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Lesson 5
The World Responds

The World Responds
Lesson Focus 
Events as a Catalyst for Global/Cultural Responses

Lesson Objectives: Students will understand that individuals belong to different groups and communities (see Lesson 2). Students will use the analogy of a “stone thrown into a pond” to study how the consequences of some events (the stone in the pond) “ripple out” to affect not only the individual and his or her community but also people in other communities and nations.

Curriculum Areas: Social studies, geography

Time Required: 40 minutes

Materials Needed: Copies of Lesson 5 Reproducible (PDF); board and markers

Key Concepts: The way individuals respond to certain events is often a reflection of their own values and beliefs and those of the community in which they live.

Lesson Background: Students will read a paragraph that describes the effects of a stone hitting the water and will be asked to diagram the concentric circles that result, as a metaphor for the effects of an event rippling out across the world. This will highlight the impact that a single action can have on individuals, groups, communities, and nations. The accompanying reproducible describes the events of 9/11 and the voices of people who responded around the globe, and illustrates global perspective.

What You Will Do:

  • Read the first paragraph of Reproducible 5, “World Voices,” out loud to students. Have student volunteers draw on the board what happens when a stone hits water (a diagram of concentric circles moving out from a point of impact). Drawing upon the previous lesson, have students briefly discuss the ways in which this model could describe how an event happens, and how an event can affect more than one person.
  • Now show students a world map. (If desired, you can access maps from www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/atlas.) Explain to students that some events affect people beyond a neighborhood or community, reaching across an entire nation, or even the world. (You might ask students to think of examples. Possibilities include natural disasters, wars, elections, or health epidemics like SARS or AIDS.)
  • Hand out the reproducible, which deals with different responses and perspectives to a recent world event, 9/11. (For more information on the specific events of 9/11, consult the inside back cover of the Student Book.) In small groups, guide students to read the various quotes, and then to discuss the questions. You might first engage students in a discussion of what they know about 9/11, and the ways in which people responded.

Summary/Wrap-up: 
Reinforce for students that a single event, however small, can have an impact on a wider group or culture as well as the individuals and groups within close range of the event. People’s responses to these events can tell us a lot about how they think and help us to understand their unique perspectives. When an event occurs, some people will assign group traits to an individual, leading to unfair generalizations or even judgement.

Extension:
Think of other events that have had a global effect on people. Examples: The cloning of animals and vegetable, the 100th anniversary of the Olympic games, the exploration of Mars, or the crisis in the Sudan.

Student Journey Book Connection: Understanding Others (PDF)
Answers: Click here for answers to the Student Reproducibles and Student Journey Book (PDF).

Key Definitions
culture
(noun) the way of life (including ideas, customs, and traditions) of a group of people

nation (noun) an organized group of people who live under the same government

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