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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World Government Data - The Guardian

Grades
6 to 12
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Trying to find data released from various governments? Find statistics easily with this site that brings together data from countries with freely released information. Use data from...more
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Trying to find data released from various governments? Find statistics easily with this site that brings together data from countries with freely released information. Use data from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Check back as more countries will be added as data is released. Download data as Excel files and/or Adobe PDF.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): agriculture (58), cross cultural understanding (121), data (157), energy (205), financial literacy (84), population (63), statistics (126)

In the Classroom

Find data belonging to a specific country through its own data portal page. Collect similar data and data sets from more than one country at the same time to compare and contrast and identify trends. For example, view categories such as Agriculture, Crime, Culture, Economy, Education, Energy, and more. Enter keywords to find data matching your needs. Use this site to look at data and determine reasons for difference. Encourage students to find articles written in these various countries to explain culture differences. Students can also make infographics (data visualizations) to display comparisons and contrasts. Make connections with educators in these countries to encourage discussions between the different classes either through multimedia or blogs. Resources such as Classchats or Skype in Schools can get you started.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Across the World Once a Week: Collaborative Microblogging for Cross-Cultural Understanding - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) is a teaching idea that uses today's instant technologies to share answers to the same question across the world once a week. XW1W ...more
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Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) is a teaching idea that uses today's instant technologies to share answers to the same question across the world once a week. XW1W is a simple, social way for students to learn about real life in other cultures from real kids all across the world. By simply "hashtagging" Twitter or blog responses to a weekly question about daily life, students can share and learn about other cultures from their international peers. Find out more and read the details of this offering from TeachersFirst. The page displays the current weekly question as well as a Twitter feed of recent responses. (If you see a black "box," your school may be blocking Twitter feeds.) Don't miss the FAQ page to help you get started.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (121), cultures (108), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Join XW1W with your class using a single Twitter account or any blog or wiki tool where you can share student answers to the weekly question. If you cannot access Twitter at school, that is not a problem. You do not even have to use Twitter (though this is a great way dip your toes into Twitter). See the FAQ page for specific hints on using XW1W with your students. Share the XW1W idea with teaching colleagues in other places, and perhaps even with families to try at home. Want to learn more about Twitter and teaching. See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Global Education Collaborative Ning - Global Education Collaborative/ Lucy Gray

Grades
K to 12
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This free teacher social network is "The Official Social Network of the Global Education Conference" but it is much more than a single event site. Find collaborative projects around...more
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This free teacher social network is "The Official Social Network of the Global Education Conference" but it is much more than a single event site. Find collaborative projects around the world for your class to join. List your own project to find others interested in sharing with your classes using online tools. There is a huge variety of projects (see "Discussions" area) using everything from the simplest to the most clever technology options, from digital cameras to mashups. Started as a social network for teachers interested in fostering global awareness, this Ning is a meeting place for teachers just trying ideas to those who teacher professional development on global learning. Find free virtual conferences to attend, engage in discussions to learn from other teachers, or simply browse the projects and ideas.

As an FYI, TeachersFirst/The Source for Learning is a partner in the Global Education Conference effort -- another free, non-profit effort to support teachers and students using technology effectively for THINKING and learning.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (121)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites to use for inspiration and connection as you plan upcoming units. You can join for free -- requires email. Just click "Sign up" in the upper right. Then tiptoe in or take a plunge. If you have been looking for ways to connect your classroom with others across the country or around the world, this is a great place to start. If you have never participated in a Ning, just click on the various headings to find your way around.

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LFI Spring 2011 Symposium: U.S. and China: What Does the Future Hold? - Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government

Grades
7 to 12
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Today's students and citizens need to know about China. The spring, 2011 installment of the semi-annual Lou Frey Institute Symposia features topics related to China, the U.S., and issues...more
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Today's students and citizens need to know about China. The spring, 2011 installment of the semi-annual Lou Frey Institute Symposia features topics related to China, the U.S., and issues such as cultural understanding, security, working together, and (keynote) "Reasons and Prospects for a Chinese-American Partnership." The sessions were streamed as live video over the web on April 4, 2011, from the University of Central Florida, but can also be viewed in these archived videos. Speakers include "members of the diplomatic corps, policy experts and noted commentators." See officials from the two governments in action as they address hot topics of 2011 and the future for today's students.

tag(s): china (63), chinese (50), cross cultural understanding (121)

In the Classroom

Combine selections from these sessions with TeachersFirst's China and Cross-Cultural Resources and our editor's blog posts from a recent China visit to help students explore the issues and subtleties of U.S.-Chinese relations and globalization. Focus on cross-cultural understanding in a Chinese language or world cultures class or on policy issues in U.S. government. Economics classes can view portions related to macro-economics topics. Challenge student groups to create presentations using Thinglink, reviewed here, focused on one aspect of China or Chinese American relations.

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Classrooms Around the World - Matador Network

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2 to 12
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This photo essay shows classrooms and conditions in schools all around the world. As might be expected, there is a great deal of variation in comfort, school supplies, facilities, students...more
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This photo essay shows classrooms and conditions in schools all around the world. As might be expected, there is a great deal of variation in comfort, school supplies, facilities, students per room, etc. IMPORTANT NOTE: Preview photo details before sharing this with children as some contain material that you might not find suitable to share. (For example, one photo contains vocabulary terms regarding pornography and sexual addiction!) Also, be aware that there are some advertisements on this page. At the time of this review, one of the particular advertisements was about the "Best Nude Beaches In the World."

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (121), cultures (108), photography (159)

In the Classroom

Use this site when discussing world cultures or economics. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. To avoid displaying certain content, you can selectively take screenshots (CTRL+PrtScrn on Windows, Command+Shft+4 on Mac) or copy images temporarily into PowerPoint slides or a whiteboard file-- with credit--to show them alone. Use it to jump off into a discussion or unit on some of the countries displayed here. Have students create original photo essays online following this model, using Have students create original photo essays online following this model, using Slidestory, reviewed here. Slidestory allows you to narrate the slides and images. Challenge students to find photos and then narrate the photos as if in a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Other areas where this website might be useful are when you do units on world education, world poverty, etc. Have students do comparison/contrast essays using these photos as introductions to the differences between classrooms. Or have students compare/contrast using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). The many small details that differ from place to place would make getting details and examples easy. Ask students also to extrapolate differences in teaching methods just by viewing these photos.

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Where Children Sleep - Daily Telegraph

Grades
2 to 12
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This photo essay shows rooms and conditions where children sleep all around the world. As might be expected, there is great variation in comfort levels, personal belongings, people...more
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This photo essay shows rooms and conditions where children sleep all around the world. As might be expected, there is great variation in comfort levels, personal belongings, people per room, etc. This "gallery" of photos is from a complete hard copy book on the subject. This site offers only a quick glimpse at living conditions, with only 13 photos available at the time of this review. Be aware: this site does include some minor advertisements. At the time of this review all were appropriate, but be sure to check out the site before sharing with your students.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (121), homes (11), space (221)

In the Classroom

Use this site when discussing economics in the U.S. or the world. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use it to launch a discussion or unit on some of the countries displayed here. Have students create original photo essays online following this model, Slidestory, reviewed here. This tool allows you to narrate the slides and images. Challenge students to find or take photos and narrate the photos as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. This website might also be useful for units on world cultures or in world language classes. In upper grades, combine these visual images with visualizations of world statistics from Many Eyes, reviewed here.

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Ayiti: The Cost of Life - Global Kids and Gamelab

Grades
5 to 12
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In this role playing activity, students must help the Guinard Family from Haiti receive an education and live a happy life. The activity takes place over four years and is ...more
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In this role playing activity, students must help the Guinard Family from Haiti receive an education and live a happy life. The activity takes place over four years and is divided into sixteen seasons. Students must assign roles to the family at the beginning of each season. As students complete the activity they must keep track of each family members statistics. Each member has statistics in the areas of Wellness, General health, Happiness, Emotional well-being, and Education. To win your family must survive for four years and the healthier and more educated your family is, the better you do in this activity.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (121)

In the Classroom

Take your students on a virtual trip to Haiti by sharing this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. The site would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Have them record information in current event journals. At the end of the game have students prepare a short presentation using PowerPoint or an online tool like 280 Slides reviewed here to share with the class on how their family did.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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China: People and Places - Discovery Education

Grades
3 to 5
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This lesson plan created by Discovery Education attempts to teach students about the characteristics of Chinese writing and language. Through discussion and an activity, the lesson...more
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This lesson plan created by Discovery Education attempts to teach students about the characteristics of Chinese writing and language. Through discussion and an activity, the lesson also attempts to cover some basic fundamental concepts of language. There are additional activities to continue the lesson if need be.

tag(s): china (63), chinese (50), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan on this site! Be sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy reference later on.

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All About China - EnchantedLearning.com

Grades
1 to 5
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This page from EnchantedLearning has basic information about China, as well as map activities, printable booklets, information on Chinese culture and review activities. The map activities...more
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This page from EnchantedLearning has basic information about China, as well as map activities, printable booklets, information on Chinese culture and review activities. The map activities are as basic as coloring a map of China, to a more difficult plotting activity of major Chinese landmarks, rivers and geographic regions.

tag(s): china (63), chinese (50)

In the Classroom

Use the mapping activities from this site as a classroom activity during a unit on Chinese geography or history. Print out the mapping worksheets, and have student pairs or cooperative learning groups complete the activity. This would be a great way to review Chinese geography, or bring in contextual information about the geography during a unit on Ancient or modern China.

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China Past and Present - Mrdonn.org

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1 to 12
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This site from "Mr.Donn," hosts lesson plans, interactives, and other resources to supplement a unit on Ancient or Modern China. The resources are grouped by historical period, touching...more
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This site from "Mr.Donn," hosts lesson plans, interactives, and other resources to supplement a unit on Ancient or Modern China. The resources are grouped by historical period, touching upon topics such as the Song Dynasty, Marco Polo, and the Communist Revolution. Though TeachersFirst does not usually recommend lists of resources, this site has so many it made the exception!

tag(s): china (63), evolution (99)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use it as a resource to find supplementary materials or lesson plans for a lesson or unit on China. Several of the activities would make great learning centers or stations as a review tool before an assessment or after immediate instruction. Be sure to save the sites as favorite on classroom computers, making it easier for students to navigate there.

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Ancient China Online Games and Activities

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1 to 12
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Though we don't often recommend "lists" of links, this site hosts 19 links to games about or related to Ancient China. The games vary in age level and topic, ranging ...more
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Though we don't often recommend "lists" of links, this site hosts 19 links to games about or related to Ancient China. The games vary in age level and topic, ranging from Tangram squares, to review games and Calligraphy how-to's.

tag(s): china (63)

In the Classroom

Browse through this site to find activities to fit your specific class during a unit on Ancient China. After you've found games that can work, save them as favorites on classroom computers and use them as learning centers or stations. This would be a great way to review before an assessment or immediately after a lecture introducing the topic.

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The Tank Man - PBS Frontline

Grades
9 to 12
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This site from PBS provides in-depth information about the events of Tiananmen Square. There is a 90 minute documentary on the site, accompanied by timelines, witness interviews and...more
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This site from PBS provides in-depth information about the events of Tiananmen Square. There is a 90 minute documentary on the site, accompanied by timelines, witness interviews and discussion of how Tiananmen has impacted present-day China. There is also a teachers guide on the site, providing teachers with 4 lesson plans, utilizing the information on the site.

tag(s): china (63), communism (4)

In the Classroom

Use the documentary on this site as an in-class activity during a lesson or unit on Modern China. Introduce the circumstances of Tiananmen Square to the class before playing the video on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Make sure to give students sufficient contextual information before playing the video. After the video, have a class discussion about the video, using your own prompts or those derived from the teachers guide! Challenge students to create fictitious blog posts from those living near the area, or from family members living far away.

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China's Economy - PBS NewsHour

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9 to 12
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This lesson plan from PBS Newshour focuses on the economic relationship between China and the United States. The lesson specifically looks at the differing economic policies between...more
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This lesson plan from PBS Newshour focuses on the economic relationship between China and the United States. The lesson specifically looks at the differing economic policies between the two countries, and how those policies have affected their economies thus far. Great lesson plan for a government, economics, or world history classroom.

tag(s): china (63)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans on this site! Even if you don't have time for the entire lesson plan, be sure to check it out to see what can be included in your classroom. Be sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy reference later on.

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China From the Inside - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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This site from PBS takes a look at Modern China, and the issues facing it regarding government, women's rights, the environment, and political freedom. This site accompanies a documentary,...more
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This site from PBS takes a look at Modern China, and the issues facing it regarding government, women's rights, the environment, and political freedom. This site accompanies a documentary, and has short clips on the site as well as lesson plans, an interactive map, and a U.S.-China quiz.

tag(s): china (63)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans in the "Educators" section! The lesson plans connect the content to geography and economics, and are aligned with national standards. The U.S. China quiz may be a bit challenging, but teachers can easily use it as a formative assessment to see what students already know about modern China before entering a new lesson or unit on it. Make sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy reference later on!
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The gate of Heavenly Peace - PBS Frontline

Grades
7 to 12
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This site from PBS is an accompaniment to the documentary by the same name. There are several clips of the movie available by clicking "The Film" link. You may want ...more
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This site from PBS is an accompaniment to the documentary by the same name. There are several clips of the movie available by clicking "The Film" link. You may want to preview the film clips before sharing them with younger students, as some are rather graphic. In addition to information on the film there are also maps, essays, and primary sources from Tiananmen Square and the following Beijing Massacre. For teachers using the film, there is additional information about people in the film, transcripts, and behind the scenes information. For those not using the film, there is plenty of supplemental material that could benefit a lesson on Tiananmen Square.

tag(s): china (63), communism (4)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive tour of Tiananmen Square (or share the videos) on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a lesson on Tiananmen. After learning about the events from books, this is a great way to give students something tangible to hold on to. After viewing the site and film, have students complete a multimedia presentation to share what they have learned. Create a class wiki to discuss the events shared at this site. Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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The Tibet Question - Mark La Porte

Grades
9 to 12
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This webquest from Temescal Canyon High School looks at the conflict between Tibet and China. The project assigns students various roles, ranging from Human Rights groups to news teams,...more
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This webquest from Temescal Canyon High School looks at the conflict between Tibet and China. The project assigns students various roles, ranging from Human Rights groups to news teams, in an attempt to provide a more accurate picture of the events. Students research their various roles before putting together a presentation on their assigned perspectives. Standards are included with this activity.

tag(s): china (63)

In the Classroom

This is a great activity to use in a World History or Government classroom. This would be a great way to show how the media and globalization impacts public policy and opinion of events. Be sure to save the site as a favorite on classroom computers to make it easier for student groups to navigate there.

For an alternative to the traditional paper or PowerPoint as the end product, consider using Google Docs Presentation reviewed here, or one of many creative collaborative web 2.0 tools reviewed in the TeachersFirst Edge. Your students can work collaboratively without even being in the same place, and their projects can be shared easily on the web.

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Playing History: Your Source for Historical Games - Trevor Owens and Jim Safley

Grades
3 to 12
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Playing History is a directory of free historical games, interactives, and simulations. There is a growing body of research about the value of educational games and this site...more
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Playing History is a directory of free historical games, interactives, and simulations. There is a growing body of research about the value of educational games and this site is a database for high quality games and simulations. You will find not only games for history, but for different cultural knowledge, too. This collaborative site currently has 132 humanities learning games and is growing monthly. You can suggest your own favorite humanities based games and simulations to be included in this collection. This site does not host these games. It is a sharing point for teachers/enthusiasts of history to recommend games and find them.

At this site the quality of the games varies from deep thinking to factual to cute. Learn everything from the history of dating to the geography of China to "Do I Have a Right?" exploring the Bill of Rights.

tag(s): cultures (108), supreme court (23)

In the Classroom

There is a wide variety of topics for the study of cultures and history here, so be sure to look through this site as you plan your new unit or lesson! There are many, many uses for this site in the class room: Share a game from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector for a whole class review, choose a game from this website to use as a center, a review, or to provide a student reward on individual computers. Some of the games can be downloaded into a pdf and printed out and used as a traditional card, or board group game. Since this is a collaborative website, you and your students can "rate" the games to give feedback for other users.
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Comments

Oh MY GOSH! Who knew? This is a wealth of information available through game-playing. By searching the term "social justice," I arrived at numerous options for delving into the various aspects of a complex problem. I cannot wait to share this resource. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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New 7 Wonders - Hans Nyberg, Virtualdenmark.dk

Grades
5 to 12
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The New 7 Wonders site has a full screen, 360-degree panoramic view of the officially proclaimed "New 7 Wonders of the World." These were voted on back in July 2007. ...more
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The New 7 Wonders site has a full screen, 360-degree panoramic view of the officially proclaimed "New 7 Wonders of the World." These were voted on back in July 2007. The Coliseum in Rome, the Great Wall, Petra, Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, Rio De Janeiro, and Chichen Itza won the vote. Each site is interactive in that you can view the area as fast or as slow as you'd like. Some of the 7 Wonders have information or links to information about them.

tag(s): china (63), rome (26), virtual field trips (51)

In the Classroom

Having one of these 7 Wonders up and rotating through the view (on your interactive whiteboard) while studying ancient Rome, the history of the Islamic religion, ancient China, or any of the others would be a real treat for students and can help them recognize that these cultures were once real people, with skills, and goals. Small groups or individual students can focus on one of the 7 Wonders. Students should research why the structure was built, its history (how long it took, how it was funded, etc), the type of materials, and the style of architecture used. Students would then report out to the rest of the class. Using the interactive whiteboard students can simultaneously navigate the structure they researched and annotate the different parts of the structure. Older students can annotate using an online tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. If you don't have an interactive whiteboard, have students use Canva, reviewed here or a wiki to post their information, images and a link to the panoramic view they researched.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Marco Polo - Mr. Dowling's Electronic Passport

Grades
4 to 8
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Travel through time with Mr. Dowling's Electronic Passport to read about the history of Marco Polo and his adventurous family. This site offers a brief but thorough account of the ...more
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Travel through time with Mr. Dowling's Electronic Passport to read about the history of Marco Polo and his adventurous family. This site offers a brief but thorough account of the travels and life of Marco Polo. This site is a great reference tool for research and reports as well as an extension of a textbook lesson.

tag(s): explorers (63), marco polo (5)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a class webquest in conjunction with Marco Polo's Route to China and Back, reviewed here. Have students or groups research one area of this site and create a multimedia report to share with the class. Challenge students to narrate a picture using a tool such as Slidestory, reviewed here. Or have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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100 People - 100 People Foundation and VIF

Grades
6 to 12
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This site takes the global population (there are 6.7 billion of us) and simplifies it to 100 People to help students understand what kind of people make up their community ...more
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This site takes the global population (there are 6.7 billion of us) and simplifies it to 100 People to help students understand what kind of people make up their community and the world beyond. On the first page of the website you will see a lesson plan video to view. There are 12 other videos for you to use.

There are two lesson plans for this site. The first one, "World Portrait" is where students survey and select 100 people to represent their community and the world's population. There are also suggestions for how a class might select one person. The plan is download-able and has ideas that include criteria for the people who are nominated, discussion topics and activities, questions for the community profile, a questionnaire for the people nominated, an image release form, just to name a few. Student results are to be captured in film, photography, music and text. The other lesson plan on this site is titled "100 People Under the Sun." In order to download this lesson you must register, it is free, but you will have to log in when viewing the plan. With this lesson "...students will develop key leadership skills to help raise their community's awareness of its energy use, as well as its motivation to advance sustainable approaches."

tag(s): population (63), statistics (126)

In the Classroom

This project is the perfect opportunity to collaborate with others in your building! Math students could complete a school and community survey (which could tie in with 2010 U.S. census). Social Studies students could interpret data collected in the survey (also could be tied into the 2010 census) and extrapolate parameters for nominations. Language Arts students would finalize the nominations and develop the essays. Technology, yearbook, and art classes can draw the portraits or produce them digitally, create a video for submission to 100 People project, and your more advanced technology students can create a website for content display. WebNode, reviewed here, or a wiki would be great tools to use for the website! Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

Of course, you don't have to collaborate with others. This unit would work well in any world culture class at any level, or even in language arts when studying multicultural literature and settings. Here's another idea: Many of us have seen the video Did You Know? Predicting Future Statistics>. The beginning states "If you are one in a million in China there are 1,300 people just like you." But it also gives statistics like "During the course of this presentation 60 babies will be born in the U.S., 244 babies will be born in China, and 351 babies will be born in India..." You can use your and your student's ideas to come up with your own statistics. Something like how many people will be working and sleeping between the hours of midnight and 6:00 A.M. in the U.S., China, and India (or any other country you wish to include). Use this to lead to discussions of time zones and all sorts of other peripheral ideas and decisions students will have to think about.

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