11 Mar Cool Tools for Going Global
We’re having a ton of fun this year doing author visits in schools. We had more than a bit of trepidation, though, when we did our first one. After all, both of us are highly skilled at delivering learning to adults—Lisa with her instructional design expertise and Janelle with her years of leadership training experience. But active kindergartners? Or 90(!) second graders? Or somewhat jaded fifth graders? Our lessons needed to be adaptable for the time span, reading levels, and group size. But most of all, the sessions needed to be interactive and FUN!
Fortunately, we landed on using the five senses to engage kids and to help them become better readers and writers, as well as connect to the Pack-n-Go countries—nothing like a little Austrian chocolate to excite the masses. The author visits can be on the wild side, but the good kind of wild. How I wish, though, that we’d discovered The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners before we sat down to plan the first school visit. It would have given us hundreds of ideas for engaging kids and a thousand tips for how to do it right.
The book is the brainchild of Homa S. Tavangar, author of Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be at Home in the World (Random House/Ballantine Press), and Becky Mladic-Morales, founder of Kid World Citizen. Their ideas help schools take an interdisciplinary approach to integrating multicultural lessons into their classes across grade levels and content areas. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, you’ll find so many practical ideas such as using Google Earth to get a close up look at the pyramids or the cherry blossoms blooming in Japan or tapping into your local Rotary Club and inviting a foreign exchange student they’ve sponsored to come talk to your classroom or join your family for dinner. Start every day with a geography trivia question. The internet has an endless supply!
The hope is that by personalizing the world through activities, technology, and connection to school children in other countries, kids will shift their thinking. They’ll begin to appreciate diversity in the world and thus be less likely to view differences as a threat. It does make you wonder. What if the book were required reading for students in every college or university’s school of education? What if every teacher shifted his or her approach and brought in another culture or global perspective from time to time?
Even though all of our learning activities have an eye towards growing global citizens, we can’t wait to flesh out some of Tavangar and Mladic-Morales’ ideas even further for our next author visit. In the meantime, take advantage of the free learning activities we have for Mystery of the Troubled Toucan, our latest Pack-n-Go Adventure. ~Janelle
PS By the way, we’d love to come talk to the kids at your school about books, writing, reading, or going global. We love to be with kids in person, but we can also have fun Skyping! Contact us at Pack-n-G0 Girls. if you’d like to arrange a visit.