George Lucas Educational Foundation
Curriculum Planning

Resources and Downloads for Global Competence

Educators from John Stanford International School in Seattle, Washington, have provided these resources and tools for teaching global competence.

January 29, 2013
Photo credit: Suzie Boss
At John Stanford International School, principal Jesely Alvarez says that they're not "just teaching our students about the world, we're asking them, 'What are you going to do about it?' It's about taking action.


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Global Competence Unit Plans

Sample global competence unit plans for various grade levels provided by Seattle Public Schools. Each unit contains state standards, global perspective, essential questions, timetable for the unit, and student and teacher goals.

  • 3rd Grade Social Studies, Art, and Library: Exploring Northwest Coast First People
  • Unit Plan - Unit exploring Northwest Coast First People through legends and art. Students will begin building background knowledge in the library by reading nonfiction books and examining websites.
  • 4th Grade Reading, Writing, and Social Studies: Festivals of Light Around the World
  • Unit Plan - Unit exploring world religions and festivals of light celebrated around the world. Through this unit students learn tolerance of other cultures and religion.
  • 4th Grade Reading and Social Studies: Japanese Internment During World War II
  • Unit Plan - Unit on the internment of American citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Students will compare the Japanese internment to other examples of internment around the world.
  • 7th Grade Math: iEARN Project
  • Unit Plan - Unit plan on the iEARN project, connecting math to our daily lives. Students learn rates, proportions, percent, problem-solving, and communication as tools of analysis in a meaningful global context.
  • 7th Grade Reading and Writing: Child Soldiers Around the World
  • Unit Plan - Unit on writing a research-based argument essay. Students will learn about child soldiers around the world and investigate how the United States participates in this issue. Students write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using accurate credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
  • 8th Grade Science: Climate Change
  • Unit Plan - Unit on climate change where students read about indigenous points of view on climate change and have a mini summit where they will come up with action items. Students learn perspectives on climate change and how climate change affects people around the world.
  • 11th Grade History: Migration and Industry
  • Unit Plan - Unit on migration and industrialization from 1870 to 1900. Students will recognize and understand how migration and industrialization transformed the US and brought about cultural and economic change to nations around the world.

International School Symposium

  • The first annual International School Symposium was held in March of 2012 in Seattle, WA. All eight of the international schools from Seattle Public Schools convened to collaborate and work on Cultural and Global Competency. All of the 500+ staff and administrators did a book study on Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World by Veronica Boix Mansilla and Tony Jackson. Some of the Teacher Leaders were instructed to share student work and unit plans (see above) to help facilitate some of the breakout sessions. The teacher leaders were selected by their principals as teachers who are respected by their colleagues and who embed the seven components of international education into their teaching.
  • International Symposium Document - Overview handout from the International School Symposium held March 16th, 2012, in Seattle, WA. This document includes the agenda, purpose, outcome, information on the keynote speaker, and blank templates used for the breakout sessions.
  • Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World Excerpt - Excerpt from Veronica Boix Mansilla and Tony Jackson's book. Excerpt includes checklist for teaching global competence, investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas, and how to take action.
  • Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World Link to free download of the book by Veronica Boix Mansilla and Tony Jackson

Additional Documents from John Stanford International School

Useful Websites on Global Competence

Seattle Public Schools International Schools - Overview of the district's international education program

Asia Society - Nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships between Asia and the US through arts, education, and business

Global Competence - Link to chart provided by Asia Society defining global competence

Washington State Arts Commission - Nonprofit organization that collaborates with artists and arts organizations to conserve and develop critical artistic resources

Committee for Children - Nonprofit dedicated to promoting social-emotional learning, the prevention of bullying, child abuse, and youth violence through education

Second Step - Program created by the Committee for Children to teach social skills to students in early childhood through grade 8

Steps to Respect - Program created by the Committee for Children on bullying prevention for elementary schools

More Edutopia Resources on Global Competence:

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School Snapshot

John Stanford International School

Grades K-5 | Seattle, WA
460 | Public, Urban
Per Pupil Expenditures
$6062 School$11351 District$9733 State
Free / Reduced Lunch
61% White
14% Hispanic
13% Asian/Pacific Islander
10% Multiracial
2% Black
1% Native American

4% English-language learners
4% Individualized education programs

Data is from the 2011-12 academic year.

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  • Social Studies/History
  • World Languages
  • K-2 Primary
  • 3-5 Upper Elementary

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