Students are hungry to engage in the real world and do something meaningful. Adults are too, but often we grow up and get disillusioned that one person can really make a difference. Our increasingly complex world needs people who can take action and work to solve puzzles that could be fundamental to our existence on this planet. Our young people need to be trained to see themselves are part of the solutions.
- Standard: In the Massachusetts state frameworks for Social Studies in the 6th grade, optional topics of study are listed, such as the topics listed below.
- Describe the political and social status of women in selected countries in Western Asia.
- Describe the general level of education in selected countries in Africa and its relationship to the economy.
- Explain why the Indian government seeks to control population growth and the methods it uses to control population growth.
- How to Globalize: Rather than assign students work on one of these particular standards, I focused on the spirit behind them — getting students to care about what’s happening in other parts of the world. It’s most important that students have this basic understanding of global citizenship rather than know the specific details about any one region.
- Sample Project:Global Citizenship Projects ~ At the end of a quarter studying world geography, religion, and culture, students had one week to design their own class project. They could choose any topic that they wanted as long as it fit the theme of global citizenship and fit a few criteria: 1) benefits others, 2) safe and legal, 3) includes everyone in the class, and 4) shares talents, not money. They did not receive any traditional grades, but they did get graded in our school’s social outcomes: community membership, problem solving, self-direction, and effective communication. The results were impressive.
- Learn More: Lesson Plan, Student Self Assessment, Student Work Sample #1 (World Map Art), Student Work Sample #2 (Autism), Student Work Sample #3 (Rock Garden)