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Using World Landmarks to Study Cultures and Places  

Global Activities Resource: Field Notes for World Landmarks

As a global educator, you are helping students make authentic connections to the world, building their critical thinking skills, and preparing them for the future. Engaging global activities and lessons will build not only academic skills but also global competencies

World landmarks and natural wonders are a fun and interesting introduction to new places and cultures. To spark students’ natural curiosity, help them “travel” to a region of focus or your home country by studying its famous landmarks through global activities. There are lots of ways you can approach this in the classroom; here is just one of many interdisciplinary activities to try with your students. 

Field note guides for world landmarks 

Much like a scientist making observations in their environment, help students create their own field notes as they “visit” natural wonders and world landmarks. Depending on what you have already studied with your class, give them context about the country or part of the world where the landmark is located. Help students find it on a map so they can pinpoint it relative to where you are. 

You can help students choose famous landmarks based on a region of focus or give them a few to pick from around the world. As they “travel” to this landmark and research it, ask them to note their observations, which can include: 

● Is this landmark natural or man-made? 

● What are the materials it is made out of? Who built it? 

● Why was it built, and when? 

● What is the cultural and historical significance of this place? Does it mean different things to different people? Why? 

They can make these observations in a field note guide that is already created, or you can have them make their own. Provide examples of field notes and projects so students can see what is possible. Fifth graders at Smith Elementary did this in Spanish with landmarks from around the world. Older students may want to create their own field notes from scratch using creative methods, as these students did with vocabulary words

After students have researched and created their learning product, have them share their findings in pairs or small groups, or with the class. After everyone has learned about famous world landmarks and natural wonders, you can extend the global activity further based on questions and curiosities students still have. 

Extension activity ideas 

Integrate multiple subject areas as you extend student learning from this global activity. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

English Language Arts: Ask students to write down words they come across in their research that they don’t know. Have them look up the words and their meaning. You can also pull books from your class or school library related to the cultures and places of the landmarks you study. 

Science: Have students learn more about the wonders of the world through studying natural phenomena. For example, Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world, and one of the few places on Earth where you can witness a lunar rainbow, or moonbow. Help students learn about the astronomical and weather conditions that cause a moonbow with this global activity. 

Math: Studying man-made landmarks can bring up interesting inquiries about how these structures were made and the building materials used. For example, students can use critical thinking skills, creativity, geometry, or other math concepts to understand how the Egyptian pyramids were built

Visual Arts: Have students recreate landmarks using clay, blocks, cardboard, or other materials you already have. Allow students to share their creations with their peers or class so that they can learn from one another. 

We hope you will enjoy these global activities with your students, and that they will spark further curiosity and learning! For more global education and language learning tools, see our free resources for educators

What global activities or lessons are you excited about doing with your students this year? Tell us by tagging us on social media and using the hashtag #UnitingOurWorld.

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