Global Updates From World View
September 2010

Show Me the Money!


Or better yet, show your students money from around the world.  Understanding and integrating global currency and economics is just one way to bring the world to your students.   World View has developed three Foreign Currency Kits for educators to borrow.  Each Foreign Currency Kit contains both paper currency and coin.  Members of the UNC community have contributed and in each kit there are over 35 countries represented from 5 continents.  Some currency is new, while other bills and coins are old and well worn, and some currency is no longer in circulation!  

There are many ways to use the currency in the Kit.  Incorporate it as part of a more comprehensive lesson on countries of the world or global issues, or use it to add a global dimension to a mathematics, social studies, or even an art lesson, and more.  Each Kit also contains four reference books, a world map, and suggested activities.  We ask that educators contribute lesson plans and feedback so that World View can continue to improve these Kits and make them more useful to educators. 

North Carolina educators may borrow a Kit for up to three (3) weeks.  There is no cost, but we ask that you pay for USPS Priority Mail shipping to return the Kit to World View in Chapel Hill.  Kits are available on a first come, first served basis, but we will do our best to honor dates of your choosing.  For more information on what’s in a Foreign Currency Kit and instructions on how to borrow a kit please visit:

Below are suggested educator activities for using foreign currency in your classroom and the Kits contains additional educator activities and lesson plans.  Even if you do not have examples of foreign currency, use the Internet to find and print images of coins and bills from many countries.   See additional resourceful web sites below.

*If you reside outside of North Carolina and are interested in borrowing a Kit please email Julie at with your request. 

Suggested Activities for Elementary Educators

1.  Where in the World?
Using the Internet, find and print images of several coins and bills from many countries.  Ask your students where the coins and bills are from?  Divide the currency among students and have them locate on a map the countries of origin of each currency.  Lay out a large world map and have students take turns placing the coins and bills over the currency’s country of origin.  Give students magnifying glasses and ask them to describe the currency.  Ask what colors, characters, people, or animals they see?

"Very easy to use, nicely organized and labeled"

Teacher who borrowed test Kit in the Spring of 2010

2.  Who needs Money and Why?
Ask students why they think we need money and if they have ever purchased something on their own?  Give students a brief history of how and why we use money and explain that different coins and bills have a different value. 

3.  Design Your Own Currency
Give students paper, markers or other art materials and have students design their own bill and/or coin for the US or for a fictitious country.  Ask students what colors they would use and why?  Who or what characters, people, places, figures would be represented and why?  What would their coins say and why?

4.  Sell that Country
Using the Internet, find and print images of several coins and bills from many countries.  Give each student a piece of currency.  After the student has identified the origin, have the student create a flyer or poster to market the country as a tourist or travel destination.  Ask student where they would travel to and why?  What would entice travelers to a particular country or region of the world and why?

Suggested Activities for Middle Grade Educators

1.  Introducing Currency and Country of Origin
Using the Internet, find and print images of several coins and bills from many countries.  Divide the currency among students and have them identify the country of origin and name of currency using the internet or the books provided.  Ask the students to research who or what is on their coin/bill and why?  Students can report back to the class on where their currency is from.  Ask them the value of each coin or bill.  These can be simple presentations to the class or ask students to use Power Point or another tech tool to introduce this currency to the class.  Afterward have each student place their currency on the map, identifying the correct longitude and latitude of that country.
2.  Practicing Exchange Calculations
Give each student three pieces of currency.  Using current exchange rates have them calculate which piece of currency has the greatest value and least value in US dollar equivalents.

3.  Exchange Rate Race
Divide class into six teams.  Give each team an envelope of money from various countries and see which team can give the USD equivalent first. Teams must identify country of origin, current exchange rates, and either use an internet tool for the calculations or practice their own math skills!

4.  Design Your Own Currency
Give students cardboard, markers or other art materials and have students design their own bill and/or coin for the US or for a fictitious country.  Ask students what colors would they use and why?  Who or what characters, people, places, figures would be represented and why?  What would their coins say and why?

5.  Planning a Family Vacation
Give each student a piece of currency.  After the student has identified the origin, have the student plan a family vacation to that country.  Have the student research the country and it’s climate to identify when would be the best time to travel there, what cities or locations would they travel to and why, and what would they pack for a trip to this country.  Have the student create an itinerary for the journey.  The student can also research what would be needed to travel to that country.  Ask if the family would need passports, visas, immunizations, etc?  The students can report back to the class with a multimedia presentation.

6.  The Life of Money
Write a story about the life of a piece of money – where was it made, what materials is it made of and why, where has it traveled, what was it spent on?  [Contributed by Jeanne Munoz, Magellan Charter School]

7.  Counterfeit Funds
What does counterfeit mean? When and why in history have cultures and governments counterfeited money?  Why do individuals counterfeit money?  Have students examine the dangers of counterfeiting to both an individual and an economy and what measures countries take to prevent counterfeiting.  How has technology helped or hurt counterfeiters?  Do some countries need to take greater measures? This can also lead to a discussion on counterfeit goods and how this harms manufacturing.  If you are borrowing a Foreign Currency Kit or have samples of your own, have students look at the money in the kit and talk about which currencies might be the most difficult to counterfeit and why?  [Contributed by Michael Elder, Onslow County Schools]

Suggested Activities for High School Educators


1.  Symbols
Using the Internet, find and print images of several coins and bills from many countries.  Divide the money into 4-5 sets of different currency per team of students.  Instruct the teams to identify all the symbols associated with the various currencies.  Have the teams create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the different symbols among currencies. What do all currencies have in common? What distinguishes one from the other? What elements on the currency indicate value, tradition, history, modernity? Have the students research the various symbols associated with the corresponding culture or country. Ask the students to recreate the currency based on new or other symbols identified through their research.

2.  Evolution of Currency
Give each student a piece of currency and have them research what items were used to barter for goods and services prior to the use of paper bills (i.e. shells, seeds, knives…).

3.  Trade Routes 
Identify the origin of a piece of currency and explore that country’s trade routes.  Ask students to research what the country’s primary exports are and where are they going.  Also, ask what the country’s primary imports are, and from where are they coming?  

4.  Competition
Using the information found above, ask students to dig deeper and find out who are the biggest competitors in the export market?  What percentage of the market does this country claim, what about others?  Students can practice using graphing techniques to report this information back to the class. 

5.  Religion on Money
Why is “In God We Trust” on U.S. money?  Do other countries’ monies have religious symbolism?  Have students research to discuss the history and significance of religious expressions or imagery on currency. [Contributed by Yolanda Barham, Wake County Schools]



Images of Currency from Around the World
Bank Note World:
Images of more than 16,000 pieces of paper money from around the world

Gallery of World Banknotes:
Images of thousands of banknotes from around the world.

World Currency Museum:
The World Currency Museum is a virtual museum for the history of money and currency. Students can look through current exhibits of money.  They can also search the collection of digital images of currency by period or country.

WWW Directory of Paper Money:  
Links to currency collector’s websites, and more.

Currency Converters    

Sites with Educator Resources, including Lesson Plans or Other Classroom Activities
Council for Economic Education, EconEdLink:
A source of classroom tested, Internet-based economic and personal finance lesson materials for K-12 teachers and their students.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Education Resources
Online resources from The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis include curriculum resources and activities (some even integrated for SMART Board technology), articles, and a two day online courses for high school students.  There is also a DVD lending library.  Recommended titles for videos to show in K-12 schools include: The Global Economy, Teaching Tools for Macroeconomics, Government and International Trade, and Decimals: The Fake Money Caper

The Foundation for Teaching Economics:    
The Foundation for Teaching Economics promotes excellence in economic education by helping teachers of economics become more effective educators. The site provides resources, activities, and lesson plans for teaching economics.

International Monetary Fund:
The IMF ensures the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to buy goods and services from each other. The website has activities for students, lessons, educator guides, videos, online games, and more.

Country Profiles
CIA World Fact Book:

The UN Cyber School Bus:

The World Bank Country data: 
The World Bank site gives official data and up to date statistics including GDP, life expectancy at birth, school enrollment, population growth and much more.  Users can access reports for region or country specific.

For Students
Euro Game:
Guess which coin comes from which country

Euro Kids’ Corner:
Information, games and quizzes about the euro

International Monetary Fund, For Students:
The IMF ensures the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to buy goods and services from each other. The website has activities for students, lessons, educator guides, videos, online games, and more.

International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce:   
The International Trade Administration was established to create prosperity by strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promoting trade and investment, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. The site gives information regarding U.S. international trade policy.  

U.S. Secret Service, Know Your Money
A national currency was adopted in 1862 to resolve counterfeiting problems. However, the national currency was soon counterfeited and circulated so extensively that it became necessary to take enforcement measures. Therefore, on July 5, 1865, the United States Secret Service was established to suppress the wide-spread counterfeiting of this nation's currency.  This website provides more information on the history and characteristics of U.S. currency.

"We learned about places we had not heard of!"

Teacher who borrowed test Kit in the Spring of 2010

Do you have information to share?

Do you have information that you would like to share with other educators across the state? You are welcome to submit interesting global education programs that are going on in your schools, announcements about global education seminars, new resources that others might find interesting, etc. Please email Julie at with your "update-worthy" items!

Reader Mailbag

If you have comments about any of the information contained in the Global Update, send us an email! Perhaps your comments will appear here in this new section of the Global Update.

World View at UNC-Chapel Hill provides information, resources, and announcements for educational purposes only. It does not represent an endorsement of organizations or point of view by World View or The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


NOTE: There is limited space available for the October 20-21, 2010 K-12 Symposium.

For more information, or
to register go to:

online World View's
Online Globalization Course:
October 7- November 17

Only 6 spaces left!

This 6-week online course immerses teachers and school administrators from all disciplines and grade levels in an intensive exploration of the rapid global changes in government, economics, environment and health, culture, and technology impacting our schools and communities, our country, and the planet. The goal of the course is to help K-12 educators become aware of the effects of globalization on our world, our country and especially our schools. By the end of the course, educators should be able to significantly contribute to curriculum planning and leadership to help faculty and students become more globally aware.

Registration for the Fall Online Globalization Course for K-12 teachers and administrators is $275 per NC educator, but only $225 for World View Partners.

For more information or to register go to:


New Free Online Resources for Educators

The Nation
announces the launch of a newly designed Educators Program. The Nation is an independent, strong-voiced and supporter of democracy. Twenty-four weekly teaching guides (available free) are currently posted. Go to to view teaching guides, to sign up for The Nation's Educator e-mail Newsletter, or to preview our pre-planned Learning Packs.


Through its interactive website, Reach the World enriches the school and afterschool curriculum by connecting classrooms to travelers around the globe. Reach the World (RTW) identifies volunteer travelers, matches them one-on-one with classrooms, manages rich-media content posted by these travelers, and delivers support and training to school and afterschool sites.  The National Geographic Society Education Foundation named RTW a Model Program in Geography Education, one of only six in the nation.

Reach the World partners with the U.S. State Department’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to engage a select group of its study-abroad scholars as volunteer correspondents for the RTW website. Each RTW traveler participates in three video conference calls and corresponds through the website with their class. Traveler articles are themed around essential questions from the National Council for the Social Studies, the Common Core State Standards for ELA and the New York State Social Studies Scope and Sequence for K-8. Reach the World’s website also hosts GeoGames, a set of interactive, online games that teach core geographic literacy.

For more information about Reach the World and how you can get your school community engaged visit our website ( or email


UNC Charlotte International Festival
Saturday, September 25
10:00a to 6:00p
UNC Charlotte, Barnhardt Student Activity Center


Festival to celebrate people, places, and culture displayed through booths arranged in a marketplace-style representing about 50 nations and ethnic groups. The festival will feature art, crafts, costumes, food, music and dance. The event will be held rain or shine.


The 25th International Festival of Raleigh
October 1-3, 2010
Raleigh Convention Center

Bring the whole family for a 3-day celebration of music, food, and culture from around the globe. Watch authentic ethnic dances from over 30 different cultures performed on the Main Stage. Stroll through the many Cultural Exhibits to learn about the rich history and traditions of different cultures. Shop the World Bazaars for crafts and taste your way around the globe with delicious food from the Sidewalk Cafes. Learn about traditional arts, crafts, and cooking from international teachers at the Demonstration Booth. Bring the kids to Sophia's Corner for face-painting, storytelling, games, and other fun activities.


Engaging Lifecycle of "Stuff" Lesson Plans from Facing the Future

Download Buy, Use, Toss for FREE

Students are surrounded by "stuff" - from blue jeans to the latest cell phone - in their everyday lives. With Buy, Use, Toss? A Closer Look at the Things We Buy, a comprehensive unit on consumption that is aligned with standards in all 50 U.S. states, your students will investigate the lifecycle of products as they do things such as:

  • Gain math and science skills while determining ways to reduce the carbon footprint of shipping blue jeans,
  • Engage in civic discourse during a discussion of how we dispose of our waste,
  • Develop corporate policies to protect workers and consumers, and
  • Gain media literacy skills while analyzing ads.

This resource, which includes a series of ten fully-planned lessons designed for grades 9-12, will lead your students through an exploration of the production and consumption of goods - a system called the materials economy. Students critically analyze the sustainability of the steps of this system, determining how consumption can benefit people, economies, and environments.

Download Buy, Use, Toss for FREE


China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power
Rob Gifford

Monday, Sept. 20, 5:30 p.m.
FedEx Global Education Center
UNC-Chapel Hill

NPR Shanghai correspondent Rob Gifford will discuss China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power, based on his book of the same name, at a free public lecture in Chapel Hill.

NPR Shanghai correspondent Rob Gifford first visited China in 1987 as a 22-year-old language student. He returned as NPR’s Beijing correspondent from 1999-2005 and traveled across China and Asia reporting for “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” He was NPR’s London correspondent from 2005 until he recently returned to China as Shanghai correspondent.

Gifford’s 2007 book tells of his 3,000-mile odyssey across China. He followed Route 312, the country's equivalent of U.S. Route 66, from Shanghai to its end on the border with Kazakhstan. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Gifford explored and spoke with people in the factory towns of the coastal areas, in the rural heart of China and in the Gobi Desert. The book describes the social and economic changes that are transforming China.

Gifford has reported from around the world for NPR. He was born and raised in the United Kingdom, where he worked at BBC World Service. He holds a BA in Chinese Studies from Durham University in the United Kingdom and an MA in regional studies (East Asia) from Harvard.

Seating is limited. RSVP to (mention “China Road RSVP” in subject line)

Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise
Kenan-Flagler Business School
Center for International Business Education and Research
Carolina Asia Center
Center for Global Initiatives
Office of the Provost
Phillips Ambassadors
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
UNC Global

American Experience from PBS

Whether you are an elementary, middle, or high school educator, if you teach social studies, you are a teacher of history.  Praised as the "finest documentary series on television" American Experience brings to life the compelling stories from our past that inform our understanding of the world today. American Experience Online has produced over 130 feature sites. These sites enable viewers to watch films online and encourage in-depth exploration of each film beyond the television screen. To find out more about American Experience and to review films, lesson plans, and more to use in your classroom, visit