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Global Classroom

About Global Classroom

Our Approach

Our workshops are based on face-to-face exchanges with the Global Guides and incorporate interactive presentations and discussions, as well as the use of media and technology to enhance the learning experience. Global Classroom educators work directly with program partners, classroom teachers, and afterschool coordinators to tailor our curriculum to schools' specific needs and interests.

Our Thematic Units

Global Lives

All grades 

Students investigate the meaning of “culture,” explore their personal cultures, and various cultures from around the world. Global Guides focus their workshops on different cultural topics, such as religion, the arts, traditions, and food, as well as their historical origins. Students participate in hands-on activities, such as playing traditional games, learning songs and dances, creating art projects and tasting cultural foods. The program culminates with final projects, in which students explore cultural topics of interest using the arts, literacy and/or digital media.

Sample Workshop: Uganda: Dance with Me

After-School students learn various songs and dances from a Global Guide in Uganda.

At this Bronx after-school program a Global Guide from Uganda led an exciting and personal workshop about his life in Africa and his passion for dance. As he unpacked his bags of drums and bells, the students did not realize that they were going to be part of the show. The Global Guide taught students basic movements using their voices, hands, and feet to make music. He explained that during his childhood he didn’t have toys or TV, so he and other children created their own dances and songs to entertain themselves. Several students, first- or second-generation immigrants from Africa themselves, especially appreciated connecting with someone with a similar background.

Global Citizenship

All grades

Students investigate what it means to be a global citizen in their own community and around the world. Global Guides lead workshops on various global issues, exploring topics such as human rights and environmental sustainability. Students learn about various global challenges and possible solutions, exploring how these issues are connected on a local, national and global scale. By participating in stimulating solution-oriented activities and a final project, students are inspired to become active global citizens and create change in their community and the world.

Sample Workshop: South Korea: Being Free & Equal

An inspirational letter that a NYC student wrote to a North Korean refugee living in NYC after learning about many of the refugees’ hardships from a Global Guide from South Korea.

In this workshop, a Global Guide from South Korea shared pictures and stories of her hometown, family, and school life with students at a high school in Manhattan. She then spoke about her experience volunteering for an organization that supports North Korean refugees in the U.S., explaining the treacherous obstacles North Koreans encounter when they try to defect to countries such as China, Thailand, and the United States. The students were surprised and disheartened to learn about the difficulties faced by the refugees, and felt compelled to help, even if only in a small way. Taking action as Global Citizens, the students wrote inspirational notes to the refugees, with whom the Global Guide worked directly and who were currently living in NY.

Teen World

Middle, High School

Students learn how teens around the world face similar challenges in their personal, social, and political lives. Through interactive workshops and engaging discussions with Global Guides, students critically explore themes like identity, discrimination, gender equality, bullying, and coping with social pressures. Students then work collaboratively to develop a project on a teen issue of their choosing.

Sample Workshop: Argentina: Mate and Tango

Students taste mate with a Global Guide from Argentina

For this high school Spanish class, a Global Guide from Argentina brought her language, culture, and daily life into the classroom through dance, drink, and discussions. She spoke about teen life in Argentina and shared two of her favorite pastimes; tango and mate. First she showed a tango video and brave volunteers attempted to dance with her, while she led some basic steps. Several students commented on how different the movements were from the hip hop or Caribbean dances. She also brought mate, the traditional tea of Argentina, for everyone to try. This was a wonderful, multi-sensory introduction to Argentinian culture, and some of the students used this opportunity to proudly share their own Latin American heritage with their classmates and the Global Guide.

Global Careers

High School

This program connects students with successful international role models pursuing a variety of careers, while cultivating the specific competencies needed to succeed in the global economy. Students develop their cross-cultural communication skills and reflect on their unique skills, passions, and possible career paths. Students employ technology to identify areas of interest, research potential job options, and create a final project that develops and communicates their personal career goals.

Sample Workshop: Germany: Education as a Career Path

Students learn about special needs education by participating in a blind-folded walk with a Global Guide from Germany.

Students learn about special needs education by participating in a blind-folded walk with a Global Guide from Germany. He spoke about his experience studying Special Education and working in different Special Education classrooms, a relatively new concept for many of the Queens high school students. He led an exercise where students had to guide each other blindfolded and using limited communication. The students had fun, but also were able to think about what life would be like if they had disabilities, or were teaching someone with disabilities.

Investigating Conflicts

Middle, High School

This program addresses conflict in countries around the world, employing firsthand accounts to relate experiences of social and political upheaval to students’ lives. Global Guides present on topics such as independence, civil liberties, revolutions, civil war, and conflict resolution, motivating students to evaluate the impact these historical events have on communities and individuals.

Sample Workshop: Bosnia & Herzegovina: Conflict and Optimism

A Global Guide from Bosnia & Herzegovina explains how there are multiple perspectives to any story or conflict by sharing her experiences growing up in war-torn Yugoslavia at a Brooklyn high school. She showed the class maps that demonstrated how often Yugoslavia’s borders have changed, eventually splitting into six separate countries. Students were silent and engaged as they listened to her stories about having to go into the basement of her school when they heard air raid sirens, fearing that the bombs might hit their school. Despite her country’s war-torn past, the Global Guide emphasized that her culture tends to be very optimistic, friendly and warm, using humor as a coping tool to get through challenging times. Students were surprised to see a picture of her and her friends smiling after losing their jobs. Some students said that Americans tend to have a less positive outlook, but they can learn something from Bosnian culture. She also showed the students pictures of how beautiful her country is now, despite being in the midst of war less than 30 years ago, and many students remarked that they would like to visit one day.

Sustainability

All Grades

Students learn how our use of resources impacts health, quality of life, our own communities and others around the world. Students investigate how other countries have introduced sustainable practices through interactive presentations from Global Guides. Past topics have included green architecture projects, urban planning, urban farming, recycling and water conservation efforts.

Sample Workshop: New Zealand: Water Pollution & Sustainability

Students filter water with a Global Guide from New Zealand.

A Global Guide from New Zealand shared about water pollution and farming with students in a high school science class in The Bronx. She explained that in New Zealand cows often live near bodies of water and when it rains their manure pollutes the water. In New Zealand they use “Riparian Planting,” a sustainable practice, to help solve this problem. Riparian Planting involves planting a vegetated area (a "buffer strip") near the water, which helps protect the water from pollution, while also allowing the manure to help fertilize the soil of the vegetated area. The students then participated a water pollution activity in which they experimented with different types of sponges and paper to determine the most effective methods of filtering water. As a final project students examined a sustainability issue in their local community, and developed their own ideas for addressing the issue.

Water

Elementary, Middle, High School

Students investigate water across multiple academic areas and international perspectives, including their own. They explore the usage and sourcing of water both abroad and in NYC-area, using technology to deepen their learning and create a final project to share with the school and Global Classroom community.

Sample Workshop: Trinidad and Tobago: La Brea Oil Spill

Students simulate an oil spill during a workshop about Trinidad and Tobago.

A Global Guide from Trinidad and Tobago facilitated a Water workshop for students in an after-school in Manhattan. Her workshop focused on the impact of the 2013 La Brea oil spill. Students were somewhat aware of oil spills but had never given much consideration to their impact on the local people and wildlife. They were challenged to clean up their own oil spill: each student had a container with water and vegetable oil, browned by mixing it with cocoa powder. They were given sponges, spoons, napkins, straws and told to think creatively about how they could clean the spill. After struggling with this mini-spill, they recognized how difficult such a task would be on a larger scale and the lasting damage a real spill would have on the environment.

Games Around The World!

Elementary, Middle School

Students investigate culture and global concepts through traditional games and pastimes. Global Guides lead workshops that discuss their culture and teach a game from their country, engaging students in meaningful discussion and play. The program cultivates students’ intercultural communication and team-building skills, exploring how students can practice these skills in their classrooms and community. Past workshops have shared Japanese New Year traditions, Kenyan school yard competitions, and French classroom games used to pass time between exams.

Sample Workshop: France: Let’s Play Pétanque

For most of the elementary school students in this Brooklyn after-school, this workshop was their first introduction to France. Students explored French symbols, architecture and even a typical day for students their age in France. They were surprised, and envious, to learn the length of the lunch break, but for the most part they found that their days were quite similar to their French counterparts. The students were excited to learn how to play Pétanque, a traditional French pastime similar to lawn bowling.

BRING GLOBAL CLASSROOM TO YOUR SCHOOL OR AFTER-SCHOOL:

We are always interested in building new partnerships to broaden Global Classroom’s reach within the New York City area. For more information about new partnerships, email Marissa, Director of Global Classroom, or call (212) 431-1195x22.