Big Heart World: Global Citizenship (Unit 9)


“If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”  — Anthony Bourdain

“Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”  — Barack Obama 

Global citizenship is a BIG idea for all of us! What does it mean to be part of a family, a community, and a WHOLE world? How can we be good citizens of of our planet? 

Thinking about the ideas of global citizenship with children will help them learn be inclusive friends, flexible thinkers, and better stewards of our planet for a lifetime.

Global citizens recognize that we are all living here together on the Earth, and that we are all truly more alike than we are different. Global citizens understand that the world is an enormous community, filled with people of all different cultures, religions, and ways of living, whose decisions impact one another and the Earth as a whole. As global citizens, it is our responsibility to take care of the planet we call home, and all of the people who live here.

To think of themselves as citizens of the world, children will need to access all of the Big Heart World skills that we learned starting in Unit 1: Children will have to know themselves and feel a sense of belonging; they will need to empathize with others; they will need to be good friends, solve problems, and use their voices to stand up for what is right — for themselves and for others.

As children explore the activities, books, music, and other content related to “global citizenship,” they will start to understand that they are an important part of a global community that is large and diverse, and extends far beyond their immediate environment. They will see similarities and celebrate differences among the world’s people, use their empathy skills to identify with others, and use their problem solving skills to work to achieve solutions to big challenges like climate change and human rights. They will see that we are all interconnected, and that their actions can affect others across the globe.

As global citizens, you and your children will be working to make the world a better place for themselves, their communities, and for people around the world.

Sing and Dance Along to "Share a Smile"

“Share A Smile” by Mireya Ramos and Shae Fiol and performed by Flor De Toloache helps us celebrate global diversity and encourages us to spread kindness.

Visit the web page to find activities to play along with the song. 


Featured Big Heart Play: Read Stories from Around the World to Explore Global Citizenship

The Enormous Turnip (Europe)
Why the Cheetah's cheeks are stained with tears
Why the Cheetah's Cheeks Are Stained With Tears (Africa)
The Two Frogs who Hop between Osaka and Kyoto (Asia)
Rainbow Serpent2
The Rainbow Serpent (Oceania)
How the Beetle Got Her Gorgeous Coat
How the Beetle Got Her Gorgeous Coat (South America)
The First Fire
The First Fire (North America)

Read to Learn: Global Citizenship Books

Learn about global citizenship through stories!

Read along to learn, and use the Big Heart World discussion prompts to get the conversation going with your child about the big themes in the stories!

Thank you to First Book for generously sharing its book recommendations with the Big Heart World community. 

Eligible teachers can follow the links to find discounted versions of the books on the First Book Marketplace. Parents and other caregivers can find the book at First Book’s shop.