On the first day of school in my first term teaching in Bulgaria, I played a getting-to-know-you game I now call “The Sorting.” I asked students to sort themselves around the room based on their answers to the questions I asked. For example, “go to this side of the room if you are an only child, that side if you have siblings.” It was a fun way for us to quickly get to know each other better.
For one of my questions, I asked students to move to one side of the room if they had left the country, the other side if they never had. Slowly they all made their way to one side of the room.
Every single student had been abroad.
I asked them to further sort themselves by how many countries they had visited. The majority of my students had been to more than three other countries.
Just think! They had such a different perspective on the world than the majority of my American-born American students. They had eaten other foods, spoken other languages, gotten the hang of other metros and norms. They had a strong sense of the difference in customs and opinions around the world.
When I first moved back to the U.S., I talked to my students often about the experiences I had living abroad and traveling to many other countries. I wanted to tell them stories and share what I had learned.
But it’s not easy to keep that conversation going. Somehow it doesn’t come up very often. We get into our daily routines, and it’s easy to stay focused on the here and now.
Yet in many ways our society becomes more global every day. I want to keep my students thinking beyond our borders.
This year when I began writing daily writing prompts as part of my collaboration with teachwriting.org, I decided to focus on travel prompts. Sharing a travel-based writing prompt is a fun, easy way to get students imagining life in another place. For many of the images, I use my own photos, a fun stroll down memory lane for me too.
My travel prompts appear every Thursday on the Teachwriting.org Facebook page; follow along to see them and writing prompts from the other collaborators every single day of the week. But I also thought I would round up some of them here, in case you’d like to add a splash of global writing to your curriculum.
Enjoy! I hope you decide to take your students on a world writing tour.
Do you find your inspiration in VISUALS? I love ‘em too. Let’s hang out on Instagram! Click here to get a steady stream of colorful ideas all week long.