Why We Need Global Citizenship More Than Ever (& some beautiful resources to foster it)

Growing up, I always had a fascination with books that showed how kids live around the world (mostly supplied by DK). It always seemed so far away and mysterious, and I loved to imagine myself in those various settings.

Today, our kids’ understanding of how kids live around the world needs to go beyond a fascination. Beyond curiosity about the “other.” Beyond stereotypes.

Today, we need kids to become global citizens.

To see and respect the differences, yes, but also to see our similarities, our connections, our interdependence, our shared humanity.

For example, how might discussing the Daily Bread photo-series by Gregg Segal broaden our students’ lens of how wealth is related to diet? (ie, “It seems counterintuitive that some of the poorest countries have among the healthiest diets. But when you look closely at what they’re eating, it makes sense: fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, fish, and legumes and very little meat (which functions more as seasoning) and few empty calories (processed foods)”).

How might sharing a variety of picture books on diverse day-in-the-life spark student thinking about what we share in common?

How might digital citizenship help shrink students’ world & bring perspective and connection? Ideas might include:

  • OneGlobeKids.org: and introductory platform for young kids to explore the lives of kids around the world
  • Quadblogging: a chance to connect with 3 other classes around the world through blogging, almost pen-pal style
  • Globally collaborative Google presentations (shared on Twitter): examples such as this & this

Fostering global citizenship is not just about feeding our students’ curiosity; it’s a precious opportunity to build empathy, connection, and humanity. What are your favorite strategies for global citizenship?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

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Inquiry into SDGs: Zero Hunger

This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here

Zero Hunger. It’s a bold goal. But if we work together to wisely use the tools and abundance of our world today, it is possible. Share the resources below with students to help them inquire into this important global goal.

Resource #1: World Food Program Quiz on Hunger

Resource #2: Michael Pollan’s Food Rules by Ant House Studio

Resource #3: An Oasis in the Midst of a Food Desert by Great Big Story

Resource #4: Tweet from the World Food Program

Maria Rita says food has never been a problem for her family before #CycloneIdai. They used to grow tomatoes, cucumber, pumpkin, beans, maize and never ran out.

A joint seed & food distribution with @FAO is helping smallholder farmers in #Mozambique return to the field. 🌱🌾👇 pic.twitter.com/layeL3iQbG— World Food Programme (@WFP) April 17, 2019

Resource #5: The Good Garden: How One Family Went From Hunger to Having Enough by Katie Smith Milway & Sylvie Daigneault

Provocation Questions:

  • Why does hunger exist?
  • What efforts improve hunger?
  • How can we more wisely use the food we grow?
  • What are the different perspectives on food shortages?
  • Whose responsibility is it to ensure everyone has enough to eat?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

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Inquiry Into SDGs: Peace, Justice, & Strong Institutions

This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here

The global goal of Peace, Justice, & Strong Institutions is meant to “significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity. Strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights is key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance.”

Use the following resources to help introduce students to this global goal & consider how it connects to their lives.

Resource #1: Martin Luther King ‘Mountaintop’ by Salomon Ligthelm

Resource #2: Further Up Yonder by Giacomo Sardelli

Resource #3: Bel-AIR by Morgan Cooper

Resource #4:: The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy

Provocation Questions:

  • What is peace?
  • What is justice?
  • How do peace & violence impact an individual? A community? A country?
  • What is our responsibility to work toward peace?
  • How do strong institutions promote peace?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

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Inquiry into SDGs: Decent Work & Economic Growth

This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here

A good summary of the Decent Work & Economic Growth global goal is as follows:

“The SDGs promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking. With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030.”

United Nations Development Programme

Below are resources intended to help students think about how they might make personal connections to this goal. How does it impact their local areas? How might their choices help?

Resource #1: PeopleMovin: interactive online graph of migration flows across the world


Resource #2: Fair Hotels advertisement by Naissance

Resource #3: My Brother by Audrey Yeo

Resource #4: One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway & Eugenie Fernandes

Provocation Questions:

  • What is “decent work” like?
  • What are the benefits of a human having a job?
  • How is job availability changing?
  • What are the effects when a person is unable to work? For themselves? For their families? For their communities?
  • How is work connected to healthy economies, communities, and countries?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

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Inquiry into SDGs: Affordable & Clean Energy

This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here

Affordable and Clean Energy is a goal intended not only to ensure access to electricity for all, but to seek for renewable, clean sources. Use these resources to help your students inquire into this goal, and how they might contribute!

Resource #1: Small World Energy by Niles Heckman (see also the thought-provoking sequel, World Energy Crisis)

Resource #2: Go Beyond Oil by Greenpeace via The Kid Should See This

Resource #3: Energy Defined by Nova via The Kid Should See This

Resource #4: The Solar Do-Nothing Machine via The Kid Should See This

Resource #5: Don’t Worry, Drive On: Fossil Fuels & Fracking Lies by Alex Perry

Resource #6: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

Provocation Questions:

  • What is energy?
  • How do humans harness energy for our benefit?
  • What is our responsibility to work toward cleaner energy?
  • What are the different perspectives on energy use that involves fossil fuels vs energy use that involves renewable sources?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

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Inquiry into SDGs: Life Below Water

This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here

The global goal of Life Below Water looks the way humans are treating our oceans, targeting issues such as marine pollution, over-exploited fish populations, and acidification of our oceans. And given the fact that 3 billion depend on the marine industry for their livelihoods, we need to find more sustainable use of these resources. Share these videos and books with your students to help them think about how these issues impact them!

Resource #1: Plastics Watch by BBC (see more clips here)

Resource #2: Henry – Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Resource #3: The Ocean Cleanup Technology, Explained via The Kid Should See This

Resource #4: Where Did the Oil Go? by NRDC via The Kid Should See This

Resource #5: Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne & Éric Puybaret; The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner & Matthew Forsythe; Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola

Provocation Questions:

  • What resources do the oceans provide that humans use?
  • What is the relationship like between our oceans and humans?
  • How might that relationship improve to help both our oceans and humans, and what is our responsibility to do so?
  • What obstacles stand in the way of improving the way we care for our oceans?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

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Inquiry into SDGs: Good Health & Well-Being

This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here

The global goal of Good Health & Well-Being aims to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Use these resources to help students inquire into what it means to provide health for all. 

Resource #1: What is a Food Desert? by Carb Loaded

Resource #2: Calm.com (see Calm for Schools free program)

Resource #3: The Story of Cholera by The Global Health Media Project

Resource #4: Thing Things We Carry by The Herd

Resource #5: The Curious Garden by Peter Brown (read here by johnvu)

Provocation Questions:

  • What is wellness?
  • What is health care?
  • How might good health and wellness solutions look different around the world? How might they look the same?
  • How does access to health care impact an individual? A community? The world?
  • How does wellness impact a person’s life?
  • How does what humans need for healthcare change over time?
  • What is our responsibility for good health and wellness? For ourselves? For others?
  • What is the connection between knowledge and good health?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

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