

tag(s): china (63)

In the Classroom

The China Game would make a great addition to classroom centers as part of your Chinese New Year celebration or study of countries and cultures. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, have pairs of students explore on their own. Have students create an annotated image of China including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
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Quadblogging - David Mitchell

Grades
2 to 12
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Give your student writers an audience... possibly an international one! Sign up for Quadblogging and be guaranteed that your students will have at least three other classrooms...more
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Give your student writers an audience... possibly an international one! Sign up for Quadblogging and be guaranteed that your students will have at least three other classrooms to read and respond to their blogs. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. The creator of this program has hard evidence of that. His students (in the UK) were scoring at 9% on the British writing achievement test before Quadblogging. After a school year of using Quadblogging, his students increased their scores to 60%. In subsequent years, these students continued to have their scores grow by two grade levels per school year. There are two short videos on the home page. One video explains the concept of Quadblogging, and the other is the creator speaking at BETT, the world's largest ed tech conference. You will also find the form to fill out to have your class join others in Quadblogging.

tag(s): blogs (86), cross cultural understanding (122), writing (369)

In the Classroom

If you never blogged before, you might want to check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics for the Classroom. Have your students choose a question from Thought Questions reviewed here. Have students respond to the question, and then have them ask the reader to respond to their writing and answer the question from their point of view, too. The benefits go beyond just writing. You can also build cultural understanding and world language skills through blogs. Help your students become aware of environmental issues or how to live "green" for our planet. Try Greenlearning.ca, reviewed here, or choose something from the Environmental News Network, reviewed here, for students' Quadblog projects.

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GR8CTZ - Great Cities of the World - Vadim Temkin

Grades
8 to 12
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GR8CTZ - Great Cities of the World is a geoguessing game where you are transported to a world city and have to guess the location based on views from Google ...more
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GR8CTZ - Great Cities of the World is a geoguessing game where you are transported to a world city and have to guess the location based on views from Google Maps street views. Look and walk around a bit before attempting a guess. You have three tries to get it right. Start the game after choosing options such as levels, language (English, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish), and city subset options. Although very simple looking, this is an intriguing option for exploring the world without leaving home!

tag(s): countries (80), cross cultural understanding (122), map skills (81), maps (294)

In the Classroom

Use this tool on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) with an entire class. Students can work as a class, individually, or in groups to identify locations based on clues. Use the clues to discuss information about social structure, livelihood, religion, landforms, and other cultural information. Use this information to uncover and correct misconceptions and discuss cultural differences in countries outside the US. Go beyond the map to learn about the various foods, agriculture, and other aspects of their lives. Research the local ecosystem to determine native plants and animals found in the country. Create a poem or story set in that locale using information learned through research. Are you a connected educator? Find other educators around the World using Twitter (reviewed here) to make connections between classrooms. Join the Across the World Once a Week project ( here) to share about the culture where you live.

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Words of the World - The University of Nottingham

Grades
6 to 12
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Develop your vocabulary and understanding of culture through words. The site offers a series of short videos presented by experts from the University of Nottingham's School of Cultures,...more
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Develop your vocabulary and understanding of culture through words. The site offers a series of short videos presented by experts from the University of Nottingham's School of Cultures, Languages, and Area Studies. Each video takes an in-depth look at the story behind many words of the world, including where they came from, what they mean, and how the words have changed over time. Simply click on any word in the visual to view the video. Most videos are less than 5 minutes in length. This site was created in the United Kingdom, so you may notice some slight pronunciation (or spelling) differences from American English. Many of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos 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): cross cultural understanding (122), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (128), word study (78)

In the Classroom

Words of the World is a great site for some quick vocabulary building, but even more it is a window into words as vital components of culture and history. Share these videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for a quick lesson on the background and meaning of several words. Use it to talk about how words can also define a time period in history or a concept that is vital to a particular culture. Explore language as PART of a culture as you study different countries. Find out what words are unique to that culture. Use this site as an example, then challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own word background videos of culture-connected words and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Share a link to videos using links provided on your class website for students to view as a word of the week. Challenge students to use the word of the week in class discussions or other written work throughout the week.
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