Our teammates at WorldStrides have created lessons and activities around central themes and popular attractions. They give teachers, students, and parents tools and resources to use in an online classroom or at home.
Prepare for your next student tour (or build a virtual visit) with activities that explore the DC area's iconic attractions. Students can engage with topics and themes related to the U.S. Capitol Building, Arlington Cemetery, the White House, and national monuments and memorials.
Throughout history, we’ve been motivated by the desire to achieve what hasn’t been done—to face our challenges head-on. Are you up to the challenge to learn from the past to face the future?
How have national and global leaders motivated the citizenry during times of challenge? What do we learn about our abilities when faced with a challenge?
How can recreating monuments, memorials, and architectural wonders give us a greater understanding of the design choices and symbolism within these structures?
One of our unique traits as humans is our need to express ourselves. Some forms of expression, like dance, require little in the way of tools or equipment. Visual art, however, was a much bigger challenge for our early ancestors.
Some of the earliest examples of human art are found in dark, remote caves. They were determined to make art in a place they deemed to be meaningful and special!
Today, we can buy art supplies at a store or order them online. For a prehistoric experience, challenge yourself to create works of art like our earliest ancestors did.
Traveling often challenges us to immerse ourselves in a new environment, speak another language, and experience the world in a new way. We all have destinations that are at the top of our lists to visit, but what about visiting a country that isn’t in your top five? What about a destination that pushes us outside our comfort zone? Challenge yourself during this time when you can’t travel to learn about the places outside of your comfort zone.
How can you prepare to experience a new country?
How does geography help you understand history?
Now more than ever, we need to stay connected as we are unable to be together in person.
Consider the ways we connect with people and the dramatic changes in communication since the invention of electricity. Explore the evolution of sharing information from the days of mailing letters back and forth to the world of constant contact we now live in.
Explore the global reach of letters, pictures, and language
The International Center of Photography is inviting people from around the world to share their stories through photography. Pen pals are a classic way to “meet” new people around the world. Why did English become the International Language?
Great leaders must be capable of exercising judgment is rooted in curiosity. Former presidential advisor David Gergen claims that this capacity is usually developed through reading, experiences like challenges and adversity, and reflection, which in turn requires a sophisticated level of self-awareness.
Consider: How have ancient explorers impacted our world and shaped modern life? What can a collection of items tell us about the history of a particular culture?
Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” This curiosity led him to explore questions other people didn’t consider. How do you see the connection between curiosity and science? What types of things are you interested in learning more about? What are good questions to ask about how or why something works?
Consider: What are you curious about? What innovations have been made to older objects as the technology has improved?
When you lean into your curiosity, you become more open to new experiences. While international travel is a great way to broaden your perspective, you can learn about different cultures from home, too. In these activities, students virtually ‘travel’ by engaging with news media from other countries and learn how curiosity can make us more culturally aware.
Consider: How can media help us develop a global perspective? Why is learning about social norms from other countries important? How does learning about a new culture help us better understand our own? How does your national identity influence the way you interact with other cultures?
“Grow west, young man”
Westward expansion saw the United States grow into a nation that stretched from coast to coast. Looking back, it may seem the growth of our country was ‘destined’ to occur – but is that really the case? In these activities, students will examine the myth of the western frontier and use their creativity to imagine an alternate history of the United States.
Learn how to start Kitchen Scrap Gardening and examine natural growth in unusual places. The world around us has changed, but this is the time for nature to flourish. We see plants popping up in unusual places and animals wandering into new spaces. Wind patterns are changing, and the hole in the ozone layer has started to repair itself. This serves as a reminder that life goes on. These activities help you can examine the growth that continues to occur—even in the most improbable spaces.
On April 29, the world celebrates International Dance Day. This UNESCO-recognized holiday was created in 1982 to elevate awareness of dance traditions and promote participation and education in dance.
Around the globe and throughout generations, dance has played a fundamental part of culture. Like spoken and written language, it is one of the most basic ways that we express and pass down our heritage, values, and history. As cultures grow and evolve, so do dance traditions.
Famed American author William Faulkner once remarked, “The past is never dead. In fact, it is not even past.” This inspires us to reflect our history, the contributions of leaders, and how we commemorate their legacies today.
Washington, DC, is home to a number of memorials and monuments, like the World War II Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. But did you know many more honor the sacrifices of men and women who served in America’s other wars? In this activity, learn more about DCs lesser-known war memorials.
What does your legacy look like?
Scientists are constantly asking questions, collecting evidence, and refining their knowledge. Thanks to their efforts, each generation can come to understand the world a little more fully than those who came before. In these activities, students will revisit the legacy of a famous scientist, and consider how their own legacy could be recorded.
How deep do your roots go?
What are the lasting traditions of your family’s cultural history? Explore your family’s roots, where you’ve come from, and where you’re going! How much do you know about your family’s background? Do some family research that incorporates biological, cultural, and ethnic characteristics. Interview family members to discover your roots. You never know what may surprise you!
History gives us many stories of resourcefulness. How did individuals or groups solve problems, defy the odds, or persist when they were told they couldn’t do something? What qualities or attributes assist in being resourceful? Learn about a suffragist, an Olympic track star, female pilots during World War II, or those who survived a shipwreck in Antarctica to see how they were resourceful and why some of them were able to make a difference in their communities.
Artists of all kinds–visual artists, musicians, and dancers alike–are no strangers to problem-solving. Some of the most satisfying, thought-provoking, and meaningful art can come out of limitation.
Consider: What resources are needed to make art? Why is improvisation useful in different forms of art? What are the benefits and challenges of improvisation? How does it feel to improvise a piece of art, versus following a plan? How does improvisational art compare to art that is carefully composed?
Science impacts nearly everything we do in our lives, including how we get our food and how we cook. This activity explores how much water is used in food production, helps you whip up something delicious in the kitchen using ingredients on hand, and shows how we can be resourceful around the house!
Consider: How can you maintain the integrity of a recipe if you're missing ingredients? How do food consumption and other daily activities affect our water footprint?
The coronavirus pandemic is testing our resources and our resourcefulness. Students and professionals are working from home. Restaurants are delivering food straight to your car. Scientists and medical professionals are racing to find treatments and distribute a vaccine, while factories are changing their lines to produce ventilators and protective equipment. Resourcefulness means looking at what was once ordinary and seeing new possibilities. Learn about the global supply chain and what it actually means to go from farm to table.
Where does time come from, and how do I see it?
How you might experience time compared to, say, anyone else on the planet, could be pretty similar or totally different? Ideal for social studies and history students, explore how time shapes us, how we shape time and the ways we bring our own perspective to the concept of time.
Expressing time with art.
Time has limits, and what happens between its start and a finish is a window into seasons, people, cycles, and cultures. Check out British artist Andy Goldsworthy and his work on the idea of impermanence, then get creative yourself with the items and locations available at home.
What does science tell us about time?
Consider the existence of time, through a telescope and microscope. Whether we can see it or not, everything has a date stamp. Or does it? Bring your sense of exploration along for a look at time’s own existence, including a sundial activity that shows you how it moves and grooves.
Across the world, maintaining cultural sites for future generations is an exercise in a special form of time management – preservation. Using UNESCO World Heritage Sites as your guide, learn more about what it takes to address the passage of time and think about where you would like to visit most.
Better late than never? Not usually.
Learn how to shake the “I’ll do it laters” with a Ted Talk on procrastination, along with time management tips and strategies. Once you’ve done that, brainstorm some ways you can get back on track if you start procrastinating, and think of deadlines you can set to add some structure to your days!