30 QUICK & EASY Global Awareness Activities for the Classroom


Grab this handy list of 30 QUICK and EASY global awareness ideas for the classroom.

  1. Use National Geographic's People and Culture photographs with young children to help them develop respect for other cultures.
  2. Let children listen to and respond through movement to dance music from different cultures with Pandora!  Simply scroll to the bottom of the home page and select BROWSE GENRE STATIONS.  Click on WORLD.  Also, type MUSIC in the search box and find outstanding global music lesson plans at Oxfam.org!
  3. Let students make a Hair Book.
  4. Look at and talk about similarities between the daily lives of those in the books and our own lives. Ask pupils to illustrate a frieze entitled "A day in the life of our class."
  5. Create a word bank by brainstorming other pupils' qualities:  funny, helpful, talkative, stubborn, and so on.  Ask children to choose words which they think describe themselves, and then write them as a recipe which ultimately will become part of a class book of recipes. 
  6. Find out about the lives of other children around the world.
  7. Access TONS of interactive whiteboard resources by National Geographic with a free registration.
  8. Listen to songs from Mexico and the United States to discuss which is the odd one out. 
  9. Read dual-language story books.
  10. Display greetings in different languages.
  11. Read a story about refugees or migrant workers.
  12. Read non-fiction books about energy conservation and the water cycle.
  13. Visit water treatment facilities.
  14. Write a report to the local newspaper to share environmental or community events, like a tree planting.
  15. Establish a connection with a class that lives elsewhere by using www.ePals.com
  16. Conduct interviews with someone from another country.
  17. Display photos and mementos from teachers' trips.
  18. Use global performances at assembly programs.
  19. Offer books and maps with global themes, all prominently displayed in the media center.
  20. Invite parent volunteers who can promote global awareness.
  21. Use culture boxes from UNC's Center for Global Initiatives (CGI).
  22. Use computer bookmarks that link to newspapers in other world languages.
  23. Ask students questions about the supply and consumption of water in their own lives. They should then imagine that when they go home, they find that the water supply has been shut off with no prospect of it being restored soon.  How would being without water affect them and those around them?
  24. Teach students to play a "count-and-capture" game, or mancala.  Mancala games play a role in many African and some Asian societies comparable to that of chess in the West.  Wikipedia:  "There is no one game with the name mancala; instead mancala is a type, or designation, of game. This word is used in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, but is not consistently applied to any one game."
  25. Use videos to promote cultural awareness.  Check out 100 Video Sites Every Educator Should Bookmark.
  26. Encourage Music and Physical Education classes to work together to learn a Japanese folk dance first performed in the Japanese rice fields about 1000 years ago.
  27. Chalk the globe or a world map on concrete.
  28. Display flags of other nations.
  29. Use clocks show the time locally and in other world cities.
  30. Find opportunities to create classroom experiences centered around:
    • Fairness between groups
    • Causes and effects of inequality
    • Similarities and differences between people
    • Contributions of different cultures, values and beliefs to our lives
    • Nature of prejudice and ways to combat it
    • Sense of the wider world
    • Links and connections to different places
    • Trade between countries
    • Our impact on the environment
    • Awareness of the past and the future
    • Relationship between the people and the environment
    • Our potential to change things
    • Conflicts past and present in our society and others
    • Causes of conflict, conflict resolution, impact of conflict



Donna Sawyer
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