Global Citizenship Digital Project for 2nd Graders Module 3 Unit 3 Activity 1

Project Theme: Global Citizenship

Project Goals:

1. Students discuss and define global citizenship

2. Students identify and discuss problems facing the world and provide research-based solutions. (examples of problems may include: ethnocentrism, climate change, etc.)

3. Students work in groups to choose a problem and collaborate to creatively demonstrate engagement with and comprehension of the theme: global citizenship.


21st Century Skills Being Developed per Project Goal include: (all information is coming from Partnership for 21st Century Learning)

1.(Communication, Critical thinking, Information/media/technology skills, Collaboration)

2.(Communication, Critical thinking, Collaboration)

3.(Communication, Critical thinking, Interdisciplinary themes – global issues, Cross-disciplinary themes, Problem solving, Creativity)


So what is global citizenship?

  • Global citizenship is the concept that as communication and connections between people, nations, and continents grow, our actions will have consequences not just locally but nationally and even internationally. As a result, we are all citizens of the world. And as such, we should not just consider our localities in important decisions but the rest of the world, too (IDEAS for global citizenship, n.d.).

Why should we use project based learning?

  • According to BIE last updated in 2018, project based learning is useful because:
    • PBL makes school more engaging for students.
    • PBL improves learning.
    • PBL builds success skills for college, career, and life.
    • PBL helps address standards.
    • PBL provides opportunities for using technology while learning.
    • PBL makes teaching more enjoyable and rewarding.
    • PBL promotes educational equity.
    • PBL connects students and schools with communities and the real world.


Let’s Get Started with our Task Goals! 

 1.  Using the population simulator provided by the teacher, each member of the group can use his/her computer to define/analyze how changing the relationships between producers, herbivores, primary consumer, and secondary consumers affects the food chain. 

    •  This should work on communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and information/media/technology skills.

  2. As a group and using the information provided from the simulation and the worksheets, we can create our own food chain using sea life from the Pacific Ocean and answer basic questions about the relationships between producers, herbivores, omnivores,, and carnivores.

    •   This should work on communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.

  3. As a group and using our food chain as well as resources provided by the teacher, we can explain why the bleaching of the coral reefs in Japan is such an issue not just for Japan but also for the rest of the world. During this time, we can discuss and define what a global citizen is. In addition, we can brainstorm at least one possible solution and discuss how to implement it as a group. 

    • This should work on communication, critical thinking, collaboration, interdisciplinary themes (global issues), problem solving, and creativity, and cross-disciplinary themes.


Target Group:

This project is designed for second graders in an elementary school in Japan. The average age of the students’ is 8. As a result, this project is simplified for this age group. To make it more challenging if you’re working with another age group, I’ve included possible project additions during my description of project implementation.


Time Frame:

The expectation is that this project would be completed over the course of three 40 minute class periods. You can of course expand the project to take more time or up the difficulty. This project could easily take four or five 40 minute class periods if you added some additional challenges.


Subjects Focused Upon:

This project is a cross-disciplinary project encompassing science and social studies. The students will be using a scientific process and style of investigation to create solutions to the global problem of coral reef bleaching.

  • I created all worksheets used in this explanation as well as the rubric used.


Phase 1: Using the population simulator

1. The teacher should define and talk about what each of these key words mean making sure to pass out the worksheet prior to the explanation. This is the vocabulary used in the simulator.

  • Producer
  • Herbivore
  • Omnivore
  • Carnivore (called top predator in simulation)
  • Food Chain
  • Survive
  • Go Extinct

***If you would like to make this more challenging, make students look up and/or cite what these terms mean from an online search.


2. The teacher should then assign groups of four to five based on the learning profile cards- making sure to make groups with students who will compliment each other. Ideally, all groups would be balanced for gender, academic achievement, and skills (digital skills, critical thinking skills, emotional empathy skills). If you want to know more about learning profile cards, check out this page Student Centered Learning – Testing and Assessment .

  • Groups of 4-5 are ideal. Psychological studies indicate that when a group is larger than five members the Ringlemann effect seems to take hold. The Ringlemann effect is when individuals feel less responsibility/urgency to complete a project in groups of 6 or more, or less capable when completing the project in groups of 3 or less (Rond, 2012).

***You should explain why you’re putting them in groups of 4-5. When they have to create their own groups later on in life, this might allow them to more effectively manage group projects.


3. Once students are in groups, go over rules/expectations when using the computer. Then use a projector to model how to use the simulator having students fill in the answers to the first example on the worksheet. Make sure to discuss your expectations for answering questions on the worksheet. Check out the worksheet in this link: .

  • Using the computer to do a computer simulation about how the food chain works will help develop the students` technology skills and also provide more concrete examples of the more abstract food chain process.
  • This is the project simulator:  (Annenberg Learner, 2017)
  • Modeling how to use the simulator and then troubleshooting issues that arise will give students’ a positive experience with technology.


4. Tell students to divide the worksheet up among group members giving each member one simulation to run and record.

  • If you have different sized groups, you can eliminate one of the examples from the worksheet. The point is to give students practice with using the simulator, provide a concrete example of an abstract process, and promote collaboration.
  • If one student finishes faster than the others, encourage them to help their friends. Let’s promote collaboration and communication!


5.  Have them submit their work at the end of class. Congratulations, we’ve finished the first class period!


Phase II: Create your own food chain as a group where all the species survive and explain why.


1. Have students push their tables back together and return to their groups from the previous class. Then quickly review the key words and food map finding results discussed in Phase I. You can use a projector to quickly go over the answers and key take-ways from the examples, that the students’ generated.

  • Since we have assistants at my school, the assistant would make sure to be available to students who were not there for the previous class. In another school, you might have to charge one of the strongest groups members or yourself with explaining what happened during the previous class.


2.  Now, give your students 10 minutes to brainstorm/create their own food chain where all animals survive using the worksheet about sea animals and plants in the Pacific ocean.

  • Make sure to review the rubric before starting.
  • Provide an example using land animals on the board.
  • Make sure to walk around to encourage all members to contribute their ideas and make sure the students’ are making effective use of their time.
  • Generating a food chain involves using critical thinking skills since they have to read the information on the handout and also use the model of the land animals provided to create their own food chain. It also promotes collaboration since all group members will be talking about why certain animals should go into the producer category while other animals go into other categories (Partnership for 21st Century Learning, n.d.).


3. After the 10 minutes is up, check all groups worksheets, and then give them some poster board to create and color the group food chain. Two members should focus on this portion. The other members should focus on answering the 3 questions concerning relationships between produces, herbivores, omnivores, top predator.

  • This teaches them to manage time wisely and effectively communication with their teammates to finish all work.
  • The questions test the students’ critical thinking skills.
  • Students who aren’t as strong might be more drawn to the creative portion of the project where they will further solidify the abstract concept of the food chain by creating an example and decorating it (Partnership for 21st Century Learning, n.d.). . This will help build self-confidence.
  • If the students creating the food chain finish early, they are to help answer the three questions.


4. When class is finished, the groups will hand in their food chains and answers to the questions.


Phase III. Solving Global Issues

1. Have students gather back into their groups and briefly review an effective food chain that leads all animals to survive. Also, go over answers to the three questions you asked during the last class. You can even have the groups grade their own answers giving the groups more ownership of their work.

  • Use strategies provided in Phase II if a student was absent.


2. Talk about being a global citizen and the responsibilities that come with it.

  • This is an interdisciplinary issue (since its global) and encourages us to think about things from multiple perspectives (Partnership for 21st Century Learning, n.d.).


2. Now, hand out the worksheet about coral bleaching and read/discuss together coral bleaching.

  • Make sure to ask leading questions to help encourage critical thinking for step 3. Examples of leading questions would be:
    • What animals/plants need coral reefs to live?
    • Are these animals/plants producers, herbivores, primary consumers, or secondary consumers?
    • What other countries nearby might be affected by a food chain breakdown?
    • Is it just Japan’s problem? Remind them of global citizenship.
      • This reinforces interdisciplinary themes or ideas of the world as interconnected (Partnership for 21st Century Learning, n.d.).
    • What are possible solutions to this problem? Make sure you have one solution you can model if the students can’t generate one during reading/discussion time.
      • We are teaching them how to problem solve by modeling the process of how you problem solve.
      • This brings social studies into what was previously a science lesson. This encourages students to use the cross-disciplinary process to generate solutions. To further explain, we are using one subject’s investigation methods (science) to create a real life solution for a global problem (social studies) (Partnership for 21st Century Learning, n.d.)..


3. Have students explain on the worksheet what and why coral reef bleaching is dangerous as well as create solutions for stopping and/or reducing coral bleaching.

  • This assignment encompasses critical thinking, interdisciplinary themes, cross-disciplinary themes, problem solving, collaboration, and even communication in a handy, dandy project based group format.


4. Have students hand in the assignment. Everyone is finished!

*** If you find the students really struggled with the comprehension questions, you can review them during the next class and allow groups time to fix the answers for partial credit.


Here is the rubric for evaluating the project.


Insufficient Basic Proficient  Outstanding 

Using the Food Chain Simulator 

The student did not participate in the food chain simulator activity. The student participated in the food chain simulator activity but had many major and minor errors on the data collection worksheet. The student participated in the food chain simulator activity but had many minor errors and/or 1 or 2 major errors on the data collection worksheet. The student participated in the food chain simulator activity and had no major errors and few minor errors on the data collection worksheet.


Food Chain Poster


The group did not create a food chain poster.

The group created a food chain poster but had many major (putting an animal in the incorrect category) and many minor errors (like spelling).  

The group created a food chain poster and had no major errors (putting an animal in the incorrect category) few minor (like spelling) to no errors.

The group created a food chain poster, decorated  it in an appealing way using markers and other tools, and had no major errors (putting an animal in the incorrect category) and few to no minor errors (spelling).

Food Chain Relationship Comprehension

The group did not give any answers for the food chain relationship questions. The group gave gave answers for the food chain relationship questions but showed only partial comprehension for many questions.  

The group gave in-depth, detailed answers for most questions and partial comprehension for only one question.


The group gave answers to the food chain relationship questions that were in-depth, detailed, and showed full comprehension.

Group Participation and Collaboration The student did not participate in any group discussions or work.  

The student participated in discussions a little bit and did some of the group work.


The student regularly participated in discussion and did all work asked of them for the group.

The student helped lead and/or encourage other students during discussion and did all work asked of them and/or helped others complete their work.


Use of Time 

The student was frequently out of his/her seat, distracted others, and did no work.  

The student did little work and was frequently out of his/her seat and distracting others.


The student was usually  on task, rarely out of their seat, and rarely distracted others


The student was on task and/or helped encourage others to stay on task.


Explaining Coral Reef Bleaching and Its Affect on the Environment

The group did not provide any answers to questions about coral reef bleaching and its affect on the environment. The group provided mostly incorrect or answers that were quoted directly from the passage about coral reef bleaching and its affect on the environment indicating limited comprehension. The group provided mostly correct answers about coral reef bleaching and its affect on the environment. They also had some answers in their own words and some were direct quotes from the passage indicating partial comprehension. The group provided mostly correct answers about coral reef bleaching and its affect on the environment. Furthermore, the answers were in their own words and indicated full comprehension.

Solutions to Coral Reef Bleaching


The group did not provide or describe any solutions for coral reef bleaching.

The group provided a solution to coral reef bleaching that indicated little to no comprehension or had little explanation for implementation of the plan indicating limited comprehension.  

The group provided one solution to coral reef bleaching as well as described some steps to implement the solution demonstrating partial comprehension.


The group provided two or more solutions for coral reef bleaching a well as described the steps to implement the solution demonstrating full comprehension.





Annenberg Learner. (2017). Ecology labs [Food chain software]. Retrieved from

BIE. (2018). Why project based learning? Retrieved from

IDEAS for global citizenship, (n.d.). What is global citizenship.Retrieved from

New Tech (Producer). (February 23, 2018). The building blocks of project-based learning. Deeper Learning Series. Retrieved February 23, 2018 from

Partnership for 21st Century Learning. (n.d.) Framework for 21st Century Learning. Retrieved from

Rond, Mark D. (2012, August 6). Why less is more in teams. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from



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