Have you heard of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals? These goals were developed in 2015 with a vision of collaboratively creating solutions for the world's most pressing global issues, such as ending poverty and having quality education for all.
Teaching through the lens of the Global Goals allows for students to experience learning outside of our four classroom walls and explore solutions affecting our world today. Perhaps you're thinking "I am eager to incorporate them within my classroom, but where do I start? How can my elementary grade students make a global impact and contribute towards these goals?" Here are three ways to bring the Goal Goals into the classroom to enhance instruction and create meaningful and relevant learning opportunities for students.
Direct Instruction: Focus on a Weekly Goal during Morning Meeting
Morning Meeting is a time to gather your students to build classroom community and set the day up for success. It is typically made up of four components: Greeting, Sharing, Group Activity, and Morning Message. Morning Meetings are the perfect place for introducing your students to the Global Goals.
Each week, center your Morning Meetings around one of the Global Goals. GatherIQ is a free educational tool that provides various resources, such as data stories, videos, and articles, aligned to the Global Goals. Incorporating GatherIQ resources within your Morning Meeting enables students to develop a better understanding of these goals. See this Morning Meeting Slide example for ideas.
Self-Exploration: Let Students Become Goal Leaders
Let your students become the experts. Lean into your students' interests and help them find a Global Goal that resonates most with them. Allow them to partake in student-led inquiry and research by exploring GatherIQ for facts, stories, and data about their goals. Students can become Goal Leaders within the classroom by reporting their learning to the class and sharing ideas for making an impact towards these goals. Extend learning outside of the classroom and allow Goal Leaders to connect with other Global Goal leaders within the community.
Practice with Content: Develop Project Based Learning
The Global Goals provide a perfect avenue for bringing rigorous, relevant, and impactful Project Based Learning (PBL) to the classroom. The Global Goals are as authentic as you can get. Allow students to develop products that inform others about the goals, collect data on their product's effectiveness, and extend their learning to others in the community. Explore the links below for examples of PBL activities focused on the Global Goals.