Global Updates from World View


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Start a Global Book Club at your School

World View believes that teachers and students greatly benefit from the practice of reading.  Educators should encourage elementary, middle, and high school students to read outside the classroom in order to enhance literacy, build vocabulary, and learn more about the world!


We consider reading  and thinking critically about what is read to be an essential skill of a 21st century educator. Reading books, articles, and opinion pieces about world regions or global issues will enhance your knowledge of the world. Remind your students that while reading is fun, it can also be challenging. Part of the joy of reading is working through a difficult text or complicated issue. All that hard work is sure to pay off!

Starting a Book Club

At its most basic level, a book club is a collection of peers who read the same book and then get together to talk about it. These groups of book lovers are becoming very popular, so it's no surprise you're thinking about starting one at your school. It's easy, lots of fun, and students learn! Here are some tips on how to get a club started:

The first step is to talk to others at your school who like to read and see if they want to get together to read and discuss a good book. If everyone you talk with brings one other person, you'll have a big enough club in no time! You can also put up posters advertising your club to gain a wider group of members. Post flyers at your school in order to reach out to more students.

Attendance can be a big deal with clubs just starting out. Make sure your students are dedicated to reading the books and coming to the meetings. You should decide if members who haven't finished the book yet are welcome to the discussion; they might steer the discussion off-track, and you want people there who have actually read the books!

Eight to twelve people is about the right size for a good club. Since some students may not be able to make every meeting, you can still have a good conversation with a couple of missing members. If you have more than twelve, it's hard to let everyone speak (book clubs function better as a conversation, rather than having people raise their hands as they may in the classroom).   


Once you have your club, lay down some simple rules to keep things running smoothly. How are you going to choose your books? Some clubs only read one kind of book (i.e. international), while others like to read a wide range. The teacher moderator might want to make one student the "Secretary" (or fulfill this role themself); he or she will keep track of book lists and send out reminders about meeting times and places.

You and your students will love the benefits of forming a book club, but it might also be hard work at first. If you want help getting things started, ask a parent, another teacher, or your school librarian for their assistance or advice. Good luck!

Running a Book Club

So you've found your group of students who are eager to start a book club. What's next?

1. When to Meet

The first thing you should decide is when to meet. Most groups find that once a month works out best. This gives you plenty of time to read the book you've chosen without putting pressure on your homework or other activities. Reading is usually fun, but no one likes to feel forced to plow through a long book just to meet a deadline. Some groups meet once every two weeks, but keep in mind that the books can't be too long if people only have fourteen days to read them. You also need to pick a set time to meet. It can be tough working around the busy schedules of everyone in the group, but you can usually find a couple of hours when everyone is free. Once you have a time, stick with it! Kids should let their families know that the book club is an important activity for them; most parents will respect their kids' priorities and will help them fit their schedules around it.

2. Where to Meet

Once you have a set time to meet, you need a place. Your school media center, cafeteria, or an available classroom are all good options.   


3. What to Bring

Your books, of course! And snacks are almost as important as books for any good book club, so try asking students to share the responsibility of bringing something to eat, preferably healthy choices, like fresh fruit or chips and salsa.   


4. Who Leads The Discussion

Another part of the book club to consider is the way the discussion is going to go. It's helpful to have one person lead the discussion, so some groups have the person who proposed the book write some questions and get the conversation started. You can also have each member come up with a few questions of their own and go around the group. Don't be afraid of using outside help! Find a book club guide for your book online and use those questions to start the discussion. Another possibility is for the teacher to lead the discussion until the group gets the hang of it. Sometimes it can be tough to spark a good debate, so it never hurts to have a lot of questions up your sleeve!

Once your discussion is rolling, you need to keep it on track. Remind kids to ground their comments in the text; if they have to point out specific examples from the book, they probably won't ramble too much. You might have a couple of kids who add a lot to the conversation but also have a tendency to get off topic. The most important part of a book club is the book, so try hard to keep the discussion focused on what you're reading and not Sally's new shoes. If a book club turns into a gossip group, it won't last long, but if it sticks to books, it'll be a big success.
Choosing What to Read
One of the most enjoyable - but difficult - parts of managing a book club is choosing the books to read. You want titles that aren't too hard or too easy and books that will be interesting for readers who like different things. You can only pick a small number of books, so make your choices count! Where can you find good selections?!

Probably the best place to start looking is on your members' bookshelves. If a student in your club has already read a book and liked it, there's a pretty good chance others will too. You'll want to read new books too, but there's nothing wrong with rereading an old favorite. You'll be surprised how many points your club will bring up that you never thought about before.

Sometimes it's risky to try a book that no one's heard of before, but by experimenting you might find a new favorite. If you're looking for new ideas, go to a library or bookstore and ask for suggestions. Librarians often have book club experience and can help you pick some books that will suit your club's needs.

The best way to make sure your club is happy with the book choices is to create a list and then vote on which ones you're going to read. The more information you have on each book (author, recommendations, previous reading experience, etc.), the easier it will be for your club to make a smart decision. Some clubs like to plan out their reading for a whole year, but others prefer to wait and only pick a couple of books at a time since their tastes can change. Remember: Choosing your books should be fun; make a good list and then enjoy the best part --- reading and discussing great books!!
Text adapted from www.kidsreads.com/index.asp 


Make Your Book Club Global

NC State University operates a virtual Global Book Club, which highlights three outstanding Young Adult novels each month. The novels are grouped thematically on a month-by-month basis, but educators are encouraged to choose novels to work with from any category at any time.   


The authors of the Global Book Club are experienced middle school teachers who offer numerous activities for you to try out with your classes. This interactive forum shares project results online and encourages readers to submit new activities that have been developed for the featured novels. You can contact them using their interactive form, Publish Your Projects. Check out others' projects using the View Projects link.   


This site also can be used to establish electronic dialogue between students around the world. Students are encouraged to send electronic journal entries to other students to initiate dialogue about the novels by way of email. If you are interested in having your class participate in such an activity, e-mail the site's webmasters.

For more information go to: www.ncsu.edu/globalbookclub 
Interested in Africa?
UNC African Studies Center
Lending Library for Educators

The African Studies Center has books and other materials available for teachers to borrow for their classes. Fiction and non-fiction works, for ages kindergarten through high school are available. To deepen understanding of the cultures and histories of African societies, the African Studies Center also offers classroom kits featuring sets of African-themed novels for student reading. These are available free of charge to N.C. teachers, and the African Studies Center will pay the shipping costs in both directions. To borrow any of these materials, please contact Stacey Sewall with your request. You can also visit their website (africa.unc.edu/outreach/index.asp) to search their collection of books and learn more about the classroom kits!  


A Whole New Take on a Global Book Club

From New Zealand to Brazil, India to Japan, thousands of readers around the world are coming together to tackle Margaret Atwood's Booker-prize winning novel The Blind Assassin through a global Twitter book club. Originator Jeff Howe, professor of journalism at Northeastern University in Boston, designed a monthly virtual meet-up for readers via Twitter. His book club, called 1book140, is global and participatory nature -- the crowd is in charge.


More than 2,000 people nominated almost 300 books for the club's first discussion. After The Blind Assassin was chosen, discussions started right away. Future titles will be selected according to a themes like contemporary history, horror, classic novels, etc.


Because this book club is truly global, even author Margaret Atwood got in on the action. After learning of the club's first choice she tweeted, "Gosh, thanks, Atlantic #1book140 voters! (Writhes bashfully). Would it be cheating if I joined in? Guess so ..." After much reader encouragement, Atwood went on to provide advice, updates, and information about her book for readers.


More than 5,000 readers have already joined the @1book140 club, with general discussions taking place under the hashtag 1book140, and more detailed analysis of the novel's sections under other hashtags (#1b140_1, #1b140_2, and so on).


The text of this article, Global book club launches on Twitter by Alison Flood, can be found on the Gaurdian website by following this link:  www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/01/global-book-club-launches-twitter

Interested in joining this truly global book club? Log in via Twitter or visit http://twitter.com 



Take Your Book Club One Step Further
Battle of the Books
Join America's Battle of the Books!

America's Battle of the Books is a reading incentive program for students in grades 3-12. Students read books and come together to demonstrate their abilities and test their knowledge of the books they have read. The competitions are similar in style to the Whiz Kids styles of competition, but the structure and format of the competitions may vary depending on the needs, resources, and personal preferences at various school sites or at the regional/state competition levels.  

America's Battle of the Books offers resources to students, parents, schools (public or private), librarians, home schools, and international schools.   


Resources include:

  • Questions to use in Battle of the Books competitions
  • Training DVD for Battle of the Books participants
  • Information on how to get started including a Starter Kit Membership
  • The "how to" in operating a battle in your area or at your school site
  • Listing of possible sponsors and resources
  • Contacts to support and increase your success at your battles
  • ABBA Membership (America's Battle of The Books Association)
  • Free technical support and information
  • Various types and grade level memberships

Membership is required to participate in America's Battle of the Books. The yearly membership fee depends on the grade(s) and level(s) of competition. Most of our resources are free, including the questions, but each school site, organization, or home school group must have a registered member of America's Battle of the Books Association (ABBA) in order to receive our services.    


How Does A Student Participate?

A student participates by reading from the book list provided for that year's America's Battle of the Books. Students may count "books" they have read before. However, they cannot count books that they have only seen on a video or a movie. They should keep a summary so they can review this information before their "Local Battle."  


Where Do The Students Get The Books?

School libraries may order copies of each book on the list. The book stores will also have them available. Teachers and librarians may order copies of each book on the list from wholesale distributor, Beyda for Books (800) 422.3932.    


When Do The Students Read The Books?

The school battles usually are held in March or April. Thus, students will have plenty of time to read the books during the school year. Reading through the summer is completely optional, but available to students.  


What Is The "Battle?"

A typical "Battle" is a full day tournament or game, like the College Bowl, in which students' teams earn points by answering questions about the books on the book list.    


Battle of the Books includes many international titles, such as: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Esperanza Rising, Boxes for Katje, Farewell to Manzanar, The Egypt Game, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, and more! Visit their website to learn more or view their book lists: http://battleofthebooks.org

Disclaimer: All resources are credited to their original sources through a link to the organization's website and original document. Some resources have been modified to fit the needs of readers of Global Updates.  

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 kinnaird@unc.edu 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.

websiteWorld View Launches
New Website!
Check out: worldview.unc.edu today to see information about World View, professional development programs, outreach services, and global education resources at your fingertips.


World View Spring Seminars
Save the date!


March 27-28, 2012
Latin America and North Carolina

March 28-29, 2012
Complexity and Vibrancy of Africa
StudyVisitsTravel Abroad with World View

Join World View for an unforgettable experience and gain knowledge to add global content to your teaching, make lasting global connections, and create a global learning environment for your students.  Applications now being accpeted for World View's Summer 2012 Study Visits to Senegal and Costa Rica.

For more information go to:

IEWInternational Education Week

International Education Week (IEW) is celebrated today in more than 100 countries to honor international education and exchange worldwide.  This initiative promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States. The worldwide celebration of IEW offers an opportunity to reach out to people of every nation and to develop a broader understanding of world cultures and languages.  

The IEW 2011 website iew.state.gov has been launched, and includes promotional materials, an interactive quiz, and opportunities to post and view planned events around the world.  In addition, IEW has a Facebook page and group, both of which can be accessed through the IEW website.     


All individuals and institutions interested in international education and exchange activities, including schools, colleges and universities, and community organizations are encouraged to participate.


World View believes that every week is International Education Week. Teachers in North Carolina's schools and colleges are educating students for a global society every day! 
WebFriendsWorld View - Rotary
Global WebFriends Program

World View arranges "e-pal" connections between Rotary Scholars living and studying abroad and North Carolina classes and schools.

Global WebFriend connections provide:

  first-hand accounts of life in another world region and culture

  correspondence from every region of the globe

  global content and context for any grade or discipline

  increased global awareness for both teachers and students

  concepts and curriculum supported by the North Carolina teaching standards 


To begin your new global connection, visit our program webpage at worldview.unc.edu/global-resources/rotary-webfriends/ 


Follow Global WebFriends on twitter @ twitter.com/GlobalWebFriend   

NCCSSSocial Studies Council Awards, Grants, and Scholarship
The NC Council for the Social Studies Awards Program seeks to recognize and honor achievements in Social Studies Education. Several awards are given at our Annual State Conference in February and others occur throughout the year.

NCCSS Student Teacher Scholarship 
The NCCSS offers a $1,000.00 scholarship to an undergraduate student in North Carolina who will be student teaching in social studies in 2012 or 2013.
Deadline: Dec 31, 2011.  


NCCSS Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year    
The NCCSS  recognizes exemplary teaching in the field of social studies at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. 
  Deadline: Dec 31, 2011.

NCCSS Teacher Grants

The NCCSS  provides grants of up to $1,000 to help teachers make an even greater impact in their classroom, school district, and community through innovative social studies programs.
Dec 31, 2011.

Applications and nomination forms are posted on the NCCSS website (ncsocialstudies.org/).
October 22, 2011:  Attend GEO-SATURDAY on from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.  

Get materials, tips, and ideas for celebrating Geography Awareness Week. There will be sessions on the Social Studies Essential Standards for elementary, middle, and secondary levels. Lunch is included with advance registration. There is NO REGISTRATION CHARGE, but you MUST preregister by October 12 to guarantee lunch.  Click here for more information and to access a registration form.


GAW 2011

November 13-19, 2011  

The theme this year is Geography: The Adventure in Your Community. Established by presidential proclamation in 1987, Geography Awareness Week is an annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs that encourages citizens young and old to engage in fun, educational experiences that draw attention to geo-literacy, the interconnectedness of our world and the importance of geography education.  Take a look at National Geographic's Geography Awareness Week site for teaching ideas and projects for the week of geography.      
GEEO Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) 
GEEO logo

Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO), a non-profit organization that runs professional development travel opportunities for teachers, is offering many different programs for the summer of 2012:  India/Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand/Laos/Cambodia, China, Russia/Mongolia/China, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa/Mozambique/Zimbabwe/Botswana, Morocco, Argentina/Uruguay/Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands, and Costa Rica. Space is limited! Book before November 15, 2011 to receive a discount. 


Educators can earn 3 graduate school credits and professional development credit while seeing the world.  The trips are 8 to 23 days in length and are designed and discounted to be interesting and affordable for teachers. GEEO provides teachers educational materials and the structure to help them bring their experiences into the classroom. The trips are open to all nationalities of current and retired K-12 and University educators. Educators may also bring along a non-educator guest.

Detailed information about each trip, including itineraries, costs, travel dates, and more can be found at www.geeo.org. 

Iraq  Beyond Conflict The Art, Literature, and Music of Iraq
November 12, 2011

Room 039, Graham Memorial Building

UNC-Chapel Hill

Today war, conflict, and oil dominate our conception of Iraq. Join us as we look at Iraq that exists beyond war, and see the tradition, the culture, and the history that define its people today. From the first civilizations of Mesopotamia and the rise of majestic Islamic empires to today's vibrant youth culture, the land that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates will spark your curiosity and redefine your conception of Iraq. The pioneers of modern mathematics, the forerunners of the Renaissance, and the modern symbol of cultural diversity - this is Iraq beyond conflict.   

Novelist Sinan Antoon, author of I'jaam

Singer and oudist Saadoun Al-Bayati
Visual Artist Lukman Ahmad  


Note:  K-12 teachers can earn 1.0 CEUs for participation and completion of pre- and post-workshop activities.  Resources will include online teaching materials on the art, music, literature, and history of Iraq.


The workshop is free, but registration is required.  Please contact Outreach Director Regina Higgins at  regina_higgins@unc.edu.


Sponsors: Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, UNC Department of History, UNC Honors Program
ChinaBriefingCountry Briefing: China
October 26, 2011
4:30-5:45pm EST
with Dr. Nick Didow, Associate Professor of Marketing and Global Business Project Faculty Leader

This introduction to doing business in China will provide an overview of China's economy, politics, history and social customs as they relate to doing business there, as well marketing management issues in the country.  The webinar is designed for the novice who has minimal knowledge or experience in China and is looking for a basic introduction to the country.

Access is free through Adobe Connect. Participants will need Internet access and a computer with speakers or headphones. Participation is free but limited. Visit www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/KI/ciber/bestPractices/.


UNC's Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) shares best practices in international business, business education and research in a series of webinars that provide professional development and a platform for online networking to share ideas and resources.
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