Project Description
Assessment and Rubric
Learning Objectives
Project Components
Lesson Planning Suggestions
National Standards Correlations
Cross-curricular Extensions and Activities

Teacher's Guide for
Global Trek

Scholastic's Global Trek is a way for students to travel to countries 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. Students also have a chance to meet the people of the country they visit through Scholastic's Classport. Classport is an online community of learners that provides tools such as instant translation, so you can communicate easily even if you don't speak the same language.

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.

This project is suitable for students from grades 4–8. See Lesson Planning Suggestions for a prescribed plan on using Global Trek with your students.

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Several assessment components are embedded in this lesson plan. Skill labels highlight activities that address specific target skills. Targeted skills are listed in the Learning Objectives. Assessment and Rubrics assess student proficiency with the Global Trek travel journey.

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Scholastic's Global Trek is designed to support the teaching of standards-based skills.

Depending on how much time students spend in the course of participating in Global Trek, students will:

  • 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.
  • Generate ideas and questions about issues and interests by interacting with Tim Kent in the Around Alone race.
  • Use Classport technology to collaborate and communicate with students on the global race, Around Alone.
  • 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.

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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

Classport: Visit Scholastic's Classport and join the online learning community. You'll be asked to set up a classroom profile. Once you are a member of Classport, you can search for classrooms in other countries and contact them. Classport provides tools such as instant translation, so you can communicate easily even if you don't speak the same language.

Join the Journey: In this section, students can follow the journey of Tim Kent. Tim is competing in a sailing race called Around Alone, where he travels solo in a sailboat around the world. He will be stopping in some of the Global Trek countries and meeting with local students. Your students can ask him questions about his trip as well as have him ask specific questions of students in the countries he visits. The following countries will participate in Join the Journey: England, Brazil, New Zealand, and South Africa.

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 and have students fill out and decorate their postcards.

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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.

Join the Journey: As a class, follow the travels of Tim Kent as he sails around the world in a sailboat. Tim is competing in a sailing race called Around Alone, where he travels solo in a sailboat around the world. He will be stopping in some of the Global Trek countries and meeting with local students. Have students read through the Join the Journey section of Global Trek in England, Brazil, New Zealand, and South Africa. Encourage your students to prepare questions about his trip. They can also prepare questions for him to ask students in the countries he visits. The following countries will participate in Join the Journey: England, Brazil, New Zealand, and South Africa. Have students check back to the Join the Journey section periodically for responses and updates from Tim Kent. Remind students to record their questions and ideas about Join the Journey in their journals.

Classport: Connect your classroom to classrooms around the world! Once your students have traveled through Global Trek, give them a chance to contact and e-mail students from around the world. You'll be asked to set up a classroom profile for your students. Once you are a member of Classport, you can search for classrooms in other countries and contact them and travel on Global Trek together. Classport provides tools such as instant translation, so you can communicate easily even if you don't speak the same language.

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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

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  • 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. (Grades 3–8)
  • 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, a Guided Tour, or connect with a class with Classport. Challenge students to visit Scholastic News or other news sources to stay up to date with the events taking place in these countries. (Grades 3–8)
    Language Arts and Social Studies
  • 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? (Grades 3–8)
  • 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. (Grades 5–8)

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Geography and Map Skills
Resources on a variety of topics from books on ancient Egypt to mapping software. Find more resources on the Teacher Store at

World History
Also in the Teacher Store, get resources on World history, from books on the Wonders of the World to atlases and more!