SUMMARIES OF GITC BILINGUAL THEMATIC UNITS

 ENVIRONMEN TAL EDUCATION HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION PEACE EDUCATION CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION AREA STUDIES
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Theme Summary
Dinosaurs This unit focuses on dinosaurs, introducing 10 types. Ss will become familiar with these unique creatures through various activities: tracking down the origin of the dinosaurs' names, making paper crafts, jigsaw puzzles and playing cards, as well as our most popular theme chant. They will also become aware of the Earth's history and the extinction of species.
Elephants The elephant is one of the most popular animals in Japan. This unit focuses on elephants as wild animals on the African savanna, introducing the characteristics and conditions of their habits and habitats, and other animals in Africa. Activities include a picture card game, a jigsaw puzzle, a cartoon and more. Ss learn that people have significant relationships with various other species and share a common destiny.
Endangered 
Animals
Throughout the world today, thousands of species are endangered or threatened. Moreover by 2050, half of all species, animals and plants, surviving today could be lost forever. This unit introduces the present conditions of wild animals and their habitats, and focuses on relationships among wildlife, the global environment, and human beings. Activities range 
from endangered-animal card games, and wetland food-web poster- making, 
to a board game, "Savanna Survival Game."
Antarctica Antarctica plays a significant role in the Earth's environment; however,
it is usually consigned a place hidden near the bottom of a globe or scatter along the bottom of the map. This unit offers Ss a chance to explore Antarctica's natural environment and an Antarctica-centered world vision. 
One of main activities is assembling a "Palm-sized Globe;" Ss can make a globe in their own unique way and hold it on their palms.
Whales Whales are unique creatures---Blue whales are the biggest animal ever to have lived on the earth---and have many things in common with human beings, yet we know so little about them. In this unit, Ss will learn about whales: their habitats and behaviors, their links with other creatures, 
and their relationship with humans regarding threats to their survival. 
Activities include a guessing game, quiz, "Fishing Game," "Food Chain" poster-making project, and more.
Garbage Garbage is a major environmental problem nationally and locally in Japan, 
creating dioxin contamination, an overwhelming amount of waste 
domestically and industrially. This unit helps Ss become interested 
in waste issues, the causes and effects, and links among issues. 
Activities offer hands-on skills and knowledge for classifying garbage,
identifying reusable and recyclable materials, and being motivated to reduce or solve waste problems.
The Sun

This unit considers the sun, which is the center of the relationship between the global environment and human life. It provides Ss with an opportunity to think about what can be done to make global society sustainable and focuses on seeking solutions.

Earthquakes

In this unit, Ss become interested in the earth geological structure 
through earthquakes. They are encouraged to think about how to make
their lifestyles sustainable and how to act for change. Using a unique visual kit of Earth’s structure, Ss learn about how earthquakes occur, what are the possible consequences, and things people can do to prevent and/or reduce problems.

Rainforests

Rainforests, “treasure houses of species,” have great influence on the global environment. Through this unit, Ss learn about conditions in the world’s rainforests, including the lives of various species and peoples, as well as about environmental destruction. Ss also make their own booklet, ‘My Tree Book,” looking around themselves to develop an awareness of their relationships with trees and ways of protecting trees.

Water Cycles

Ss learn about water cycles by playing a board game; in this simulation game, Ss enjoy following the cycles of water as they go around and around.  
Ss find differences between water cycles in natural conditions and those influenced by environmental changes brought by society. The unit provides Ss with an opportunity to appreciate water as a source of life for all living things and understand its importance, and at the same time think about what they can do to protect water cycles.

 
 

HUMAN RIGHT EDUCATION

Theme Summary
The Five 
Senses
The five senses are potential functions, however, the level and 
uses of sense vary among individuals. This unit helps Ss realize people are 
all unique in different ways, and appreciate the width and depth of human 
potentiality. A paper theater illustrates the five senses. Activities encourage Ss to become aware of their own senses and at the same time to respect other people's. A great opportunity for raising SELF-ESTEEM..
Occupations This unit focuses on occupations, helping Ss to become interested in 
and positive about their lives and society. 36 occupations are introduced. 
Activities encourage Ss to look around, become aware of various kinds of jobs, 
and to think how these relate to Ss' and others' lives. Ss will also identify their own strengths and weaknesses concerning their own future jobs.
Whose 
Work?
Work at home and in society are sources of and the result of gender stereotyping. This unit helps Ss learn about gender issues: discrimination, stereotypes, prejudice and unfairness among individuals, and in organizations and society. Activities include a short story and a cartoon to stimulate Ss attention, a card game to identify stereotypes regarding occupations, and questions to think about and discuss in groups. Ss also learn about the conditions of women in the world.
People from
Other
Countries
People from other countries provide vital channels of information between 
Japan and the rest of the world. They can also provide important perspectives to evaluate Japan, its people and society: systems, customs, perceptions, 
rituals and lifestyles. This unit helps Ss become familiar with foreign peoples
using 4 characters and recognize prejudice, stereotypes, views and 
the uniqueness of individuals through a simulation activity, "getting to know a potato."
Restaurant
GLOBE
"What shall we eat?" --- is a question introducing this unit, as well as concept
of global education. Food is essential for survival, but also impacts us 
and our surrounding over years. We consume large amounts which greatly affect our bodies and the environment. Activities in this unit encourage Ss to consider what they eat, how they eat, how much they eat, where foods come from, who is involved in the process, and what foods contain.
People’s Diet

In this unit Ss study diet and food, focusing on the essential role that nutrition plays, not only in the Ss lives, but also in the lives of people all around the world.  The right to life and health is introduced and the unit challenges Ss to consider what to eat and how to respect other peoples’ rights to their own diet.

Oliver Button is a Sissy

In this unit, using a picture book, Ss are encouraged to gain a sense of the value their own uniqueness and are given a chance to raise their own self-esteem. They also learn to appreciate others who differ from themselves, and gain a better understanding of the strengths that individuality offers to them and others.

Mind and body

Balance between the mind and body is important for one to stay healthy.  In this unit Ss learn about issues considered to influence people’s health, and physical and mental well-being. Activities, such as a quiz and board game, provide Ss with chances to think about what “being healthy” means and what is necessary for good health.

Names  

A name is a symbol of our individuality.  In this unit, Ss become familiar with various names for people from different countries and regions of the world. They learn how names are given to children and learn to appreciate the characteristics of countries and cultures different from their own. Focusing on individuality as reflected in names, Ss become aware of their uniqueness, leading to an increase in self-esteem.

Community

“What does community mean?” “What kinds of people live in our community?” “What goals do we have in common to achieve as a community?”  These are some of the questions Ss consider as they perform activities that help them think about their future as members of a community, their lifestyles, and the links they have with the society around them.

The Rights of the Child

One of the most important, yet difficult, themes for children is dealt with in this unit.  First, Ss consider what “rights” are then they are introduced to “The Rights of the Child” using picture cards, with key words that summarize each article of the treaty.  Ss also look at the state of children around the world. Ss learn to empower themselves by considering whether children’s rights are protected, and if not which rights are being violated, and what they can do to improve the situations for themselves, as well as other children.


 

PEACE EDUCATION

Theme Summary
No More
Bullying!
Bullying is a common problem among young people in schools today. 
Most Ss probably have experienced bullying, as bullies, being bullied, ignoring or observing bullying. This unit helps Ss think strategically and systematically in confronting difficult situations. The main activity using a flow-chart leads Ss to think step by step about a solution, from various points of view. Ss will learn to understand and also to do something about bullying.
Refugees The refugee problem will remain a major global problem facing the 21st century; it is estimated that one out of every 120 people in the world are categorized as refugees. This unit helps Ss understand various refugee problems, and become interested in people who are suffering from societal problems. The main activities are a paper theater based the true story of a refugee girl, and also using a UNICEF video to learn about refugees.
The 
Global Family
This unit helps Ss learn to recognize and appreciate diversity among peoples, using photographs in participatory group activities. A set of A3 size photos consisting of 30 families from different countries with their belongings presents the breadth of values, lifestyles and living conditions in the world. Ss also become aware that people may see and understand 
the same information (photo) in different ways.
Junko and the Magic Spices

In this unit, “peace” is discussed and considered from a wider perspective, helping students to consider the idea that ensuring individual well-being is as important as creating a world society free from wars and conflicts. Through assembling an original picture book, Ss become aware that they, too, can work to create peace in their own minds.  Those who prefer can order the books rather than compiling the books with students.

On Nov.11
in the world (time differences)

November 11 is World Peace Day.  Ss learn about international time differences and become interested in other people around the world who are living in different time zones, but sharing “time” and similar activities at “different” times of day.  Activities, such as “What time is it now?”, help Ss become aware of time differences and enjoy being able to figure out local times around the world.

 The Great Little Fish (using a picture book
“Swimmy”)
In this unit Ss have a chance to appreciate the popular kids’ book, Swimmy (by Leo Lionni), through various activities which stimulate their imagination and creativity with global perspectives.  They learn problem-solving skills by considering the story from different points of views, and they are encouraged to cooperate in a group to solve common problems by letting individual members act positively.
Food for Thought

Ss learn about food-related-issues, including the facts that our diets depend on and are supported by imports from other countries, and that a significant gap exists between people in poverty and those in affluence, due to the present state of world food distribution.  Through various activities, such as paper theater and a card game, Ss start to think about “recipes” for making peace and a peaceful world, and at the same time become interested in problems related to diets, and possible solutions.

 
 

CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION

Theme Summary
Toilet Paper Toilet paper, as a daily necessity for many of us, may appear to be a unique
or rather unusual topic. How many of us ever give any thought to toilet paper? 
How much we use in a day, where the materials come from? How much the toilet paper we use in a lifetime would might total or cost? This unit focuses on toilet paper covering aspects of both environment and cross-cultural education. Ss will learn about different customs to deal with this common need and 
become aware of the cost and consequence of using toilet paper.
Colors Color is a good introductory theme to learn about diversity among people: colors of skin, hair and eyes, and feelings and expressions regarding colors influenced by cultural surroundings and individual uniqueness. Ss become aware of misconceptions about "skin color" through crayons and actual prejudices. Activities include a paper theater, "Color Bingo," a poster-making project and more.
School This unit introduces various ways schools are operated in different cultures, 
taking the example of 6 schools located on different continents. Ss will clarify what they want to learn from school and enlarge their vision of education by learning about practices in other countries (school systems, subjects, club activities, class schedules, classroom settings, etc.),which are illustrated in pictures.
Beans

Learning about beans around the world, Ss will become interested in the variety of ways beans are cooked and utilized in different countries. This unit encourages Ss to appreciate both universality and diversity of people’s wisdom, through enjoyable activities, such as cooking, singing a theme song and more.

Fabric and Clothing

Since the earliest times people have created a variety of fabrics and clothes and wornthem in different styles and for different purposes. This unit helps Ss explore different types of fabric and think about how to utilize cloth. Ss will also consider their own lifestyle through clothing.

Wheat

Wheat is one of the most valuable food crops on the planet. This unit centers around a main activity of making one's own book of wheat. While completing worksheets for the book, Ss learn about many aspects of wheat, such as its characteristics, history, production areas and the variety of wheat products. Ss can also enjoy wheat cooking.

Numbers

“What if we didn’t have numerals?” Starting with this question, this unit brings out Ss' interest in numbers. Using paper theatre and worksheets, Ss will explore ancient numerals from different areas and learn how people improved and exchanged ideas. They can also enjoy learning different ways to count numbers in the world by singing the thematic chant.

Transportation

This unit provides many picture cards of forms of transportation from around the world and useful worksheets. Through activities with the cards and worksheets, Ss explore the diversity and common ideas regarding transportation worldwide, not only from the view of convenience, but also considering environmental issues.

 
 

AREA STUDIES

Theme Summary
The Seven
Continents
This is a good introductory unit for global education classes, helping Ss to become familiar with the globe and world maps, including different projections: names of the 7 continents and their locations, geographical terms and some of the many countries found on 6 continents. 
A truly "global" unit!
Oceans
and
Seas
Oceans and seas are vital parts of our planet Earth, which appears as a blue ball when seen from space. Ss learn the importance of the oceans and of the need to protect them, using a world map and a globe and picture cards 
of marine animals and plants. A "SUSHI-menu" helps Ss make connections between their daily lives and global issues.
Denmark Denmark, a country consisting of nearly 500 islands located in the northern part of Europe, is well known but Ss know little about the country. 
This unit introduces Denmark from two angles: a wide overview 
of the country provided by a set of cards, "Denmark A-B-C KARUTA" and, more particular aspects, such as unconventional families and alternative school education, illustrated using a cartoon. Other activities include a jigsaw puzzle of a Scandinavian map, a word search and a matching card game.
People 
in the Desert:
Bedouins
Bedouins are groups of people who have lived nomadic desert-lifestyles 
for centuries; their traditional lifestyles, values and environment are 
a challenge to our imagination and understanding. This unit provides a great opportunity to learn about the world and the diversity of people 
and natural environments. It also encourages Ss to learn from another culture and to widen their vision of their own lives and possibilities.
South Korea

This unit provides two main activities: one is a set of cards, Karuta, which introduces several aspects of South Korea and the other is worksheets to learn the Korean language, Hangul. Through using these visual aids, Ss can become familiar with Korean culture and think about improving relations between South Korea and Japan.

The Arctic Circle

This unit encourages Ss to learn about people and other living things in theArctic Circle as well as its natural environment. Ss are encouraged to become interested in the lifestyle of the Inuit, while enjoying a paper theater (a folk tale of the Inuit), and Karuta card games. Ss also learn about the difference between Antarctica and the Arctic.

Australia

Playing a board game, Traveling around Australia, Ss enjoy themselves while thinking and learning about its diversity of natural environments, animals and people, including Aborigines, as well as the relationships between Australiaand Japan. The original Alphabetical Picture Cards and the theme song are also useful.


ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION/HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION/PEACE EDUCATION/CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION/AREA STUDIES


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