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Global Citizenship: Classroom Activities

Activities to bring Global Citizenship into your school

Elementary, Middle


The resource addresses broad topics in order for students to begin to develop responsible attitudes that will enhance their understanding of global citizenship. The activities fit into many curricular areas with a progression through age levels for elementary aged students. Some of the activities the students will be involved in are as follows:

  • Creating classroom rules based on what is fair and unfair; right or wrong.
  • Students will begin to investigate their own relationships with others and appreciate that their actions have consequences. In response to the book Aldo, students will brainstorm words to describe friends.
  • Students will gain an appreciation of what local means by viewing a photograph of their community and discussing what happens in that locale, who lives nearby, etc.
  • Building on their understanding of one's local environment students will then view photographs of places that are different than their own. Students will discuss and note the similarities between their place and places far away.
  • After engaging in activities that teach students to appreciate diversity, students will gain knowledge and understanding of living things by growing and caring for plants in their school yard and the municipality.
  • The teacher will present the students with a variety of fruit and vegetables, including local produce and some grown in far off places.
  • Students will be invited to come up with definitions for "rich" and "poor". The students will be challenged to focus not just on money and material wealth but all aspects of rich and poor.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource explicitly teaches many skills integral to global citizenship:

  • Critical thinking.
  • Ability to argue effectively.
  • Ability to challenge injustice and inequalities.
  • Respect for people and things.
  • Cooperation and conflict resolution.


  • The resource is interesting with lots of guiding questions for the teacher to get the students engaged.
  • The resource provides adequate background information and a bibliography of references and contacts.
  • The lessons/activities are organized in sequence but individual lessons can also be chosen for specific occasions like assemblies, etc.
  • The resource propels students into authentic action oriented activities.
  • The resource covers a wide range of pertinent and up-to-date activities for developing attitudes in students (and teachers) that are congruent with global citizenship.
  • Activities/lessons are structured in an accessible and "teacher friendly" way.


  • This resource does not provide suggestions for out-of-doors experiences. All of the activities are structured around indoor classroom activities.
  • Assessment and evaluation activities are not well developed in the lessons.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Quality of Life
  • Human Rights (2)

    • Cultural Diversity
    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

The resource is comprised of approximately 39 activities/lessons, for a variety of age groups. Many of these lessons encourage teachers to:

  • invite guests into the classroom,
  • use information/pamphlets from a variety of organizations,
  • utilize published books from many different sources and authors,
  • access newspapers from around the country and the world,
  • make students aware of bias in media reports on any given issue,
  • highlight issues pertinent of citizens around the world, not just in our community or country.

The above is only a sampling of strategies incorporated into the lessons that result in a minimization of bias in the resource.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good
  • The resource touches on a multiple of dimensions to the problems and possible solutions. Beginning with classroom rules, to local governance and economic issues, to locally versus far away grown produce, to the rights of the disabled, to child labour and fair trade, to mention only a few; the resource attempts to touch on many significant issues of global citizenship and responsibility.
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good
  • The 39 lessons in this resource give students the opportunity to participate in many types of authentic action experiences. These action experiences are integral to the main part of the activity.
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory
  • Actual outdoor experiences are minimally suggested in this resource. There is a lot of discussion of learning how to live responsibly and sustainably on the earth.
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good
  • This resource is teeming with ways in which a teacher can facilitate activities and discussions to bring out the complexity of a particular issue. Assumptions and stereotypes are constantly challenged and analyzed throughout the resource.
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Very Good
  • This resource is especially strong in language arts/social studies/visual arts. All of these subject areas are integrated into the activities. 
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Very Good
  • Discovery learning or the potential for students to discover and build knowledge for themselves is embedded in many of the lessons in this resource. It is especially prevalent in the lessons designed for the older students pertaining to topics such as democracy, child labour, fair trade, and peace and conflict world wide.
  • The students are given the opportunity and are taught the skills to delve more deeply into a given topic and come up with questions and answers independently.
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.


Differentiated Instruction Very Good
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good
  • The lessons provide many configurations of cooperative learning for younger and older students. These configurations include debating, creating banners/posters, etc.
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory
  • Each lesson ends with a "planned outcome" or criteria for what the students should come away with by the end of the activity, but there are no specific assessment suggestions.
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.