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An investigation into global learning
Kristen R. Votta

Unit Objective
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summary of the contents of the document. Type the abstract of the document
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Students will define malnutrition

Students will understand the causes of malnutrition

Students will write opinion pieces of ways they feel malnutrition could be

Students will interview a primary source on nutrition

Students will challenge with preexisting perspectives on malnutrition

Students will communicate with students from the Moshi School in Tanzania

Students will develop a seed exchange program to actively attempt to

increase proper nutrition in Tanzania.

The world in which our students are living, interacting and learning is
changing. Through critical advances in technology the world has become
significantly more accessible. Therefore it is vital that students, even at the
elementary level, are developing a strong understanding as to what is means to be
a citizen in a global world. Essential to this development is the students
understanding, exposure and involvement to the four global competencies:
Investigation, challenging and recognizing previous perspectives, communication
and finally taking action.
The school in which this unit was designed is very unique, however; the unit
is malleable enough that is could be modified for many different situations. Atlas
International school is a very small private school. The grade three classroom
consists of two teacher and six students. The school day is flexible, leaving ample
room for the teachers to extend the focus on certain subjects, so to assure that
students are achieving mastery. Therefore each of the lessons are set in hour and
half blocks, although if the students needed more time, this could be achieved.
Furthermore the school is labeled a home-school collaborative, which simply means
that there is a great deal of parental involvement. Most of the lessons require a
significant at home assignment, which is completely normal and acceptable at
Atlas. If however, this was not the case, the homework pieces could be adapted into
in class time, simply extending the length of the unit. Finally each of the students in
my classroom have access to a personal computer and the internet, a key
component to the successful implementation of this lesson.
The lessons are meant to follow in sequence. Each lesson is designed to build
on the next, so that the students have the proper background knowledge to
successful engage in the next lesson. The lessons have been specifically considered

to meet the four components of global learning as outlined by the Asia Society. In
addition the unit is interdisciplinary in nature. The lessons address common core
standards for reading, writing, speaking and social studies. The students are
challenged to think creatively and outside of the box. During each lesson the
teacher will collect notebooks, writing samples or simply observations
demonstrating how the students have grown and developed. The unit will culminate
with the successful implementation of the students seed exchange program, in
which the Raleigh students will collect, label, provide instructions for and send
seeds to Tanzania. It is the ultimate goal that the students in Tanzania would
reciprocate and send seeds to the students in Raleigh.

Literature Review
The world in which educators are preparing middle level students to enter is
dramatically changing. Our once round world has been flattened, by the coming of
the conceptual age (Pink, 2005). Daniel Pink (2005) further asserts that forces such
as Asia, Abundance and Automation have fostered global competition for jobs.
Thus in turn the idea of citizenship has shifted from domestic to global.
Cosmopolitanism asserts that as citizens of the world, we have certain
responsibilities toward each other and the planet in which we share. Educators have
started to view these responsibilities as global competencies. Global competence is
the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance.
(Mansillia, 2011, p. 13) This research suggests that there are four major
competencies: investigation, recognizing perspectives, communicate ideas and take
action. At the heart of each of these competencies is the presence of technology. In
the 21st century it is understood that, technology, and the use of technology in
classrooms, is absolutely critical to social education conceptualized as relational
cosmopolitanism (Baildon, p. 30). In the conceptual age technology plays a vital
role in our students understanding of what it means to be global citizens. Further
analysis of technologies role in global competence reveals three interpretive
themes: preparedness, connectedness, and academic engagement.
In order to prepare students for the 21st century, technology education is
vital to their development as citizens preparing to enter a global world. IRA (2009)
stated, To become fully literate in todays world, students must become proficient
in the new literacies of 21st century technologies. (Hutchinson, 2012, p.17).
Through the development of these proficiencies students are becoming more
prepared to enter the global marketplace. It is also critical that this development
takes place not just outside of school, but inside of schools as well. Morell (2012),
writes, We are living during a time of communications revolution. (p.1) Preparing
students to use and understand technology in this way, grants them access to
become part of that revolution.

Technology also allows students to feel a sense of connectedness. Students

who show a greater sense of connectedness are more likely to develop a sense of
cosmopolitanism. The development of 21st century social media programs such as
Facebook, and MySpace have given students ample opportunity to friend others
from all over the world. Mansilla et al (2001) concluded, In the end, students close
attention to communicative choices enabled them to participate proficiently in an
international conversationand learn with and about others in the process (p. 56)
Regardless of language barriers, it appears that students have found a way to
connect with others from around the globe.
Finally, technology has been proven to play a role in the increased
engagement of students. Knoble (2009) found, There is little doubt that
adolescents are engaging with new media and technologies and using new and
everyday literacies in ways that are of high interest and engagement, connected to
important social interactions and activities and powerfully shaping identities
(Baildon, p. 24). Through this process of identity seeking and shaping, students are
actively investigating, interacting, and affecting change in the global society in
which they dwell. It is clear that technology has opened doors for the 21st century
learner. It has made them more prepared, connected and engaged to enter the
global marketplace.

Philosophy on Global Learning

Cosmopolitanism, asserts that as citizens of the world, we have certain
responsibilities toward each other and the planet in which we share. Educators have
started to view these responsibilities as global competencies. Global competence is
the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance.
(Mansillia, 2011, p, 13) Mansilla (2011) further suggests that there are four major
competencies: investigation, recognizing perspectives, communicate ideas and take
action (p.21).
The world we understood to be round, has been flattened. Planes can take
people to the opposite side of the world is 24 hours or less. The internet has granted
people unprecedented first hand access to once little known societies, cultures and
languages. These changes can be best summarized by, Gates (1999) when he
states, Welcome to the second decade of the 21st century, where information has
been globalized, digitized, and sped up to move at the speed of thought (Morell,
2012, p.2)
Research has proven that global learning and technology are closely
intertwined. The presence of technology in the classroom has lead students to be
more prepared, feel more connected and caused them to be more engaged in the
classroom. Marc Pernsky ( 2011) found students are highly capable of preparing
themselves for the 21st century, and are doing so in the place of their teachers. It

has become increasingly more obvious that factors Daniel Pink (2005) refer to as
Asia, Abundance and Automation have caused a shift from the industrial to the
conceptual age. In the conceptual age , technology, globalization and innovative
thinking are critically necessary skills. It is clear that changes need to be made in
the classroom, to reflect shifts and changes that have taken place outside of the
classroom. The research team of Spires et all in their work entitled, Having Our Say
(2005), found that students had strong opinions on how technology should be used
in their classroom to increase their engagement levels and to better prepare them
to graduate into the global workforce. The team found that students feel a lack of
preparedness and perceive a gap between their at home and at school technology
uses. Many researchers have advocated for the use of technology in the classroom.
It is clear that when correctly integrated into the teacher pedagogy the results can
be substantial gains for the students. In terms of preparedness research has shown
that that students need to have technology skills to compete for jobs in the global
In terms of connectedness research has shown that, digital technologies
have the capacity to link individuals from around the world (Matthews, 2012,
p135). In the classroom students can have live conversations with students all over
the word. They can reflect on how their situations are similar, and how they are
different. Furthermore students can reflect on problems that are happening in
different parts of the world and brainstorm ways to solve these problems.
Connectedness helps to instill the idea of global citizenship. Helping students view
people with an us versus them mentality.
In terms of engagement research has shown that technologies presence in
the classroom leads to a greater level of student engagement. Knoble (2009) found,
There is little doubt that adolescents are engaging with new media and
technologies and using new and everyday literacies in ways that are of high interest
and engagement, connected to important social interactions and activities and
powerfully shaping identities (Baildon, p. 24) Whether developing a profile on
MySpace or blogging with students across the globe, new literacies are creating a
highly engaging atmosphere for middle level learners.
At an early age students have the ability to affect change, and if provided the
proper support and resources they can implement change. Furthermore students
possess the innate awareness to care about others. Technology provides the
necessary vehicle for students to achieve their desired changes globally. Global
learning cannot take place in isolation, rather, the idea of global citizenship and
cosmopolitanism must be interwoven into a teachers already existing pedagogy.
Through the TPACK framework, technology, compliments the pedagogy and content
knowledge to create a global learning fusion. It is with this philosophy in mind that I
propose the following ways to integrate global learning in the classroom.

Global Learning Standards

1. Investigate: over the course of the unit these grade three students will be
investigating malnutrition. They will be asked to determine what malnutrition is,
through research using tools such as a webquest. Further the students will
investigate the causes, and possible areas for improvement both domestically and
2. Recognize perspectives: The students will be asked to create a photostory of
images they feel represent what malnutrition looks like domestically. They will then
compare their photostories with the pictures or photostories that their e-partners
create. Hopefully this will illustrate to them how dynamitic the problem of
malnutrition is.
3. Communicate ideas: The students will communicate their ideas in a respectful
way with students from Tanzania through a wiki space as well as through face to
face communication using Skype. During these secession the students will share
ideas about malnutrition as well as develop their seed exchange program.
4. Take action: The students will develop a seed exchange program with the
students in Tanzania. The U.S. students will research and collect seeds, capable of
growing in Tanzania and the Tanzania student s will do likewise. This action will
hopefully yield fresh fruits, vegetables and grains to help alleviate the problems of

The culminating assessment for this unit will be a project. The students will be
asked to create trifold, representing what they have learned over the course of
study. One left of the trifold will display their opinion writing assignment: indicating
ways they feel malnutrition could be improved. Below it the students will display
their cloud project. The right section of the trifold will display the images the
students used to create their photo stories, as well as written descriptions, of why
they chose each picture. The middle section of the board will contain the students
work they did on the seed exchange project. It will be filled with images taken from
the garden.
Finally the students will create a short presentation, using their trifold, in which they
will be asked reflect on their learning experience and share how they have
personally grown as a global learner. During their short 2-5 minute speech the
student should consider how they feel more connected and engaged to the world
around them. Furthermore they will explain how technology aided them in achieving
this goal.

Presentation Rubric

Students Personal Laptops

Access to the Internet

Webquest Address

Classroom Wiki space address

Social Studies Notebooks

Writing Journals

Local farmer guest speaker

Access to local seeds

Large blue paper

Cloud cut-outs (one per student)

Photostory software program

Access to epal website to connect with students from a different country

Animoto introduction video

Lesson 1:

What is malnutrition and what does it look it?

1. Students will understand the causes of malnutrition in children in the United
2. Students will understand the causes of malnutrition in children in
internationally, in countries such as Africa.
3. Students will define malnutrition
4. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the adverse effects malnutrition
has on a persons health and overall wellbeing.
5. Students will form an educated opinion on ways to prevent malnutrition.

Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps,
photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text
(e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domainspecific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.5 Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words,
sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and
convey ideas and information clearly
The teacher will introduce the unit on malnutrition by having the students view a
catchy short animoto video. Next the students will begin their investigation by
engaging in a webquest designed to explore the issues of malnutrition. The students
will be asked to define malnutrition, explain its causes ( both domestically and
internationally) and explain how the adverse effects of malnutrition would be
detrimental to a community.

1.5 hr block

Lesson Materials:

Students laptops
Access to the internet
Animoto introduction video
Writing journals
Social Studies notebooks

Lesson Procedures:
1. To begin the lesson the teacher asks to students to take out their writing
journals and answer the following question: What does it mean to have
balanced nutrition? What would happen to someone who did not get the
proper nutrition?
2. After the students take some time to record the responses the teacher calls
on a few students to share their responses. The teacher quickly reviews their
previous lessons on the nutrition: highlighting the key components to a
balanced diet: protein, fruit, vegetable, starch ect.
3. Next the teacher explains that over the next week they will be starting an
investigation into malnutrition both in the United States and in other parts of
the world. In order to grab the students attention the teacher plays a short
animoto video introducing the unit and what the students have to look
forward too.

4. Next the students will have the remainder of the period to explore the
webquest the teacher has selected. Each student will have a different
experience with the webquest, because there will be a variety of hyperlinks
for the students to navigate. During the experience the students will record
their answers and notes with a hyperlink provided on the home page of the
5. The teacher will circulate around the room, making sure nobody has
questions during the webquest.
6. At the end of the time block the teacher will collect the students social
studies notebooks to review the information they gathered.

Formative Assessment:
The teacher will have the students print their worksheets from the webquest, so
that she has monitor what they learned during their investigation.
Summative Assessment:
The students are charged with the task of researching what proper nutrition looks
like. They will research the problems associated with malnutrition, and the negative
effects it has on the body. Finally the students will find an article on malnutrition
from the webquest site. They will need to read the article and write a one page
response to the editor, in which the students will discuss what they have learned
about the problem of malnutrition and form a one paragraph opinion on how it
should be addressed.
1. Webquest
2. Animoto
3. Rubric for webquest writing assignment

Lesson # 2 What does malnutrition look like at home and abroad?

Students will creatively illustrate what malnutrition looks like in their country
using photostory.
The students will creatively illustrate what they believe malnutrition looks like
in Tanzania.
Students will respectfully engaged in a classroom wiki based discussion with
their Tanzania e-pals about what they interpreted malnutrition to look like in
Tanzania and what the Tanzania students believe it looks like to them.

Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1a Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied
required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known
about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.5 Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that
demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when
appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key
details presented in two texts on the same topic.
Summary: After researching the causes of malnutrition in the United States the
students will be asked to create a photo story of what they believe malnutrition
looks like to them. Once completed the students will post their stories to the
classroom wiki. Following the posting the students will be encouraged to engage
with their e-partners about malnutrition.

1. 1.5 hr block

Lesson Materials:

access to the internet to correspond via the classroom wiki:
photostory program ( free Microsoft download)
Images at
national geographic magazines

Lesson Procedures:
You should spell out how this lesson is to be taught. This should include teacher
prompts, strategies and expected activities.
1. The students will begin class by quickly reviewing the definition of
malnutrition, which the teacher will write on the board.
2. The teacher will then draw a blank Venn diagram on the board and ask the
students, based on what they have already researched what are the
similarities and differences between malnutrition in the United States and
malnutrition in Africa. The teacher will encourage the students to refresh their
memories by looking back on their notes from the previous day.
3. Next the teacher will explain that pictures and images are a powerful way to
communicate a message to someone. The students, already familiar with the
photostory software program, will be asked to review several websites, as
well as magazines and newspapers and periodicals provided by the teacher.
4. The students will spend the rest of the period collecting images that they feel
represents malnutrition in the United States. The students will complete their

photostory at home, as part of a homework assignment, and post it to the

classroom wiki before the next school day.
5. Overnight the teacher will review the students photostories and post thought
provoking feedback on the wiki.
Formative Assessment: The teacher will be circulating the room while the students
are working. She will be noting which students are on task and engaged. These
students will be award their participation points for the day. As further indicators of
on task behavior the teacher will collect and review the student Venn Diagrams.

Summative Assessment: The students will submit their photostory for evaluation.
The teacher will use the following rubric.

Attachments: Student handouts, websites or other things that should be included

with this lesson.
1. Venn Diagram
2. Photostory rubric

Lesson # 3 Understanding ways of preventing malnutrition at home and

1. Students will communicate their ideas of what their community would look
like without malnutrition

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key
details presented in two texts on the same topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point
of view with reasons.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions

(one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and
texts, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Summary: Students will engage in a blue sky think tank activity. After creating
their ideal nutritional community the students will develop their own opinion pieces,
on ways to prevent malnutrition and or increase proper nutrition in their country.

1 hr block

Lesson Materials:

large blue paper

cloud cut outs

Lesson Procedures:
1. The teacher will explain that, through a program called epals she has created
an account of the classroom so that they can have live skype secession with
another third grade classroom, The Mosi School, in Tanzania.
2. The objectives of the skype secession will be to gain a different perspective
and a deeper understanding of malnutrition in their country.
3. The teacher also informs the students that she has shared the classroom wiki
link with the students teacher at the Moshi school. The goal being for the
students to view the photostories and create their own interpretation of what
malnutrition looks like to them in their country.
4. After researching the definition and causes of malnutrition, it is now
important for the students to begin to develop an understanding of what they
can do to help stop malnutrition.
5. To do this the students will embark on The Blue Sky Activity.
6. The teacher will have set up a large sheet (8 by 11) of blue paper set up on
a bulletin board in the room. She will give each student a t-chart piece of
paper (see attachments). She will instruct the class to reflect on what is
already good or adequate about the nutrition in their community. Next she
will ask them to reflect on ways to improve the poor nutrition problems in
their community.
7. Next the teacher will distribute a cloud to each of the students. On the front
of the cloud the students are encourage to create their nutrition vision for the

future of their community. In other words, in an ideal world what would a

community with prefect nutrition look like.
8. Once the illustration is complete the students will be asked to flip the cloud to
the back where they will write an opinion piece on the ways they believe
malnutrition could be prevented in their community.
Formative Assessment: The teacher will be looking for active participation during
the brainstorming cloud activity. During the illustration of the cloud and
corresponding writing assignment the teacher will be looking for on task behavior.
Students will be award participation points.
Summative Assessment: The teacher will collect the cloud illustration and
corresponding opinion piece and use grading rubric to evaluate it.
Attachments: Student handouts, websites or other things that should be included
with this lesson.
1. Good vs Needs improvement chart
2. Cloud cut out
3. Opinion Piece writing rubric

Lesson # 4: Developing Seed Exchange Program


Students will engage with guest farmer speak to gain a deeper

understanding of how fruits, vegetables and grains grow.
Students will ask thought provoking questions.
Students will research the land and air conditions in Tanzania to determine
what type of crops would grow successfully there.

Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.3 Ask and answer questions about information from a

speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1b Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining
the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time
about the topics and texts under discussion).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information
from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into
provided categories.
Summary: Through their research on malnutrition the students have uncovered that
one way to improve the conditions of malnutrition is through healthy and balanced
eating. A local farmer will come in as a guest speaker to discuss with the students
the process involved in growing crops. The students will take the information they
have learned from the unit, as well as the information from the farmer to develop
specific notes on what type of plants would grow well in Tanzania as well as how to
properly plant and care for them.

1 hr block

Lesson Materials:

Guest speaker
Note cards
Video camera

Lesson Procedures:
1. The students will listen and pay careful attention as the guest speaker.
2. The students will ask the speaker specific questions about the five crops of
interest, so as to gather information on the necessary growing conditions.
3. During the speakers presentation the students should be taking careful and
detailed notes about the seeds, so that they will be able to relay the proper
information to their epals.

Formative Assessment: The teacher will video tape this secession. After class she
can carefully review student participation and attentiveness to the guest speaker.

Participation points will be awarded to students who stayed on task and asked
appropriate well thought out questions.
Summative Assessment: The teacher will collect the student notes from the farmer
presentation. The teacher will use the taking notes rubric to evaluate the quality of
the students notes.

1. Note taking rubric

Lesson # 5: Implementing Seed Exchange Program

Outcomes/ Objectives:
1. Students will conduct a Skype secession with their epals.
2. Students will gather seeds from various resources in North Carolina.
3. Students will write explicit directions as to how to plant the seeds for their
epals in Tanzania.

4. Students will send the seeds to Tanzania.

Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1b Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining
the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time
about the topics and texts under discussion).
Timeline: 1.5 hr block
Lesson Materials:

Teachers laptop
Access to the classroom wiki
Packing/shipping materials
Proper postage
Written planting and care directions

1. For homework the previous night the students will have had a discussion with
their peers on the wiki space, supported by the classroom teacher, to
determine what each students role would be during the Skype secession with
the students in Tanzania.
2. The five types of seeds that the students are sending to Tanzania will be
displayed on the board in the morning. The students will need to divide into
3. Each group will review their notes from the previous days guest speaker on
the crops and their growing conditions.
4. Working together as teams the students will write, clear and specific planting
directions to accompany the seeds.
5. Once each students role is researched and understood the students are
ready to connect virtually with their epals.
6. The teacher will oversee the discussion and interaction with the students in
the two classrooms.
7. The students will lead the conversation, explaining how seeds can be used to
plant crops to help maintain proper nutrition.
8. The students explain that they will be sending seeds to their epals school
along with detailed directions for proper planting.
9. After ending the Skype conversation the students will work as a team to
carefully package and label the seeds.
10.The seeds will be sent home with a classroom parent volunteer to be shipped.

Formative Assessment:

Summative Assessment: The students will be asked to plant the seeds that they
receive from their partners in Tanzania. They will be required to follow the written
directions that the students provided them with to ensure optimum growing
conditions. The students will also be required to document their work with
photography. These photos will be used in culminating unit project.

Attachment Appendix

Webquest Writing Rubics

Venn Diagram
Photostory Rubric
Good/ Needs Improvement Chart
Cloud cut out
Opinion Piece Writing Rubric
Note Taking Rubric

Reference List
Hutchison, A. Beschorner, B. Schmidt-Crawford, D. (2012) Exploring the use
of the iPad for literacy learning. The Reading Teacher Vol 66( 1)
Baildon, M. Damico, J. (2012). New directions in social education research.
Brad M. Maguth (Ed.). Charlotte, NC: IAP.
Council of Chief State School Officers EdSteps Initiative & Asia Society
Partnership for Global Learning (2001). Educating for global competence.
Preparing our youth to engage in the world. New York, New York: Veronica
Boix Mansilla & Anthony Jackson.
Daniel Pink (2005). A whole new mind: Why right brainers will rule the future.
New York: Penguin Group.
Ernest Morrell (2012). 21 Century literacies, Critical media pedagogies, and
language arts. The Reading Teacher. 66 ( 4)