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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

International Education Week Activities

To:Superintendents, Principals
From:Jeffrey Nellhaus, Acting Commissioner of Education
Date:October 29, 2007

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The Department of Education with the Board of Education Global Education Advisory Council (GEAC) has compiled a list of suggested activities for classroom use in recognition of International Education Week November 12-16, 2007. International Education Week is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education promoting programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and that attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States. More information can be found at http://iew.state.gov/.

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International Education Week
November 12-16, 2007

A Menu of Activities for Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

International Storytelling: Invite a storyteller to the school to tell stories from a variety of cultures. Invite student volunteers, to practice telling short tales with the professional. In classrooms, read and retell stories from around the globe with a common theme such as trickster tales, tales of friendship and loyalty, tales of transformations, from a variety of cultures; or choose stories from countries that are studied in social studies classes.
(Elementary and Middle School)

Student Interviewers for Family and Community Stories: Prepare students to interview parents, grandparents, or members of the community who have come from cultures outside the U.S. Feature excerpts from the interviews in school newspapers, PTO newsletters, or if videoed, show selected clips in classrooms.
(Elementary, Middle, and High School)

International Music, Poetry, and Art Festival: Celebrate the richness of cultural diversity by presenting songs and poetry, staged with traditional art at a school assembly or during an evening program to which parents are invited.
(Elementary, Middle, and High School)

World Map to Identify Students' Countries of Origin: Identify the heritage countries of the school's students with colorful pins marking the locations on a large world map which is posted in a central location.
(Elementary, Middle, and High School)

Family Poster Project: Celebrate the cultural heritages of the school by creating family posters. Children work with parents to design posters representing the countries of origins to share in classrooms. Display the posters for all to enjoy. [Note: Teachers will know their students' families and can decide if this project is suitable.]
(Elementary and Middle School)

Exploring the Global Marketplace: Take a field trip to a local supermarket where pairs of students hunt and list foods and the locations they come from. Identify these locations on a world map. Also, explore clothing and product labels and identify locations on a world map. [The latter can been done without leaving the classroom.]
(Elementary and Middle School)

International Film Festival: Feature films from countries that complement social studies or literature curriculum.
(High School)

View the Same Foreign Films in Social Studies and World Language Classes: View a film in a language taught at the school. Discuss the film from the historical or economic perspective in social studies classes and from the cultural perspective in foreign language classes.
(High School)

Interdisciplinary Exploration of a Global Topic: Set aside a week or two in which students, in pairs or in small groups, research and present information about a topic of global importance in the areas of ecology, the global marketplace, or world health. Science, social studies, and English teachers would work collaboratively on this project with teams of students.
(Middle and High School)

Teacher Panel Discussion: Feature the insights and experiences of teachers from cultural backgrounds beyond the US in a panel discussion where they describe their responses to living and working in the U.S.
(Middle and High School)

Presentations by Teachers Who Have Lived and Worked in other Countries: Schedule opportunities in classrooms, or during open campus sessions, for teachers who have lived and worked abroad (for Peace Corps or in other capacities) to present information about the place and people with whom they worked and highlights of their experiences.
(Elementary, Middle and High School)

Display Flags of Nations Representing the Origins of Students: With ceremony, hang the flags of the nations from which the students have come to your school. They might be displayed in the entrance hall, hallways, or in the cafeteria.
(Elementary, Middle and High School)

Presentations by Exchange Students: Prepare exchange students from outside the US to present their culture to their classmates through photos, music, songs, dance, stories and art. Publish articles and interviews of these students in the school newspaper.
(Elementary, Middle and High School)

International Club Event: Stage skits by students from the International Club to dramatize what it is like to be a stranger in a new culture, learning how to cope.
(High School)

PTSA International Dinner: Enjoy and celebrate the diversity of the school during an international dinner organized by the PTA. Ask families to bring favorite dishes of the cultures of origin. The program of international music and dance could conclude the evening's festivities.
(Elementary, Middle and High School)

International Education Week Website: http://iew.state.gov/

Last Updated: November 13, 2007

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