21st Century Themes Teacher Resources

Find 21st Century Themes educational ideas and activities

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Bring global awareness into the classroom. Young politically minded learners read an article about the ban on arms sales to China and discuss political concerns about this issue. They research other embargos on foreign trade and use a graphic organizer to consider the impact of having it lifted would produce.
Imagine a meeting between President Bush and Putin. Get your class thinking about global awareness, democracy, and totalitarian modes of government. They examine how two leaders approach major governmental issues and run their countries in different ways.
High schoolers focus on the role played by a nation's institutions in generating creativity, invention and innovation, and analyzes how innovation promotes the economic growth that raises standards of living and alleviates poverty.
Upper graders and middle schoolers make up a scenario of planning outdoor concert locations for their favorite musical group. They do this by looking into the weather patterns in a variety of tropical regions. They research where and when severe weather happens in these regions, and work together to come up with a proposed itinerary for their band that should keep them "dry" during their performances. A great teaching idea, and a wonderful lesson plan!
The Boy Scouts of America need to know their stuff to get an entrepreneurship merit badge. Test your class or use some of the questions from this eight page packet. They'll fill out short answer questions about entrepreneurship in order to get a merit badge, or to show what they know. 
Students create a class presentation that explains the value of an innovation to society. In this design innovation lesson, students discuss relationships among math, science, technology, and engineering, read a story about design innovations, and explore a website. Students discuss 5 inventions as a class and choose one to present in a group project.
Students explore agricultural innovations. In this agriculture lesson, students investigate innovations in industrial agriculture and write about the positive and negative impacts of the innovations.
Students brainstorm on the different innovation in their lives today. In this technology lesson, students research one innovation and prepare a speech to convince their classmate to name it the "Innovation of our Generation." They present their argument in class.
Many historical innovations were created for the common good. Get your young scholars ready for life as a critical thinker with this lesson which defines the differences between innovation and invention. They will conduct Internet research, engage in a class discussion, and then create a virtual innovation. They will describe the problem their innovation was designed to solve, how it works, and why it's innovative. 
Students identify the innovations that have impacted their lives.  In this inventions lesson students write and present a speech on the greatest innovation of their generation.
Students identify the innovations created from plastic and give examples. They investigate future uses of plastic and visit a NASA Website to view the Transhab capsule. In small groups, they brainstorm lists of innovations from the past ten years and create drawings of new plastic products.
Consider to possibility of starting a business as a way to examine the concept of entrepreneurship. Learners develop and analyze feasibility studies, marketing strategies, proposals, and local census data all needed when starting a small business. 
To better understand entrepreneurship, learners examine the goals and mission statements in actual business plans, then outline a mission/vision statement for their own company. They develop objectives for the first three months of their business' operation.
Learners identify on a time line and a world map where medical innovation/inventions line-up and originated. They collect information on various medical innovations/inventions using encyclopedias and medical research texts. Students make inferences about episodes of medical innovations and why they occurred when they occurred.
Ninth graders discuss innovators and their different techniques.  In this investigative lesson students study innovators, research them and create cards to play a game. 
Throughout time, innovators have taken basic ideas and changed them into creative and cutting-edge designs. Kids tackle the topic of innovations in relation to traditional or creative objects. They discuss traditional Navajo pottery then examine a piece that has been changed by a creative thinker. They engage in artistic innovations of their own as they make window hangings based on traditional Navajo designs, but with new and unusual twists.
Students use the internet to research a historical figure or innovation that changed how we view medicine and health. Using the information, they create a biographical poster and shares it with the class. They also write a reflection piece on how efficient scientific experiments are on humans.
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!" Through this assignment, emerging engineers examine how failed experiments are simply part of the process of an outstanding design. They begin with some reading about the microwave oven, Post-It® notes, Silly Putty™, and other commonly used items that resulted only after previous mishaps. Then, in small groups, they research a product's story and present it to the class. 
Using an online internet simulation, learners will role-play various members of a family living in rural Haiti. The objective is to increase global awareness by requiring them to consider poverty as an obstacle to education in Haiti. Learners will discuss advocacy methods to confront poverty in the nation. Decision making skills and collaboration are key to the outcomes. There are also extensions ideas included. Note: They will need access to the internet.
In Mongolia they do a traditional dance with bowls on their heads. Grover's little friend Charlene is practicing to be a bowl dancer like the older girls. She attends a special school for bowl dancers and then practices every day until she is ready to perform. This film inspires global awareness and the importance of hard work.