Globalization and Cultural Diffusion

Students are introduced to the concepts of cultural diffusion and globalization, learning that we are connected through the exchange of goods, ideas, and culture. To spark curiosity, students participate in a Gallery Walk to observe and make inferences about examples of cultural diffusion, such as sports, music, and food, that have spread around the world. Then, they read an article about globalization to gain a more concrete understanding of these concepts.


Globalization and Cultural Diffusion (Digging Deeper)

Students look deeper into the concepts of globalization and cultural diffusion by analyzing several multicultural versions of the well-known fairy tale Cinderella. They look at these stories in terms of story structure, geographical and cultural variances, as well as themes and values being taught in the story to understand how they are similar and how they have been adapted to better fit and represent each culture.


Soccer Around the World

Students investigate how soccer has spread around the world. They analyze a series of soccer images to make observations about how places have adapted the game based on cultural and geographic characteristics, then learn about the chronology of soccer’s diffusion across the world and map out its geographic spread.


Literature Circles with Cinderella Stories (Part 1 of 2)

Students prepare to participate in a Literature Circles discussion. In this lesson, students learn how cultural diffusion can impact fairy tales by examining Cinderella stories from around the world. They complete an interest card with their top choices of books to read and participate in a literature circle.


Literature Circles with Cinderella Stories (Part 2 of 2)

Students work in predetermined Literature Circle groups to read and discuss a previously selected Cinderella story from around the world. This lesson can be repeated multiple times as desired, reading a new story each time. This lesson provides a framework for how to conduct a Literature Circle.


Understanding Each Other’s Stories

Students investigate how understanding each other’s stories strengthens our global community. As our world becomes more and more connected, it is increasingly important for students to recognize the importance of their own story as well as the stories of others. In this way, we gain empathy and respect toward one another while breaking down misconceptions and barriers between each other, thereby making our global community stronger.


Think Globally, Act Locally (Checkpoint Assessment)

Through this Essential Question, students have explored the concepts of globalization and cultural diffusion to discover how we are connected to people and places near and far through the spread of ideas, goods, and culture. This final lesson may be used as a checkpoint assessment of cumulative learning throughout this Essential Question. Here, students complete the “Our Global Community” handout to show understanding of their connections to people and places around the world.


Global Connections

Image by Markus Spiske

Essential Question

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How am I part of a global community?

Students explore how globalization and cultural diffusion spread ideas, goods, and culture in a connected world. They examine how they are part of a global community, gaining an understanding of the importance of being a global citizen.