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World Citizenship: A Mini Unit

World citizenship is an important concept. Here is a fun and easy unit to help the child(ren) explore this concept and how it directly affects them.

1. Design or use a prepared map of your neighborhood, block, county, parish, town, or a nearby community. Mark on your map evidences of the contributions of various ethnic groups, either in the present or the past: architecture, crops, businesses, stores, street names, trees and plants, statues, artworks, boats, etc.

2. How does your cultural background affect your life? Talks with your grandparents or other older family members about some of their memories. See if their everyday life was more influenced by their national and/or cultural traditions than yours is. Look for pictures of some of the places where your ancestors lived. Find someone in your neighborhood or group who is the same ethnic heritage as you. Compare what you have learned with their experiences.

3. Find a way to help your community realize and be proud of your own or someone else’s cultural heritage. You might write an article for a newspaper; prepare a neighborhood cookbook, organize a block festival, set up a library, or mall exhibit, or demonstrate some dances, games, crafts, or musical specialties.

4. Create an imaginary person from a background unlike your own. Include age, sex, family and ethnic background, geographic location, job and/or education, dress, and food. Prepare a play or puppet show or write or tell a story about the character you have created.

5. Learn a language new to you. Use it in one of these ways:
-- To order a meal
-- As part of a skit
-- To attend a language class
-- To help someone who speaks that language but not your own.
-- To design a game or word cards to help younger children learn the language

6. Go to a cultural event or festivity of an ethnic group other than your own. Take along a friend who belongs to that ethnic group, if possible. Talk to your friend or someone from the group presenting the event to learn the meaning and the background of the event.

7. Go to or take part in an international festival or folk fair in your locality and share your experiences with others.

8. Prepare an international exhibit that shows life around the world. It might include pictures you can find and/or models you have made of one or more of the following: houses, animals, plant life, dress, transportation, and/or markets.

9. People everywhere are proud of their nations and their heritages. Think up six questions you would like to a child living outside of your country. Find answers to at least three of your questions. Then imagine you live in this child’s country and prepare something that tells about your life and your pride in your country.

10. Take a make-believe balloon ride. Fly in your imagination over two of these areas or other places of your own choosing, far from your home:
-- A village set high in the mountains
-- A ship near a coral reef.
-- A desert town near oil wells
-- A forest hideaway
-- A river plantation in the jungle
Write a description with illustrations or make a detailed picture or 3-D construction of what you would see from the air.

11. Take a poll or survey of at least ten people you know to find out what changes they believe would make the world a better place.

12. Prepare a display to inform people about the importance of a global issue and how they might do something about solving it. They might be interested in issues of literacy, housing, water, cities, outer space, food, etc.

13. Take part in a national service project.

14. Visit an international organization. Places to contact might be a UNICEF center, a religious organization, a missionary office, etc. Find out the ways in which these groups help people around the world.

15. Design an international scene to show life in a country outside your country. Be sure your scene is as accurate as possible. You may want to show places where people live, work, study, worship, and/or play, along with showing what the land is like.

16. Using a recent newspaper, make a note of the names of people and places outside your country referred to in photos, articles, cartoons, editorials, and advertisements to find out how international your news is.

17. Listen to a news program on the radio or television and make a note of all the people and places mentioned that are outside of your country.

18. For activities sixteen and/or seventeen, if you do not know where a country is that is mentioned, locate it on a map or globe.

19. Start an international collection of your own or with a group of friends. Your collection might include stamps, songs, travel pictures, post cards, hats, flags, recipes, etc.

20. If you lived in one of the many desert or dry areas of the world, would you be able to carry water for long distances? In many places, women and girls must carry most or all the water needed in their homes each day. Try carrying a large pail nearly full of water around a block, a playing field, or a one-acre lot without spilling a drop. Then see if you can carry the container with a small amount of water in it on your head or should fore a short distance. Practice until you can carry it at least 10 feet (about 3 meters).

21. Think about the things you depend on someone else for and others depend on you for during a day. People almost everywhere are dependent on each other, are interdependent. Find at least three things in your community or nearby communities produce for other areas and at least three items your community needs from other countries.

22. Design and carry out a small project (at least 2 hours) which will show you care about people, wherever they live.

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