The Big Heart Global Story Map
Click on a continent to visit, read its folktale, and play the activities.
For years, as a preschool teacher and then school leader, I was privileged to work in a truly global school community. One year, we had seven different languages represented in a class of fourteen students. While this presented some communication challenges, the overall experience was a tremendous learning opportunity for everyone. The mixing of cultures, words, foods, and ideas was exciting for children and teachers alike.
Global citizenship is a BIG idea for all of us.
As adults, we are able to recognize ourselves as a part of a global community that needs to take steps to care for all of its members near and far. When we step out of our day-to-day routines and look at the bigger picture, we are able to see how we are all connected; living on the same planet, breathing the same air, and using resources from around the globe. But how can we make these ideas accessible to our children?
The youngest children, up until about the age of three, are naturally focused on themselves. They don’t have the cognitive ability to recognize that people can have different ideas, perspectives, hopes, and dreams. Even at that tender age, and continuing on through childhood, exposing children to people and cultures from around the world helps to bridge that gap. With time, children will grow to understand that there are multiple ways of viewing and experiencing the world, and that no one way is the “right” way.
Reading stories from around the world is one way to help children to understand other places, people, and cultures. As part of Big Heart World’s Global Citizenship unit, we’ve adapted folk tales that originated with cultures from each continent. Each tale teaches us something about the people who told the story originally. Read them with your child, talk about the story’s origins, and enjoy the associated activities to help your child become a global citizen.