10 steps for building a great global lesson

Use the step-by-step process below to help build better global proficiency in your lessons!

Step 1: Forget about the global component of the lesson!

This may sound counterintuitive, but it is important to approach the planning of a great global lesson in the same way that you approach any lesson planning — by first focusing on your curriculum.

Step 2: Identify the curriculum standards that you want to cover in the lesson.

Global lessons are not extra efforts you have to make to tick off an imaginary “global integration” box, but are lessons that align with and enhance the curricular concepts that you teach.

Step 3: Ask yourself, “How can I tie in global content?”

Now that you have the curriculum standard(s) in mind, think about ways you can connect global content to your topic. Teaching about fractions or measurement? Use a recipe from your region of focus. Creating a unit around weather, climate or biomes? Connect local surroundings to places around the globe. Simply adding cultural content and facts to math word problems is a starting point to a great global lesson.

Step 4: Identify a compelling question that will guide your lesson.

Whether teacher- or student-generated, an effective compelling question should prompt learners to reflect and build on prior knowledge while providing thoughtful, in-depth responses. Great global lessons start with a compelling question that leads to inquiry and interdisciplinary connections.

Examples of compelling questions:

  • What are the different languages spoken in our class? How might this help us to learn about one another as well as our world? (Lesson on pictographs and bar graphs).
  • How and why do people in (your country of focus) create art that is the same or different than art created by people in the United States?
  • How can one small loan change a community?
  • How does the climate of a region affect the culture of the people living there?

Step 5: Activate prior knowledge.

Connecting a new skill or content to something familiar is the best way to engage students. Decide how you will assess students’ prior knowledge and provide them with opportunities to share personal experiences and to make connections to previously learned content.

Step 6: Plan for students to investigate and analyze the chosen topic.

In a great global, project-based inquiry (PBI) lesson, students are in charge of exploring, discovering and engaging with content. This enables students to more effectively transfer new knowledge into their long-term memories as they work toward finding answers to compelling questions.

This stage is the perfect time to demonstrate and teach effective research skills, which are key components of any inquiry-based global lesson plan. In addition to print materials, great global lessons provide students an outlet to explore and incorporate technology tools as they research, investigate and move into the creation stage.

Step 7: Decide on a student learning product.

Having students summarize new information is the first step toward creating final work products that demonstrate their learning. In a great global PBI lesson, student learning products involve the use of technology and demonstrate extensive connections between the global content of the lesson and curriculum standards.

Step 8: Allow time for students to share their learning.

Giving students the opportunity to present their work and share their learning is an important part of a great global lesson. Students can share with classmates, the school, parents, the community and even with the world via online platforms, and then receive feedback based on their presentations.

Step 9: Schedule time for reflection and revision.

What advice would you give to other teachers and students who engage in this lesson? What changes would you make to the lesson or to your student learning product? What questions do you still have about the topic or concept? Planning time for students to reflect on such questions and to revise their work is a vital part of wrapping up and completing an effective global PBI lesson.

Step 10: Create or locate the assessment tool and other accompanying resources.

At this stage, you are almost finished planning a great global lesson! Your final step is to create or locate the assessments, activity sheets, presentations or other resources needed to actually implement the lesson in your classroom. Deciding on and creating your forms of assessment ensures that you will be prepared to evaluate both mid-lesson progress and final mastery levels. Remember to consider the curriculum standards, global concepts and final student learning products. This step of the planning process also allows you to share the assessment tool with students and clearly communicate expectations from the start.

For a look at what a global lesson can look like — check out this Moroccan Rug Infographic and corresponding lesson plan on Participate!