In line with the AFS School Outreach vision that “Any student or educator can become a global citizen when schools partner with AFS-USA.”, we are proud to have ~40 classroom activities available for educators for use in the classroom in a wide variety of grade levels and subject areas. Many of these activities began as an AFS orientation activity but have been shaped to reflect what educators need to connect them to classroom learning. These activities can be used in the following ways:
- As an ice breaker or warm-up activity at the start of class
- As the introduction to a larger unit of study to prompt discussion or shifted perspectives
- As part of a plan for a substitute
- As part of an E-Learning Day (many have a “how to do this virtually” section)
- As a stand-alone activity to engage students in thinking differently about an issue, culture, people, etc.…
- As an activity for a club sponsor to engage students throughout an extracurricular club meeting
Each classroom activity will follow a similar format with an overview, the materials needed, the time needed to do it well, a list of the subject areas that it pairs well with, the primary objectives, links to any additional resources needed (photos, videos, worksheets, etc.…) and step-by-step instructions to implement it. You are encouraged to look at the full list of activities on our website here.
As many of these activities were presented in a webinar during the initial months of COVID to support teachers who were not accustomed to remote instruction, some of them have a webinar to accompany them that also highlights how to use a technology platform or app that can be useful in the classroom. Those lessons and tech tools are described below.
Each activity is hyperlinked below for you to download (or copy the link) and send them directly to educators via email. It is strongly encouraged that you do not send an educator a link to the page with all of the classroom activities as they likely will not take the time to read through them. A better option is to select ONE activity and send that to an educator with an idea about timing or how it may connect to their subject or students.
Webinar Series #1 – Two Lessons + Two Tech Tools Presented in Each 1-Hour Webinar
Interview & Investigate and The True, False, & Truly Amazing – One of these lessons helps students learn to evaluate sources of information by walking through a group activity and reflection involving interviews with local community members. The second lesson helps students connect emotionally with written material that the teacher provides through specific discussion prompts. This webinar will help a teacher see how to use Padlet (digital corkboard) and Zoom (live group discussions).
Rituals and Traditions and Who are the Nacirema? – Both of these lessons give teachers the tools to help students process a transition to virtual instruction, a change in traditions and find healthy ways to build new routines in the classroom. Great for the start of the school year and they can easily be done via remote instruction. This webinar will help a teacher learn how to use Flipgrid (asynchronous online dialoguing) and Symbaloo (site to capture links/digital resources in an organized fashion).
The DIVE Method and Mapping My Community– One of these lessons is typical in a pre-departure orientation, but we show teachers how to use the DIVE method in their classroom to prompt observation without judgment. The second lesson encourages students to think deeply about their community and what aspects of it tie to their content area. This webinar shows teachers how to use Goosechase (virtual scavenger hunt) and Edpuzzle (application to attach questions to any video content).
Webinar Series #2 – Multiple Lessons Presented in each 30 Minute Webinar
The What & Why – This webinar presents two lessons (The What and the Why and The What, Why, and When) that piggyback off one another to prompt students to think about how their culture impacts their daily choices, behaviors and attitudes. Mentimeter.com is also shared as a quick and handy website to engage students in class both from home and in person.
Adaptability – Both Developing Your Potential & Defining Myself (also known as I Am...) will help students learn about the difference between “Me” and “We” culture and reflect on how those cultural elements impact society and decision-making. Additionally, they will look at what key behaviors and attitudes look, feel and sound like to determine if they connect to that subject area.
Critical Listening – This webinar shares three lessons which build on one another to help students process the importance of listening and the value of two-way communication. Students of all ages can enjoy Listen & Draw, and the Paper Tear activities and students at the secondary can really engage with the Listening through Debate lesson provided by a Spanish teacher in Connecticut who was a guest speaker on the webinar.
From Cartoons to Classics – This webinar presents only one lesson but allows teachers to consider how they can use film, video, television, and short clips to get students to think about the culture that is embedded or sensationalized in the media. A list of free media resources is provided in this lesson.