Curriculum Unit: Heritage, Tradition & Identity

Heritage Tradition Identity
Project Name: My Identity, Your Identity: Historical Landmarks and Famous Places
Age Level: 12-14 (Middle), 15-18 (Secondary)
Length of Unit: 5 Weeks
Subject Areas: Social Studies, Arts & Music, English & Language Arts, English Language

Unit Description

In the My Identity, Your Identity Project, students are encouraged to explore and research the elements that form their culture and identities. One of these elements includes the historical landmarks or famous places in their communities, which are an important part of their culture and identities. The purpose of this unit is to help students from around the world appreciate their heritage through historical landmark research, share what they learned with their global peers, and compare and contrast landmarks from different countries. Students will conduct research and get pictures of these historical landmarks or famous places. Information about the historical landmarks or famous places can also be obtained by interviewing parents or grandparents and other family members and friends. Another way to obtain information is for students to visit the historical landmarks in person and take pictures or videos when possible. All of the activities over the unit’s five weeks will be shared on the iEARN Collaboration Center and students will actively interact with their global peers by making comments their postings. The final product will be a service learning project where students will teach younger students about historical landmarks from around the world through a historical landmark simulated tour in the classroom.

Week 1 – Introduction to Historical Landmarks/Famous Places
Week 2 – Comparing and Contrasting Historical Landmarks/Famous Places
Week 3 – Site Visits and/or Interviews about Historical Landmarks/Famous Places
Week 4 – Research on Peace/Justice
Week 5 – Synthesis and Reflection

Driving Question

How can we maintain and value our cultural heritage, identities and traditions even though globalization and technology are influencing change in our communities and societies and use this to promote global peace and understanding?

Examples of Final Outcomes

Research based written reports, interviews/oral histories, graphic organizers, PowerPoint or Prezi presentations, videos and photographs based on research and field trips, historical landmark simulated tour at the middle or elementary school classroom.

Here is an example of an iEARN global project outcome from My Identity, Your Identity in which students talk about their traditional celebrations, clothing, food and their famous monuments and landmarks in their countries.

Content Standards & Sustainable Development Goals

Content Standards

Common Core State Standards

Reading 1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

Reading 8: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

Writing 2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Writing 3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Writing 6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Speaking and Listening 2: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Speaking and Listening 5: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: National Council for the Social Studies

Standard B: The student identifies and uses key concepts such as chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity.

Standard E: Develop critical sensitivities such as empathy and skepticism regarding attitudes, values, and behaviors of people in different historical contexts.

Standard G: The student describes how people create places that reflect cultural values and ideals as they build neighborhoods, parks, shopping centers, and the like.

Standard I: The student describes ways that historical events have been influenced by, and have influenced, physical and human geographic factors in local, regional, national, and global settings.

Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 10. Reduced Inequalities: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Project's Contribution to Others & the Planet

Students from different cultural backgrounds appreciate and understand each other’s traditions better through global virtual collaboration which will establish a good relation between them based on mutual respect.  We want to help our students realize fully the importance of their traditions and the historical monuments that are present in their country and in other countries throughout the world. Being aware of their identities, students will be good citizens and exhibit tolerance towards others who are different from them. Ultimately building youth’s cross cultural sensitivity skills can be just what is needed to promote global peace.