Thinking Globally
Level 4 Geography Focus

Introduction to Thinking Globally

In this module students explore the commonalities that global interconnectedness creates as well as the inequities that it highlights.  They explore the Millennium Development Goals, Australia's aid program and the role of non-government organisations.  Students are challenged to confront their own reactions to world poverty and asked how they can be agents for change.

All activities in this module are aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Geography, Years 9 and 10.  (Click here to see the Curriculum Links

The module focuses on developing intercultural understanding through the following learning objectives.  Students will:

This guide provides information about the four activities in this module:

These activities are complementary but can also be used independently.  Each activity is supported with suggested teacher-led introductory and concluding activities.  For the online components students can work individually, in pairs or as small groups.  These activities can also be adapted for use with a smartboard.

Activity 1: Is It Fair?

In this activity students explore maps highlighting global poverty and reflect on what extreme poverty means for individuals and how it relates to them.

Introductory Activity — Offline

According to 2008 World Bank development data, the wealthiest 20% of the global population privately consume 76% of resources, the middle 60% consume 21.9% and the poorest 20% consume 1.5%.

In this activity you will demonstrate the reality of this situation to your students using a desirable food (e.g. a block of chocolate).  Randomly divide your class into three groups, with group A representing 20% of students, group B representing 60%, and group C representing 20% (in a class of 30 this would mean two groups of six, and one group of 18).  Present each group with a bag containing their percent of the total resources (e.g. 76% of the chocolate goes to group A).  Instruct each group to share the resources equally amongst themselves.

When groups have completed the task explain what the division represents and ask students from each group how it felt.

Online Activity

Before commencing this activity, familiarise your students with how to navigate through the website.

Part A: Mapping poverty
In Part A, students explore data from the World Bank and explore information related to global poverty and development.  Students are asked to write a reflection about what it might mean to live in poverty.

Part B: How does it feel?
Students are asked to take a short survey where they assess how the data explored in Part A makes them feel.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Ask students to brainstorm some indicators that can be used to measure global poverty and development (e.g. life expectancy, literacy, income, employment).

Ask students to explore the World Development Bank website which contains data relating to the indicators of global poverty and development.  The site enables data to be manipulated to create customised graphs, maps and charts.  Ask students to explore the site and select an indicator and data set to create a map or graph which explores an aspect of global or regional poverty and development.  Students should write a written analysis of their graph explaining what it shows.

Activity 2: Sustainable Development Goals

Students explore the Susutainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of the Australian government in delivering development aid.

Introductory Activity — Offline

Discuss the following questions with your students:

Online Activity

Part A: SDGs
In Part A, students are introduced to the Sustainable Development Goals and challenged to explore their purpose in a written response. Students also reflect on the shape and reasoning behind the Commonwealth government's aid program by completing a PMI exercise.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Use the Visible Thinking strategy Tug of War to focus students on the dilemma of addressing global inequities: should decisions about how funding for development is spent be made by the UN/donor countries or should they be made by the country receiving the funding?  Allow students to work as a class or in groups and to help them consider this complex question.

Activity 3: Crafting a Message

Students explore how charities and non-government organisations work to raise awareness and promote action on global poverty and inequality.

Introductory Activity — Offline

Brainstorm and list students' ideas about how to assess the reliability of information that they find online.  Ask students what factors might influence the reliability of information relating to global inequality and poverty.

Online Activity

Part A: Making a difference
In this activity students explore the different methods of communication that charities and NGO's use to raise awareness about global poverty.  The main focus of this activity is an Oxfam animation about food security.  Students watch and comment on this video before rating other strategies that are utilised by organisations to drive change.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Introduce students to some of the online campaigns and strategies, which relate to global inequality and poverty.  There are many available but you may find the youth run Oaktree organisation a good starting point.


Activity 4: Global Identities

In this activity students consider the influence that global mobility and connectedness has had on notions of Australian identity.

Introductory Activity — Offline

Ask students to work in small groups and create a visual representation (drawing, photograph, sculpture or pose) of what a 'global citizen' might look like.

Online Activity

Part A: Globalisation continuum
Students explore the concept of globalisation by ranking different people, concepts and organisations on a globalisation continuum; the continuum measures from 'Australian' to 'global'.  After submitting each rating, and regardless of what rating they have given, students are shown some text explaining the significance of the featured item to the Australian/global context.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Consider the following proposition with your students: in the future people living in Australia will identify as global citizens first and Australian citizens second.  Use a PMI chart to identify the pluses, minuses and interesting aspects of this proposition.

Module Reflection

You may like to use a reflection or self-assessment strategy to monitor student engagement with this module.

Further Activity Ideas