I will take lots of pictures in order to share and give a setting and context to presentations and information that is shared with students – particularly related to visits, locations or places that have a connection to the three units I would like to enhance (human rights, refugees, revolutions). I will also be sure to bring back cultural artifacts in order to share the culture of these countries that many know little about and show that they are unique and thriving.
I am a global studies teacher and teach units on human rights, refugees and revolutions. These are very current and relevant topics in the world my students are growing up in. These units are also the ones that tend to garner a lot of questions, interest and I would love to work on enhancing these units further. Through this trip in Eastern Europe I will get to learn about, see and experience what life is like in a variety of countries that have dealt with human rights issues (the Holocaust being the worst violation of human rights in history), refugee situations (post WWII) and protests and revolutions. These countries have experienced a lot and not much of it is taught beyond World War II and the fall of the Berlin Wall. These countries aren't letting the past define them and are thriving. With the experiences on this trip and what I am able to learn on a deeper level by being in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, etc. I will return with a variety of ideas and activities that I can add to these 3 units. I will share photos, souvenirs and artifacts with students and share about questions I was able to ask locals and people in the area about how experiences in the past impacted them and their country and how they view their country and the world in present day. Students will research different human rights issues across Eastern Europe and compare them with human rights issues in other countries around the world including the US. This will allow them to create connections with events in history and in present day. Students will also learn about some of the revolutions in Eastern Europe like the Orange Revolution, Berlin Wall protests, etc. that eventually led to the independence of many countries in the area. I also plan to create a "culture kit" for Eastern Europe that will include newspapers, magazines, some currency from different countries, food/snack labels, small books/toys, etc. that can be shared and used by teachers in my school and across the school district to incorporate global themes and global integration in lessons.
Preparation During Travel
I will research the different countries and cities we will be visiting in order to figure out which optional excursions might be most beneficial in relation to my action plan. I will also read up on some of the locations in order to have some questions that I (or my students) would like to be able to ask or find an answer to.