Curricular Materials for Elementary Educators

The Center for Global Studies is pleased to offer this page of resources for practicing K-12 teachers. The page is an extension of our workshops and outreach events. We invite you to review the pages and to use and adapt any parts for your use in the classroom.

Elementary School Level [K-5] Curricular Materials Developed for the CGS

A Small Look at Our Environment: A Comparison Between Japan and the United States [Developed for Grades 4-5]

Developed by Susan Feldman, Elementary Teacher, State College Area School District

Impact Award Submission from The Teaching Japan Workshop

The students will be introduced to the Japanese environment and will compare it to the United States. The children will have the opportunity to discover ways in which humans are affecting the land in both places. Students will be encouraged to brainstorm ways in which they can make a difference to reverse the damage that's been created.

Trade and Economics of China and The Middle East's Porcelain and Lapis Lazuli [Developed for Grade 3]

Developed by Jennifer Lee Vanada, Integrated Arts Kindergarten, Penn State Bennett Family Center

Created for the Teaching World Culture Through the Visual Arts workshop

  • Lesson Plan - This lesson could be done strictly as an economics lesson, or incorporated into a unit on Ancient China or Middle East.

Terracotta Warriors [Developed for Kindergarten]

Developed by Jennifer Lee Vanada, Integrated Arts Kindergarten, Penn State Bennett Family Center

Created for the Teaching World Culture Through the Visual Arts workshop

Sharing Ireland with the Wee Folk [Developed for Grades 1-3]

Developed by Sue Shaffner, Dubois Area School District

Created for the How to Incoporate Authentic Global Materials into the K-12 Classroom workshop

Sue Shaffner is a teacher at Juniata Elementary in the Dubois Area School District. She was able to take her trip to Ireland and transform it in to a learning experience not only for her but for her students back in Dubois.

Gaining Cultural Familiarity: Understanding Differences and Similarities [Developed for Lanuage Arts/Social Studies in Grades 3-6]

Developed by David Fuentes, Penn State Graduate Student, College of Education

Based on a presentation by Turan Balik, Young Scholars at Central Pennsylvania at the Teaching the Globe workshop

  • Lesson Plan - This lesson plans objectives is for students will be able to recognize differences and similarities between their own lives and the lives of other children living in a different country. Students will also be able to value the differences that may seem strange to them by allowing themselves to walk in the shoes of other children, and to think about similarities as well as differences.

Japan: Sustainability and Home Lifestyle

Developed by Beth Buglio, High School Teacher, Downington Area School District

This unit connects everyday customs of Japanese life with steps toward sustainability. In an island country with urban population density seventeen times greater than American cities, efforts to live sustainably are a necessity. Japanese face challenges similar to ours as an urbanized, consumer culture, but the need to change lifestyle is more acutely felt.  The Japanese people bring to bear a highly cooperative sense of community, traditional values that deplore wastefulness, and new technological innovation. By studying how Japan faces the challenge of conserving water, energy, and material resources – including how to dispose of its waste – we may build concepts that will be useful in discussing our own issues of consumption and environmental impact. Interested teachers are encouraged to pick and choose among the activities in this unit, as there are resources that could be used to achieve learning outcomes at various levels.

External Resources

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