In the age of globalisation, citizenship has become a hot topic for educators – from national citizenship lessons specific to a child’s country through to the more inclusive realm of global citizenship.
In a country such as the UK, there are many things people take for granted that those in other countries cannot (from material goods to human rights) and it is important to equip the next generation with the critical thinking skills to see the bigger picture beyond our own culture and borders.
The following 10 websites for teaching global citizenship are full of activities and resources about world culture and important global issues:
I find the KWC site fun, friendly and comprehensive. There is a vast array of hands-on activities in order to learn about different cultures from the comfort of your own home, as well as family travel advice for seeking first-hand experiences in other countries.
Whether there’s a particular country or specific celebration you hope to explore or you wish to browse a general subject such as language or geography, you can find something on here which helps bring cultural studies to life.
Oxfam have a wealth of resources relating to many of the big issues facing the world community.
The Resources page allows you to search by age, topic, curriculum subject, country or activity type.
With topics ranging from climate change to conflict, development to diversity, and refugees to rights, there’s a huge variety of issues to recognise and explore.
This is aimed at teachers yet has a huge array of resources and links – their list of topics is inspirational in itself! Many of these resources are free and cover up to date events, such as the 2014 attacks on Gaza.
Children can learn about global issues through browsing their favourite curriculum subjects or by choosing a specific issue facing the world community.
Based in Scotland yet truly global, this has a wealth of ideas, information and resources for approaching global citizenship and international education. Its blog and calendar are up to date, making it a great site for informing yourself about current affairs.
This site is a bit on the ‘dry’ side for looking at with younger children, but there are plenty of conversation starters – even just thinking about their definitions of terms could provide enough material for a learning session:
Education for citizenship encourages taking thoughtful and responsible action, locally and globally. – Education Scotland / Foghlam Alba
International education helps to prepare young people for life and active participation in a global multicultural society. – Education Scotland / Foghlam Alba
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The Citizenship page of this site features plenty of resources for researching both local and global concerns, particularly for primary school aged children.
When looking at human rights, slavery and discrimination you might want to explore the Global Citizens – Make An Impact! resources. For learning about women’s rights, the From Suffering to Suffrage page may prove useful.
Yet again aimed at schools, the Global Footprints website by the HEC Global Learning Centre nonetheless looks to be a handy resource for exploring global community, whether in a classroom or at home.
Their classroom page includes a number of activities for getting to grips with global issues via literacy and numeracy lessons, with many key topics being explored alongside the 3Rs.
The Traidcraft website provides a number of activities for looking at the issue of fair trade with children and young people. From group assemblies to competitions, there are a variety of ways to get kids engaged with the topic of fair trade.
Including many seasonal activities, the most relevant as I post this is their Easter page, featuring an Easter egg hunt with a difference!
This site is the face of CAFOD for children (CAFOD being the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development); whilst I automatically link such organisations to missionaries and conversion efforts, I believe this can be a talking point in itself, leading onto topics such as secular society, and the links between religion, race and culture.
On this site, children are invited to learn about life in other areas of the world through looking at photo diaries of other children. It also draws attention to issues such as world hunger and the need for clean water.
A US site aimed at school classes, this site nonetheless has useful information about what it means to be a global citizen, with ideas on how to encourage cultural exchange and philanthropy.
With an emphasis on the lives and culture of children in other parts of the world, this gets kids thinking about what it means to be a child in a different country – or even someone in your own community with a different background.
The Red Cross provides a broad range of issues to explore which can be browsed by topic or school subject. Featuring current news headlines such as ebola and migration, it also looks at citizenship issues closer to home – from day-to-day kindness through to emergency situations.
Browsing the activities on this site, the practical and emotional concerns of people during crises are clearly evident – the shared experiences of all humanity brought to the fore.
I hope this list gets you off to a flying start with your family discussions about the human family!
Do let me know what you think of the sites listed and whether you successfully make use of any of the resources they lead you to.
Book lovers – if your children’s appetite for global citizenship education has been whetted, the following titles may be of interest (FYI, these are Amazon affiliate links):