Milad began attending school while staying at a shelter in east Düsseldorf. After being relocated to the other side of the city, he continues to attend the same school, commuting an hour by bus and train each way, because of his attachment to friends and teachers. Image by Diana Markosian. Germany, 2016.
The way that young people around the globe spend their free time often crosses geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic divides. Shared activities also form a bond among people in their local communities, and can connect them with others who have similar interests around the world.
This lesson plan helps students form those global connections by exploring news stories about what young people do for fun in four different countries.
Students will be able to...
Share their favorite way(s) to spend free time, and what these activities mean to them and their community.
Compare and contrast between how they spend free time and how other young people in different countries spend free time.
Evaluate how geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic context impact the way young people spend free time.
Identify cross-cultural connections between themselves and young people around the world through shared interests and activities.
1. Find your current location on a map of the world and place a marker there. Discuss the following questions:
How would you describe where you're from to someone who has never been there?
What kinds of activities do you like to do for fun? Why?
2. Now, place a marker on each of the following locations: Brazil, Tibet, California, and Syria. Discuss the following questions:
Are these places far away from where you currently are?
What kinds of activities do you think the people who live in these places do for fun?
Think about the children and young people in these places. What do you think you might have in common with them? What questions would you want to ask them?
Activity: Exploring Global Stories
Share the five stories below with students. Each story includes a photo-observation activity, an elementary-friendly text, and discussion questions.
Option 1: Explore as a class Have students select which story/hobby below most interests them. Then, review the story and discussion questions as a class. Repeat this process until students have explored all five stories. Alternatively, students could choose one of the remaining four stories to explore in a small group. All groups would then share their responses to the discussion questions at the end of class.
Option 2: Explore in stations Create stations for each of the five stories below. Break students into small groups, and guide groups in rotating through each station until all groups have explored all five stories.
FAMILY REUNION Letters and phone calls help families stay in touch while a loved one is incarcerated. But visits are extra special. “I’m so blessed that they came to see me,” David (center) said of the nine family members who traveled with Get on the Bus. Usually, people can have only five visitors at a time. Image by Jaime Joyce. United States, 2018.
Observe this photo. Write down three details that you see, two questions that you have, and one prediction: What do you think this story is about?
Have you ever been unable to go to school? How did it make you feel? How do you think you would feel if you didn't have the option to go to school for months or years at a time?
According to the story, why is it sometimes harder for young women and girls to go to school than it is for young men and boys?
How do you think young people might feel when they are caught in the middle of a war? How might their lives be affected?
Listen to the following audio clip to hear more about the situation for girls in Syria from the journalist.
Guide students in a discussion as a class, or in small groups, to reflect on the following questions:
What similarities did you find between the way you spend free time and the way young people from around the world spend their free time?
What new information did you learn about challenges young people are facing in other countries? How are they navigating these challenges?
Using details from the stories you explored, what connections can you make between your life and the lives of young people from around the world?
Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.7 Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.3 Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
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