Ask a middle school student which areas of the world they want to learn about and they will overwhelmingly say, Europe! They usually mean countries in Western Europe like France or Germany because those are often the cultures they are most familiar with. As educators, we need to expose students to a variety of different places in the world especially the ones that are misrepresented in movies and television.
The Peace Corps has roughly 150 lessons for educators focused on under represented parts of the world like Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Each lesson focuses on important global topics such as cross cultural understanding or food security. Many of the lessons relate to other content areas outside of social studies as well.
Complete with worksheets, vocabulary, and stories from people who worked for the Peace Corps, each lesson helps students to develop a well rounded understanding of each country and topic. Many of the lessons have poems, recipes or folktales. All of the stories from Peace Corps workers are moving and beautiful accounts of different countries and read more like fiction than non-fiction.
- Use these lessons to focus on cultural understanding and literacy. Each lesson helps students to build vocabulary and reading comprehension.
- All of the stories are great examples of non-fiction for students to read. Instead of using news articles or a textbook, the stories help students understand the information from a personal perspective.