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Kid's Corner

For Teachers: Lesson Plans



Lesson Plan #1
Afghanistan: Its People, Places and Culture


LESSON LENGTH:   Three class periods 

GRADE LEVEL:  3-5+

SUBJECT AREA: Geography/Social Studies 

OBJECTIVES: This activity is designed to advance students’ understanding of global cultures by allowing them to research various aspects of a country and present a briefing.

MATERIALS: Internet access to embassy website, Print and online reference materials about Afghanistan 
 
PROCEDURE: 

1. Tell your students that you and they are going to be UN Goodwill Ambassadors to Afghanistan, and plan a pretend class trip to Afghanistan. Explain the UN and the function of goodwill ambassadors.

2. Together, prepare a list of all the kinds of arrangements that they must make before leaving home. The goal is to encourage students to realize that they must consider at least the following issues/topics:   Transportation, Accommodations, Itinerary and packing, Language and customs. 

Using the generated topics let students volunteer for or assign them to committees that will focus on each topic. 

 3. Each committee of students should then brainstorm specific questions needing answers before the trip begins. Then each student within the committee should choose a question to research. Student should be presented with a variety of resources, such as travel books and magazines, Web sites, and the embassy or consulate of the country.
Sample questions that the committees can address:

TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE 

  • How will the class travel from home to Afghanistan?
  • How far away is Afghanistan, and how long will it take to get there? 
  • How will the class get around once there?
  • How much will transportation cost?

ACCOMMODATION COMMITTEE 

  • What kinds of accommodations are available--hotels? campgrounds? people's homes? youth  hostels?
  • How much will accommodations cost? 
  • How can the students make reservations? 

ITINERARY AND PACKING COMMITTEE 

  • What sights do students want to see in this area? 
  • How many days or weeks will students need to see these sights? 
  • What kinds of clothes should students pack, given the climate and what they plan to do there? 
  • Besides clothes, what else should students pack? 

LANGUAGE AND CUSTOMS 

  • In order to be goodwill ambassadors for the United States, what should student visitors know about the Afghan people they are going to visit? Do Afghans have customs that visitors should know about in advance?
  • Do the students have any customs from their culture that might surprise or offend the Afghans? What can the students do to make sure they don't upset or annoy their hosts? 
  • What should students know about their hosts' languages, foods, and religions before traveling to Afghanistan? 

4. While students work in small groups, the teacher may use the time to locate someone in the  school community who has actually traveled to Afghanistan and invite him or her to share stories and photos or videos with the students following the completion of their own research. Each committee should write a group thank-you note to a guest after his or her visit to the class. 

5. The students on each committee should discuss among themselves what they learned from their research. The students should work together to plan a brief oral presentation of their findings. They should write up notes and select visual aids if possible. 

6. Give each spokesperson a chance to make a brief oral presentation. The audience should have an opportunity to ask questions of the spokesperson and the other members of his or her committee. 

EVALUATION: 
You can evaluate each committee by using the following three-point rubric: 

  • Three points: Clearly organized and articulately presented substantive answers to committee's questions; well-explained visual aids; coherent, error-free thank-you note to class guest.
  • Two points: Adequately organized and presented substantive answers to committee's questions; visual aids not totally connected to oral presentation; coherent thank-you note, with minimal errors, to class guest.
  • One point: Poorly organized and inarticulate, incomplete oral answers to committee's questions; missing or poorly explained visual aids; thank-you note lacking coherence and containing many errors.

You can ask your students to contribute to the assessment rubric by determining the minimum number of questions each oral presentation should take up.

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