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.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the documentary on this site as an in-class activity during a lesson or unit on Modern China. Introduce the circumstances of Tiananmen Square to the class before playing the video on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Make sure to give students sufficient contextual information before playing the video. After the video, have a class discussion about the video, using your own prompts or those derived from the teachers guide! Challenge students to create fictitious blog posts from those living near the area, or from family members living far away.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): china (66)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans on this site! Even if you don't have time for the entire lesson plan, be sure to check it out to see what can be included in your classroom. Be sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy reference later on.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): china (66)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans in the "Educators" section! The lesson plans connect the content to geography and economics, and are aligned with national standards. The U.S. China quiz may be a bit challenging, but teachers can easily use it as a formative assessment to see what students already know about modern China before entering a new lesson or unit on it. Make sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy reference later on!
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the interactive tour of Tiananmen Square (or share the videos) on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a lesson on Tiananmen. After learning about the events from books, this is a great way to give students something tangible to hold on to. After viewing the site and film, have students complete a multimedia presentation to share what they have learned. Create a class wiki to discuss the events shared at this site. Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades3 to 12
At this site the quality of the games varies from deep thinking to factual to cute. Learn everything from the history of dating to the geography of China to "Do I Have a Right?" exploring the Bill of Rights.
In the ClassroomThere is a wide variety of topics for the study of cultures and history here, so be sure to look through this site as you plan your new unit or lesson! There are many, many uses for this site in the class room: Share a game from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector for a whole class review, choose a game from this website to use as a center, a review, or to provide a student reward on individual computers. Some of the games can be downloaded into a pdf and printed out and used as a traditional card, or board group game. Since this is a collaborative website, you and your students can "rate" the games to give feedback for other users.
Oh MY GOSH! Who knew? This is a wealth of information available through game-playing. By searching the term "social justice," I arrived at numerous options for delving into the various aspects of a complex problem. I cannot wait to share this resource.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomHaving one of these 7 Wonders up and rotating through the view (on your interactive whiteboard) while studying ancient Rome, the history of the Islamic religion, ancient China, or any of the others would be a real treat for students and can help them recognize that these cultures were once real people, with skills, and goals. Small groups or individual students can focus on one of the 7 Wonders. Students should research why the structure was built, its history (how long it took, how it was funded, etc), the type of materials, and the style of architecture used. Students would then report out to the rest of the class. Using the interactive whiteboard students can simultaneously navigate the structure they researched and annotate the different parts of the structure. Older students can annotate using an online tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. If you don't have an interactive whiteboard, have students use Glogster EDU, reviewed here or a wiki to post their information, images and a link to the panoramic view they researched.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site as a class webquest in conjunction with Marco Polo's Route to China and Back, reviewed here. Have students or groups research one area of this site and create a multimedia report to share with the class. Challenge students to narrate a picture using a tool such as Slidestory, reviewed here. Or have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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. Glogster EDU, 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." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7FP1kgtD8U). 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.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): china (66)
In the ClassroomThis site would be a great introductory lesson into a unit on China. Show the panoramic video on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Allow students to conduct the walk by choosing where the video takes them. Have students explore this site with a partner and then find a photo (legally permitted) of the Great Wall of China. Have students use UtellStory, reviewed here, to narrate the photo that they chose. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, 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 (116)
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.
Grades4 to 12
Be aware: this site also has advertisements for books for sale. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
tag(s): map skills (80)
In the ClassroomNavigating the site is fairly easy. Manipulate the map as you would on Google Maps (zoom, drag, etc). Simply click to read the articles, weather reports, and view the photos or video clips (teacher-previewed, of course). Use this fabulous site as an addition to your geography class or as a reference when looking up ANY world location from current events, literary settings, and more. Take your students virtually to a new location every day! Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to write a blog as a native from the highlighted country. In world language classes, have students plot a trip or write an imaginary story of their dream trip to Spain, Mexico, France, China (or whatever country/language they are studying). Take your students on a virtual trip to the native countries where the language is spoken. Have your ESL or ELL students take the class on a virtual tour of their home country.
For a more extensive project, have your students work on "building up" the Mapdango resources available for your area using the various tools that Mapdango draws upon. Of course, you will need to work within school policies to access these tools. Add more pictures to Panoramio, contribute more detailed articles to wikipedia, etc. Be sure to include the link to YOUR town's Mapdango entry on your class web page!
Safety/Security Concerns: Registration is required to use the social features, but they are not necessary for "exploring" a location. Make sure you have a clear class policy and consequences regarding the social features of the site. This site is so rich in information that it is a good one to use to teach ethical and safe use of web resources, especially how to avoid non-essential portions of a good site.
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.
Grades3 to 7
In the ClassroomWhat a fabulous resource for independent research projects or country comparisons. Put the names of all of the countries into a hat or jar. Have individual students or small groups pick a country. Challenge the students to learn the native lingo, the geography and climate of the area, the history of the country, and more. Have the students create multimedia presentations to share with the class or have a World Cultures day.
If you don't have time to complete a large research project, use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and take your students "virtually" to a different country every week. Spend 10-15 minutes navigating the website. Challenge your class to learn some of the native "lingo" and practice native phrases throughout the week. Use this site for background when reading folktales and stories set in far-off lands. If you have a chance to do a collaborative project with students across the world, start with basic background knowledge from this site.
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 (66)