Travel the World with 1st Grade: Creating Global Learners

10 outubro de 2018

Por Catherine Chase

Geography is a year long project in the First Grade bilingual program. As the final year of the Bilingual Program, geography is a project that encourages learning English vocabulary in new and challenging ways. Each geography class is a detailed and imagination filled adventure exploring new countries across six of the seven continents. Throughout the project we learn to use maps, understand climate across the world and most importantly, we expose the students to new countries, cultures and traditions that they may have never seen before.




Each geography lesson begins on an airplane. The students have no idea where they are traveling to before boarding the plane. With their passports in their laps they imagine they are buckling their seat belts and listening to the sound of the airplane taking off and landing! Students take turns guessing where we have landed and have to discover the name of the country after being presented with the flag.


The next stop on our tour is immigration! While the national anthem of the country is being played each student approaches the “immigration officer” to stamp their passport so that they can enter the new country. They return to their desk to fill in the name of the country and draw the flag. One student is asked to place a marker on the map for the country that we are visiting.



Following immigration, the students gather in the front of the class to begin the guided tour! The tour guide assumes a name typical to the new country and leads a tour around the classroom that shows examples of typical animals, food, clothing, monuments and landmarks from each country. The tour is given in English and students must try to find ways to ask their questions in English too!




After the tour the students settle back into their desks for the final activity of the day. These activities can be hands on, like making the continents using play-doh, they can be challenging like writing their favorite color in Chinese or even sorting what belongs to Germany and what belongs to Argentina. We even created a paper plate compass to learn about the four cardinal directions. So far the best activity yet has been creating paper dolls for each country, as they allow for creative and imaginative play.






Each week the First Graders look forward to discovering where we are going to travel next! Their vocabulary and interest in speaking English has grown throughout the project as they are eager to participate and speak with the immigration officers and tour guides.  Watch the video below to experience a typical day in Geography and see the students’ favorite memories throughout the project.

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