TeachersFirst's China and Cross-Cultural Resources
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.
Grades6 to 12
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."
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomIncorporate this site into a web quest to build student knowledge of Marco Polo, interesting geography facts, and the history of Asia. Create a class wiki about Marco Polo and have students add different facts they learned or questions they might have. Not sure how to create a class wiki? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomScan the lessons. Choose topics appropriate to your content, and then incorporate into your classroom at will. Break lessons apart into both classroom and online discussions for students. A little disclaimer: some of these cutting edge science topics can be controversial so make sure to adequately prepare your students before embarking on these learning adventures.
GradesK to 10
In the ClassroomIf you are bringing the Olympics into your classroom, incorporate the many ideas at this website into your lessons. There are lesson plans ready to go (and divided by grade level). Try the interactive "It's All Greek To Me" together on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about the history of the Olympics, politics and the Olympics, and other pertinent topics.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to research American athletes. Share the video clips, read the blogs, and view the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Don't miss the lesson ideas (in the "Resources" section). Share this site on your class website, so families can follow the U.S. Olympians.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomDivide students into groups to peruse a given theme or an ancient civilization. Student groups can ask additional questions to begin a search for even more information and present their findings to the class. Discuss parallels among ancient civilizations through the discussion of these themes as well as comparisons and contrasts with present society. Create a visual display of life in these societies or share food and traditions that might have existed. Try some multimedia projects like a Venn Diagram comparing a certain theme of ancient civilization to present society using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the themes. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomShare the "what's special about..." section with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students judge which year was the most special and write journal entries or blogs about WHY.
GradesK to 3
tag(s): cross cultural understanding (122)
In the ClassroomDownload the games and laminate the materials or send them home for parents and children to do together. Speech and language teachers as well as ESL/ELL teachers will love the free games-to-go!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site when social studies students are doing reports on world cultures. Check out your own state (or country) and see what you can learn. ESL and ELL students may enjoy sharing the information displayed here about their individual countries and languages with American students who might have no idea of the cultural differences among members of the same country. Use this map as a discussion starter I your world cultures class about migration patterns and the power of a common language to encourage cross-cultural pollination.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse these Olympics resources to plan an entire unit during the Olympics or make them available as links from your teacher web page for enrichment if the Olympics fall during school breaks. Not enough time for an Olympics unit? Perhaps students can use these links to generate ideas and projects to share on an Olympics extra credit wiki. Teachers of gifted will find many ways to spark new projects usig these links.
Grades9 to 12
The site would be useful in an economics class during a discussion of the emerging global economy. In addition, it would be a good supplement to a discussion of China in general, or as part of a comparison with 19th century sweatshop labor in the United States and the development of the labor union movement. There are also links to other web-based sources on human rights, China, and the global economy.
tag(s): china (63)
In the ClassroomShare the film clips on a projector or whiteboard (in either RealPlayer or Quicktime formats). Discussion could work well in either a whole-class format or in a follow-up small group activity where each group creates a Venn diagram comparing the sweat shops of today with those in Weestern countries in the 19th century.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse an interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on a virtual field trip to China! The students are sure to enjoy the pictures and "student guides" of China. As a comparison across cultures, have your students create a "student guide" that compares their own culture with another. Middle school students could use issues such as the "one child policy" and some social policies as writing prompts for persuasive essays or debate topics in their world cultures class.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to visit the Teacher's Resource section for helpful hints and links. Use any word processing program to type essays, then copy and paste into the My Hero class page. Provide a link to the class page on your teacher web page so students, parents, and relatives can read the essays. As always follow your district policies regarding posting student work on the Internet. It is HIGHLY advisable to get written parent permission for such a project!
Very young students could work together as a class to write their entry. Older students and those with more technology available will definitely want to try the videos! If you know iMovie or Windows Moviemaker, this is a terrific project. It is well-suited for gifted students, as well.