Global Trek Teaching Guide
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
Scholastic's Global Trek is a way for students to travel around the world without ever having to leave their classroom.
When students arrive in the country of their choice they are supplied with a suggested travel itinerary. This itinerary offers them links to background information and a chance to read about the country's people.
Some countries have special itineraries where students can join the journey of Tim Kent, a sailor who is racing around the world alone in his sailboat. Students can also "tour" through other relevant activities including Scholastic Explorers, Scholastic News, and other activities.
As students travel through the countries they keep a journal of their thoughts and experiences. These journals can be graded and displayed.
- Investigate people, places, and environments
- Use technological resources to gather information about the country and culture that they visit
- Study global connections and interdependence by reading online text in order to meet the people of the country they visit
- Gather, evaluate, and synthesize data by participating in the Suggested Itinerary Tours
- Use written and visual language to communicate their experiences, thoughts, feelings, collect pictures and write captions about the memorable moments of their travels
- Demonstrate an understanding of the countries and people they visited by completing the Write About It and Global Postcard sections of Global Trek
Set Up and Prepare
- Book Your Trip: Where do you want to go? Students book their trip by choosing a destination and departure date and time as if they were actually interacting with a travel Web site.
- Global Trek Countries
Some of the countries students can visit on Global Trek are: *Afghanistan, *Brazil, Egypt, England, *India, *Israel, Japan, *New Zealand, *Russia, and South Africa. Additional countries will be added throughout the year. *These countries have Guided Tours (see below).
- Once you arrive:
Suggested Itinerary: Once students arrive in their country of choice they are provided with a Suggested Itinerary. The itinerary offers links to information about the country and people. It also offers activities students can participate in giving them the opportunity to gain further insight to the country's environment and culture. Although each Suggested Itinerary is different, each country provides background information and a section called Meet the People where students can learn about life in that country. Other itineraries include "Join the Journey" (see below), Guided Tours, and Kid Q&A
- Write About It: As students participate in Global Trek they complete a section called Write About It. At various points in their journey students are asked to respond to different questions about their travels. "Write About It" topics range from comprehension and critical-thinking questions, to math and current event issues. Encourage students to write in their travel journals and to print out pictures from the Web and write captions in order to illustrate their journals.
- Global Postcards (PDF): Students can demonstrate their comprehension of the country and culture they visited on their Global Trek by creating a Global Postcard. You can print out the Global Postcard Graphic Organizer (PDF) and have students fill out and decorate their postcards.
As you plan your lessons, you may wish to print out any reading assignment pages and staple them into a book for individual students. If you have several computers in your classroom, assign computer time to small groups of same-reading, level students.
If you have one day to do this project:
Introduce students to the Global Trek home page. Explain that they will travel to a country that you have already studied in your social studies curriculum. Have the students book their trip and read the suggested itinerary as a class. Have students read the different sections — making sure at least the Background and Meet the People sections are covered. Once students have read through the material, regroup and discuss what they have read. For homework, have students respond to one of the "Write about it" questions.
If you have a week to do this project:
Use Global Trek as a mini-unit to develop global awareness among your students. By having students "visiting" different countries and meeting local kids, they can begin to see the differences and similarities between their lives and the lives of their peers around the world. Begin your Global Trek with a brief discussion about why people travel. For instance, some people travel for business, while others travel to see and experience the world. Encourage students to share where in the world they would most like to visit.
Introduce students to the Global Trek home page. Explain that they will travel to one of the countries in Global Trek where they will learn about that country and its people. While on their visit they will keep a journal of their responses to the "Write about it" sections as well as a record of their thoughts and feelings.
Have students interact with the Global Trek home page and use the technology to pick a country they would like to visit. Encourage students to pick different countries. Once students have chosen a destination, have them navigate to the country's home page. Point out the Suggested Itinerary and explain that they will link from here to information about the country and its people.
Once students arrive in their destination country, have them read through all the information provided for that country, including any guided tours and Kid Q&A. By reading these online texts, students will gain an understanding of global connections and interdependence.
Have students respond to the Write about it sections they find throughout their travels by writing in their travel journals. Encourage students to also communicate in their journal any experiences and ideas they want to share about the country and people they visit. Remind them to also collect any photos and write their own captions about the memorable events of their journey. Students can also demonstrate their understanding of the country and people they visited by writing Global Postcards about their travels.
When students have completed writing their journal entries, encourage them to create a cover for their journal.
Once students have completed their journal, have them present each country to the class — students can present individually or as a group. After each country is presented, have a wrap-up discussion on differences in cultures and the importance of learning about other countries.
If you have longer to do this project:
If you are studying world history and cultures for an extended period of time, use Global Trek as an introduction to each country in your social studies curriculum. With each new country, students will gain a base of knowledge through text, interviews, photographs and writing. At the end of the unit, students will have a complete travel journal to show their learning through their virtual travels.
Supporting All Learners
This project aids students in meeting national standards in several curriculum areas.
International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
- Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- Students use spoken, written, and visual language for learning, persuasion, and exchange of information.
- Students conduct research by gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing data from a variety of sources, and then communicate their discoveries to different audiences for a variety of purposes.
- Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (i.e. libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and communicate knowledge.
- Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
- Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems.
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
- Culture (Students study culture and cultural diversity.) Global Connections (Students study global connections and interdependence)
- Science, Technology, and Society (The study of relationships among science, technology, and society)
- People, Places, and Environment (The study of people, places, and environments)
- Individuals, Groups, and Institutions (Students study interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions.)
Technology Foundation Standards for Students
- use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity
- use technology tools to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences
- use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences
- use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources
- use technology tools to process data and report results
Encourage students to research artists from the country they visit. Are there any world renowned art museums located in the country? What is considered the most treasured work of art from that country? What is the native, or folk, art like in there? Encourage students to use web technology to select examples of art work from their destination country. They can choose their favorite piece or make a collage of several different works of art and use them to illustrate their journal covers.
Language Arts and Social Studies
Suggest that students visit Scholastic News and read up on current events. Then have them use Global Trek to visit the countries that are featured in one of the news articles. Students may go as in-depth as they like when they learn about countries making the news — whether it is Fast Facts, Background or Meet the People, or a Guided Tour. Challenge students to visit Scholastic News or other news sources to stay up to date with the events taking place in these countries.
Challenge students to give their science studies a Global Trek perspective. Whether students are learning about continental drift, volcanoes, ecosystems, ocean currents, migrations, or any other science topic, they can connect to a Global Trek country. Have students use Global Trek as a starting point for examining how the science topic affects the country. For instance, if students are studying the Amazon rain forest, what is the importance of the rain forest ecosystem to Brazil?
Give your math class a Global Trek twist. When studying math subjects such as time zones, miles, or monetary exchange rates, provide students with the learning opportunity to visit the countries that are behind the numbers. Invite students to create their own math problems involving the countries that they visit. For instance, they could create problems involving rate by computing time and distance traveled, or the difference in times zones between countries. Students can also create math problems based on the rates of monetary exchange between different countries.
Use this rubric below to assess students' proficiency with the writing activity. Evaluate whether students' skills are improving or where they may need additional support or instruction.
- 5: proficient; a high degree of competence
- 4: capable; an above-average degree of competence
- 3: satisfactory; a satisfactory degree of competence
- 2: emerging; a limited degree of competence
- 1: beginning No key elements are adequately developed
|Understands the importance of learning about the geography and people of the world.|
|Can successfully access technology to collaborate and interact with peers.|
|Interacts proficiently with the Global Map to get fast facts to preview which country he or she may wish to visit or which itinerary they may choose. (May not be included in all Lesson Planning Suggestions)|
|Shows the ability to evaluate his or her preliminary findings and choose a country to visit and follows a suggested trip itinerary.|
|Demonstrates sufficient skill investigating people, places, and environments and recording his or her impressions of his or her journey in a Travel Journal.|
|Successfully uses technological resources to gather information about the country and culture that he or she visits.|
|Grasps the concept of global connections and interdependence by reading online text and meeting the people of the country he or she visits.|
|Is adept at using technology to communicate experiences and ideas to multiple audiences such as peers, teachers, and parents.|
|Shows consistent competence when gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing data when participating in the Suggested Itinerary Tours. (May not be included in all Lesson Planning Suggestions)|
|Demonstrates a commitment to the project by regularly updating a travel journal, where he or she uses written and visual language to communicate his or her experiences, thoughts, feelings, collects pictures and write captions about the memorable moments of his or her travels.|
|Confirms their understanding of the country and people he or she visited by completing the Write About It and Global Postcard sections of Global Trek.|
|Displays his or her skills with web technology by emailing his or her completed Travel Journals to their teachers or parents. (May not be included in all Lesson Planning Suggestions)|
Depending on how long your class spends on their Global Trek journeys, evaluate how successful students were completing the skill focus points. To compute an Overall Score, divide the student's evaluated score by the number of Skill Focus points your class completes. For instance, if your class participates in Global Trek for a day there are 11 Skill Focus points. You would divide the students score by 11 to reach an Overall Score.