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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If It Were My Home - Andy Lintner

Grades
3 to 12
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If it Were My Home compares living conditions of one country to those of another. Allow the site to use your location when accessing the home page. This allows a ...more
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If it Were My Home compares living conditions of one country to those of another. Allow the site to use your location when accessing the home page. This allows a comparison from your location to others places around the globe. Select a region on the globe to compare. Choose from countries included in that region. View a map comparison. See statistics and comparisons such as oil consumption, economic statistics, and birth rates. Expand comparisons by clicking on the arrow. Scroll down the page to view more information and suggested reading materials about your chosen country. Share comparisons using social media buttons located below the map or email using the link provided.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (176), asia (70), australia (36), canada (31), cross cultural understanding (120), diseases (69), europe (74), globe (15), hiv/aids (18), south america (39), statistics (124)

In the Classroom

Ask each student to choose a country to compare to their country of origin. Have students pair up with a partner and compare their chosen countries to the country of origin. Tie in a creative writing project, and have students imagine that they are moving from their country of origin to their chosen country. Students can use the information and comparison as inspiration for their fictional story about what life would be like in their new home. Use the statistical data in If it Were My Home for some real world mathematical comparison between countries. Create infographics to compare the two countries using a tool such as Venngage, reviewed here.

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Slave Stories - International Slavery Museum, Liverpool England

Grades
7 to 12
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Follow the stories of four African slaves as they were taken on board a transatlantic slave ship in 1780. Begin as you meet your guides from four different tribes. Choose ...more
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Follow the stories of four African slaves as they were taken on board a transatlantic slave ship in 1780. Begin as you meet your guides from four different tribes. Choose a story teller to begin. Each guide begins to tell the story of their family life and cultural information. Click on underlined terms to view more information or find the definition to a vocabulary word.

tag(s): africa (176), black history (61), cross cultural understanding (120), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

View this site together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. It would be an interesting counterpoint if your class is reading Paula Fox's The Slave Dancer, even though the time frame is not identical. Allow students to explore on their own. Challenge cooperative groups to read a specific "journey." What was the biggest surprise in the story? What did they already know about slavery? Have groups use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of slavery voyages. They can even include audio "stories" and pictures.

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Hungry History - The History Channel

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3 to 12
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Explore the history of food with this tool from the History Channel. Learn about food as the center of many of our holiday celebrations as well as everyday foods such ...more
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Explore the history of food with this tool from the History Channel. Learn about food as the center of many of our holiday celebrations as well as everyday foods such as spices and basic staples. Articles are listed by most recently added. You can also search by Top Categories. Many articles also include a video.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cooking (35), cross cultural understanding (120), holidays (151), myplate (28), nutrition (159)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this resource in a unit discussing foods. Students can research and report on a various types of food. Compare the nutritional strengths and weaknesses of different cultures. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Discuss how various grains are a major underpinning of most holiday celebrations. As you view each of these resources, be sure to note the various grains that are often used. Report on different cultures and celebrations around the world. Students can even create many of these dishes to share with classmates and gain understandings of various cultures. How does the food reflect the natural resources of a region? How does it relate to the culture's religion? World language students can trace historical foods of the culture they are studying and even share them at a world language fair.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Awesome Stories - AwesomeStories

Grades
4 to 12
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AwesomeStories is a one stop shop of primary source materials. It is a gathering place of sources located at national archives, libraries, universities, museums, historical societies...more
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AwesomeStories is a one stop shop of primary source materials. It is a gathering place of sources located at national archives, libraries, universities, museums, historical societies and government-created websites. The site includes documents, videos, audio clips and narrations. Topics range from the Women's Movement to Emperor Penguins to Abraham Lincoln to the Easter Story (through medieval/renaissance art) and much more. Search by biography, disaster, trials, flicks, history, philosophy, sports, or the arts. You can also search by lesson plans, narrations, slide shows, videos, images, audio clips, documentaries, and more! You can also take advantage of the Visual Vocabulary to learn vocabulary related to many of the stories and video clips available at this site.

tag(s): art history (72), artists (76), biographies (90), black history (61), civil rights (122), civil war (145), cross cultural understanding (120), disasters (39), earthquakes (50), easter (20), inventors and inventions (95), korea (15), lincoln (86), mars (42), movies (72), natural disasters (19), presidents (132), primary sources (93), resources (112), south africa (11), vocabulary (324), weather (195), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Use this rich site to support your social studies, history, science, language arts classroom and many others! There is a lot here to explore and many diverse topics. Use the Visual Vocabulary Builder to introduce your students to new vocabulary in a different way. Middle and high schoolers could use the movies to teach about character development and themes. The site includes several lesson plans that help you teach with current movies. Have your students use the site to find historical images to use in presentations. (Be sure to check the licensing on any image you use and cite it properly.) Project the video clips using an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce students to a unit of study. Challenge small groups of students to explore one of the topics presented at this site and share their "story" with the rest of the class. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Many texts on this site are also useful examples of informational texts for practice of Common Core standards.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Trace Effects - U.S. Department of State

Grades
7 to 12
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The U.S. Department of State designed this interactive game to help ESL/ELL learners to learn American English. However, many non-ESL/ELL students could greatly benefit (and enjoy)...more
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The U.S. Department of State designed this interactive game to help ESL/ELL learners to learn American English. However, many non-ESL/ELL students could greatly benefit (and enjoy) this highly interactive experience and look at U.S. culture. Download Unity Player to begin. Registration is free, but does require an email address. Begin your mission with Trace, a teen back in time from the year 2045. Help Trace return to his regular time by completing several challenges. Trace must follow directions (called objectives) on each screen. He travels to 8 separate locations around the U.S. Learn about entrepreneurship, community activism, empowering women, science and innovation, environmental conservation, and conflict resolution. Travel to Kansas, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Complete 28 practice activities. You will also find 4 multi-player practice challenges, 7 graphic novels for extension activities, and an American English dictionary integration activity. The game is so involved, that you will not even realize that you are also learning English.

tag(s): communities (35), conflict resolution (9), conservation (126), cross cultural understanding (120), women (92)

In the Classroom

This site offers a window on American culture that you can use in comparing cultures. It is a great way to engage ESL/ELL teens as they practice English skills. Since the State Department created it, an AP Civics or Government class might even want to critique or discuss its portrayal of U.S. culture. Have ESL/ELL students work on individual laptops and explore this site alone or with a partner. Provide this link for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Challenge your students to collaboratively write the dialogue for an additional visit Trace might make to a community near you using Google Docs/Drive reviewed here. Your more technologically savvy students may like to create another version of a Trace visit to go along with the dialog! In a world language class, have students work collaboratively to create a visit to a cultural site using this game as a model.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pictolang - Michael R. Shaughnessy

Grades
5 to 12
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Pictolang offers four image-based language/culture learning activities. Visual Word Trainer provides flashcards with images and the word it represents from a choice of several languages...more
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Pictolang offers four image-based language/culture learning activities. Visual Word Trainer provides flashcards with images and the word it represents from a choice of several languages (Arabic, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, and more). Choose your language and the type of photos you wish to find. Picture Match offers a word with an assortment of images to match correctly. Word Match is the opposite of Picture Match - one image is offered with several words. Choose the correct word to match the image. Both of these activities also ask you to choose the language. The most difficult game is the Analyst Game. This activity "tests your visual intelligence." One image is presented, you choose the correct culture represented by the image. (Try it - not as easy as it sounds!)

tag(s): arabic (21), chinese (50), cross cultural understanding (120), french (90), german (65), images (274), italian (34), japanese (43), maps (293), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use Pictolang to help students learn and review languages on their own. This is a perfect site for ESL/ELL students, world cultures class, and world language studies. Display the Analyst Game on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and play together as a class or as a small group center. Discuss images featured and why they represent different cultures. Allow ESL/ELL students to explore the site using the ESL (North America) option to match images to the English word. This is a great link to add to your class website for world language (or ESL/ELL) students to use for additional practice.

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Visualising China 1850-1950 - University of Bristol

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore over 8000 images of China from 1850-1950. Images come from both private albums and public collections from throughout the world. Search for images by keyword or begin exploration...more
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Explore over 8000 images of China from 1850-1950. Images come from both private albums and public collections from throughout the world. Search for images by keyword or begin exploration with sets featured on the site's home page. Click on any image to view location, date, people, and other key information related to the photograph. Choose any tag associated with an image to view related images. Download images using links provided. Explore connections from the resource to find related images by time, people, and place. The permissions for each images are included at the right (Creative Commons, etc).

tag(s): 1800s (48), 1900s (37), china (68), images (274)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to view actual images taken in China from 1850-1950. Allow students to explore keywords such as fashion, specific cities or locations, or schooling to view images taken over the 100 year time span. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here to create timelines of images found using keyword searches. (Most images offer a version available under a Creative Commons Share-alike license.) Be sure they include image credits!

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Sound Around You - University of Salford

Grades
2 to 12
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Listen to soundscapes recorded all over the world. Find a place of interest on the map, listen to the recording, and read the information about the location. Upload your own ...more
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Listen to soundscapes recorded all over the world. Find a place of interest on the map, listen to the recording, and read the information about the location. Upload your own soundscapes using the site or through the iPhone/iPad app.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), listening (91), maps (293), senses (29), sound (105), sounds (70)

In the Classroom

Those who teach geography and world cultures will like this! Use this resource to get your students thinking about the sounds around them. Include it when studying sound or the human ear in science class. Connect with other subjects by envisioning smells that would be there or craft a story inspired by the sounds heard at a specific location. Play sounds for your younger students and ask what they hear. Create sound stories together -- or as a creative project --by playing a series of sounds to tell the tale! Use your imagination to add this resource to other location projects used throughout the year. World language teachers could assign students to create a sound and word story about a cultural location. Use these sounds as background and add the dialog!

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Sacred Stories - The British Library Board

Grades
4 to 12
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This visually stunning site offers stories from six world religions. At the time of this review, there were twelve stories in all. All stories are read aloud, animated, and subtitled...more
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This visually stunning site offers stories from six world religions. At the time of this review, there were twelve stories in all. All stories are read aloud, animated, and subtitled (you can turn on or off). The stories use artwork from the British Library collection and stay true to the religious beliefs. For instance, the Islamic text uses no human or animal figures while telling the stories. Instead, they use beautifully changing geometric patterns. By clicking on the home button, you can discover for yourself the origins of the text and the "contrasts and crossovers" for three of these religions by investigating "Understanding Sacred Texts." Click on the "Home" button at the top right and find teachers notes and student activities.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), cultures (110), hanukkah (16), holidays (151), religions (68)

In the Classroom

Ancient History and World history teachers will delight in this site! Use this site at a learning station (headphones would be a good idea) and allow students to talk about what they think they know about the religion before viewing the text. Follow up after with what know after viewing the content and completing the student activities. This site would also be an excellent extension for the gifted students in your classroom. Consider having the gifted students explore the three religions that have the "contrasts and crossovers." Language arts teachers can use this site to meet the goals of Common Core State Standards (cross curricular studies and nonfiction reading). Challenge students to find other myths and legends from other cultures that "crossover" with these or other well-known tales.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google World Wonders Project - Google

Grades
6 to 12
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How about a field trip to all the Wonders of the World? Imagine the cost, the time, the paperwork! Google has an alternative. Using Street View technology, view virtual field ...more
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How about a field trip to all the Wonders of the World? Imagine the cost, the time, the paperwork! Google has an alternative. Using Street View technology, view virtual field trips to dozens of the World Heritage Sites across the globe and on every continent. Sites include links to 3D models, user submitted photographs, YouTube videos and other content that will enrich your "visit" to the site. The collection is searchable by location or by theme (for example: architecture, palaces and castles, places of worship, and natural wonders). There are also downloadable educators' packets associated with the sites with further classroom resources and suggestions.

tag(s): archeology (32), architecture (84), cross cultural understanding (120), virtual field trips (50)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard, enabling your classroom to become a virtual window on the world. Indulge in a quick "visit" to a site associated with a historical issue in your curriculum. Compare and contrast various architectural styles across cultures. See how humankind has built places of worship in keeping with different religious viewpoints. Groups of students or individual students might be asked to design their own field trip, choosing a collection of sites, researching them, and presenting their personal journey to the rest of the class. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Consider using the in-depth examination of one of these sites as an enrichment activity for high achieving students, or as an independent project. Be sure and explore the downloadable educators' packets yourself for more suggestions and classroom resources.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A Mighty Girl - Carolyn Danckaert and Aaron Smith

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for materials portraying strong females? If so, this site is a great resource to find books, movies, toys, and music that portray strong, confident, female characters....more
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Are you looking for materials portraying strong females? If so, this site is a great resource to find books, movies, toys, and music that portray strong, confident, female characters. Choose from the "best of" lists to find top Asian Pacific or Latino mighty girls among other specific categories. Filter books by categories such as age, award winners, social issues, and language. Many picture books are also featured, making this a site even the youngest students can use. Visit the Character Collection link to learn about various famous females and books available about each character. Be aware: much of this site features items for sale. You may want to use this site solely for finding topic ideas, strong/famous women for research and sharing, and literature to locate in your local library.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biographies (90), book lists (133), cross cultural understanding (120), literature (274), women (92), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Choose from books included on this site for classroom use portraying strong female role models. Share with parents through your website for use at home when choosing books, movies, and toys. After reading two books, compare characters using an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here

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Google Cultural Institute - Google

Grades
9 to 12
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Google has assembled a series of multimedia presentations focused on historical themes. It begins in 1905 and the influence of colonial and imperial power on East Asia and finishes...more
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Google has assembled a series of multimedia presentations focused on historical themes. It begins in 1905 and the influence of colonial and imperial power on East Asia and finishes in 2008 and Nelson Mandela's impact on young people. Each theme contains photographs, video clips, text and other media that provide context for a discussion of the theme. Other themes include the Holocaust, Apartheid and South African history, and the Spanish Civil War. The content here is visually rich, relying on the impact of the photographs and video much more than any textual descriptions, and is therefore a great companion to the study of these issues, rather than being an in-depth examination of any one topic. Don't miss the search tool to find content related to a place or event (try Vietnam, for example).

tag(s): 1900s (37), 1910s (9), 1920s (16), 1930s (15), 1940s (13), 1950s (12), 1960s (30), 1970s (12), 1980s (9), 20th century (53), africa (176), asia (70), civil rights (122), cross cultural understanding (120), holocaust (39), jews (26), south africa (11), spain (9)

In the Classroom

Because of the visual impact of this resource, it's perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a complement to a study of the historical period or issue serving as the focus for each theme. Students can hear the voices of children who were affected by the Holocaust, see photographs of Apartheid era South Africa, and view primary source documents related to the life of activist Steve Biko. Allow yourself a little time to play with the site before you use it, as it may not be immediately intuitive. Overall, however, the impact of the images and video found here will add real power to your lessons. Challenge your students to use the search tool to find visual media related to events or topics you are studying and to explain the relationships. Even world language teachers will find the media available here a way to share a rich nuances of another culture.

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Project Britain - Woodlands Junior School/Mandy Barrow

Grades
3 to 7
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Project Britain is your guide to British life, culture, and customs, designed for even young readers to understand. Follow icons to learn more about the Royal Family, weather, folklore...more
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Project Britain is your guide to British life, culture, and customs, designed for even young readers to understand. Follow icons to learn more about the Royal Family, weather, folklore and traditions, and everything else British. Each topic has a short introduction followed by a series of questions with links to answers and further information. View answers to questions posed by the site's young readers and by teenagers. One interesting portion of the site compares British countries to states and other countries.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), cultures (110), england (58), folktales (58), great britain (18), ireland (12), scotland (7), transportation (41)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent resource when studying British countries and culture. Allow students to explore the site on their own or view together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Have students choose a different portion of the site to become their area of expertise. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos on the topic. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Challenge your students to create a mini-version of this kind of site on a wiki, creating a guide to their own state or city. Each student could write a portion or page. Add to the guide from year to year using this model of organization (and perhaps some video or multimedia to spice it up a bit).

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SoundCities - Stanza

Grades
4 to 12
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SoundCities is an open database of thousands of sounds from around the world. The site itself uses GoogleMaps. However, some of the world maps take you to Google Earth. Recordings ...more
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SoundCities is an open database of thousands of sounds from around the world. The site itself uses GoogleMaps. However, some of the world maps take you to Google Earth. Recordings range from car sounds to airport announcements and thousands of other typical city sounds. Choose a city from the list at the top of the page. Choose from pins on the map or the list of available sounds on the page. View the site's database to listen to sounds by mood such as mechanical, rhythm, or weather.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), maps (293), sound (105), sounds (70)

In the Classroom

Use SoundCities as a complement to information found on any map to give students another perspective of what it would be like to be in any city. Compare and contrast sounds from any included city to what is found in your community. Talk about what development does to noise and sound. Ask students to create a list of sounds found in your community (or school) that could be included in the site. During a unit on sound, talk about the ways communities handle excessive sound, applying principles of sound waves and sound transmission. In world language classes, use this site to "hear" the culture in far off cities. Allow students to create similar projects using Zeemaps, reviewed here. This tool allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map). Students could also use Google Earth, reviewed here.

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Fasten Seat Belts - 43 Films ASBL

Grades
5 to 12
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Fasten your seatbelt and get ready to take a trip to Asia or Europe! The site, Fasten Seat Belts shares videos explaining cultural norms in both Asia and Europe. There ...more
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Fasten your seatbelt and get ready to take a trip to Asia or Europe! The site, Fasten Seat Belts shares videos explaining cultural norms in both Asia and Europe. There are numerous videos and topics to choose from. Simply choose a continent from the map. Choose from the videos available explaining tips such as proper gift giving in China, where to stand on an escalator in the UK, or what color of ink is acceptable for use in Portugal. Each video is fairly short and includes a short explanation with a "Did You Know" fact in addition to the video. Use the search on the site to choose videos by country, theme, or type.

tag(s): asia (70), cross cultural understanding (120), cultures (110), europe (74)

In the Classroom

World language teachers may want to use these videos throughout the year to discuss cultural norms. Use the videos to introduce the concept of "culture" in a world cultures or social studies class. View videos before taking students on field trips-- real or virtual -- to Asia or Europe. Introduce the site to students, then challenge them to find other tips to share and create their own videos to share using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
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Inanimate Alice - BradField Company Limited

Grades
4 to 12
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If you love to read, try this award-winning, interactive narrative. Inanimate Alice is a digital, interactive, graphic novel set in the 21st century. We meet Alice at the age of ...more
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If you love to read, try this award-winning, interactive narrative. Inanimate Alice is a digital, interactive, graphic novel set in the 21st century. We meet Alice at the age of eight and follow her episodic story into her mid-teens when she becomes a world class animator and designer. Your actions and choices take the story forward. As a little girl, Alice likes to draw and create games on her handheld device. She animates her imaginary friend, Brad. Travel internationally with Alice and her family as they leave China for Australia. In episode two they travel to Saudi Arabia and Italy. Read of life in the cities and visits to Singapore and Korea. Alice is truly an international citizen! World language learners will enjoy reading about Alice's travels to Indonesia and Japan in those languages. Read the episodes in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian, too.

The episodes of this graphic novel are available in your browser for free. Visit the Create link to view content created by students as they adopt Alice as a friend in this intriguing and interactive story. If your students choose to "create," you may use the tool suggested or use your own. The American Association of School Librarians recognized Inanimate Alice as a 2012 Best Website for Teaching and Learning.

tag(s): digital storytelling (153), interactive stories (31), reading comprehension (119)

In the Classroom

From the makers of Inanimate Alice: "... the level of interactivity starts out low in episode one, increasing with each subsequent episode in order to reflect Alice's own growing abilities, we've found that we can take an audience unfamiliar with multimedia fiction with us. Educators like Inanimate Alice because of this; students from primary to post-graduate level find the work engaging."

You can use this site with younger children on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Older students will enjoy exploring the story on their own using headphones or earbuds. Have older students work in small groups, creating an episode of their own with Alice. Encougage students to use one of these recommended free multimedia tools Sway, reviewed here, or Zeetings, reviewed here. Be prepared for lots of "on task" chatter from your students about this delightful site.
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Comments

This seems like a really fun site and ones kids would like. Of all of the email suggestions this week, Inanimate Alice has the most potential. The thing is, to get best effect, we must purchase. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness - U. S. National Library of Health and Medicine

Grades
4 to 12
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Native Voices takes an extensive look at Native Peoples' health and beliefs through several different media approaches. Begin with a video introductory message from the Director of...more
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Native Voices takes an extensive look at Native Peoples' health and beliefs through several different media approaches. Begin with a video introductory message from the Director of the National Library of Medicine. The video explains content on the site and the background of the exhibition. Watch interviews of health professionals, healers, and other community leaders organized by theme, name, or region. An extensive timeline highlights key events searchable by time period, tribe, or keyword. The resources area provides links to lessons, online activities, suggested reading, and more. Explore the exhibition to view Native American art and stories about healing. This site is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about Native American's beliefs in regard to health and healing.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), medicine (70), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for Native American, American History, health, and other units. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) together. Have groups of students view videos on individual tribes, then challenge students to create a newspaper article using the Newspaper Clipping Generator or use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of tribal beliefs-- or perhaps comparing with "mainstream" beliefs in their own culture.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Julian Germain Classrooms Portraits Project - Julian Germain

Grades
7 to 12
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View portraits of classrooms in many cultures 2004-2012, taken by photographer Julian Germain. The collection is actually from a book. As Archive Magazine reviewer Tom Shakespeare...more
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View portraits of classrooms in many cultures 2004-2012, taken by photographer Julian Germain. The collection is actually from a book. As Archive Magazine reviewer Tom Shakespeare explains, "By presenting different pupils, different schools, different year groups, Germain asks questions about contemporary educational practices and social divisions." The photos are clearly deliberate portraits, not candids, but offer a glimpse into other cultures and a chance to ask questions about why a class ( and classroom) might look the way it does, inviting discussion about what we have in common and how each culture conducts and values education.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), images (274), media literacy (62)

In the Classroom

Share these photos as a writing prompt about cultural differences in a world cultures class or as a way to get students thinking before writing an essay about their "dream" school. Use the common experience of school as an entry point into conversation about cross-cultural understanding. Share on a projector or whiteboard as students use powers of observation to notice what might be different about life in another culture and how school reflects a culture's value systems. Have them write a blog post about what they see. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Use this site In art class or even as a media literacy exercise. Have students jot down the words they would use to describe the emotions they see/feel in these images. What message is the photographer conveying about school? Extend the discussion by challenging students to take their own photos to portray "school." Share the photos on a class wiki, blog, or online scrapbook using a tool such as Beeclip, reviewed here.

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Enduring Voices Project - National Geographic

Grades
6 to 12
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Close the opening ad and learn what languages are dying out around the world. Hear vocal clips of native speakers. Information about the languages includes maps of language hotspots,...more
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Close the opening ad and learn what languages are dying out around the world. Hear vocal clips of native speakers. Information about the languages includes maps of language hotspots, ratings of the level of danger the languages are facing, and stories with photos and videos about National Geographic's visits to the language-endangered areas.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Social studies and language arts classes can discuss what makes languages "live" and "die" and explore the cultures that are also disappearing. Have students consider the idea that language is reflective of culture so the failure of a spoken language to thrive is a death knell for the culture, as well. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster featuring photos and interesting details about a culture experiencing language failure using Tackk, reviewed here, or Padlet, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Endangered Languages - Alliance for Linguistic Diversity

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn about the endangered languages of the world. See samples of the languages, research about the language and culture spotlighted, or even record the language. A world map provides...more
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Learn about the endangered languages of the world. See samples of the languages, research about the language and culture spotlighted, or even record the language. A world map provides an overview of the location and status of each language under examination. The status criteria vary: at risk, endangered, severely endangered, vitality unknown. Each section of the map includes a figure indicating the number of threatened languages in the area. Find other names for the language, number and names of dialects, the number of its speakers alive today, and the location of the language. The language clips are fascinating excerpts of conversations with native speakers and the researchers interviewing them. The clips also include cultural information and film excerpts using the language. Note: Since this is an international project, a lot of the comments after the film clips are in the major language of the region where the endangered language exists and not in English. Information is available for professional linguists about how to prepare a language documentation project and about that field's research methods.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), word study (79)

In the Classroom

As part of a world cultures unit or study of langage origins, students ask their parents and grandparents what part of the world their ancestors came from and then explore this map to determine the number of endangered languages found where their ancestors lived. Gifted students may be fascinated by these unusual tongues. Have them explore to learn more about the culture behind the language. Compare words for the same thing across different languages to see how the languages are related.

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