You’ve assigned the translation worksheets and the what-did-you-do-over-holiday-break essays. And it’s great because you’ve got them thinking about life in other parts of the world. But what’s next? If you’re like us at EF Tours, you’re constantly on the hunt for ways to bring students closer to the world at large. That’s why we thought a list of culture-boosting activities could be really helpful in a classroom, or for a travel club.
Grab a copy of the EF Journal
We hear great stories, tips, and insights from within our community of travelers, educators, and wanderers nearly every day. So, we’re sharing them with the world: cue the EF Journal. Within its pages, you can find fresh perspectives, fun activities, discussion topics, and more.
Do a Google Earth scavenger hunt
Exploring the world can start in the classroom. Find the coordinates for the world’s greatest wonders and hidden gems, then task your students with finding them on Google Earth, a free resource by Google that allows users to explore the world via satellite imagery. You can spice it up by including initial coordinates and some directions (move two blocks and then take a right), then asking them to describe the exciting new place they’ve discovered.
Host a music video watch party
Music aficionados, rejoice! Bring your favorite foreign language music videos, crowdsource some from your group, and have a music video marathon. Bonus points if your video includes elaborate dance routines to practice.
Lead a lesson on body language from around the world
We all know that different parts of the world speak different languages. But what we might forget is that the body language and gestures we use each day may have different meanings when we’re abroad, and vice versa. With a quick Google search, you can find out how body language is used around the world—and practice nonverbal communication with your students.
Play geography trivia
Play into your students’ competitive spirit with a little travel trivia—find some questions online, or make some of your own. Either way, a little competition never hurt anyone, right?
Hold an international flavor taste-test
Seaweed potato chips. Green Tea Kit Kats. Melon Fanta. The world is wide and the combinations of national treasures with unique international flavors are endless. Lucky for your students, many of these oddball flavors can be ordered online. Just get a unique assortment of flavored snacks and test them out—Oreos are a good place to start since they come in a variety of flavors, they’re low-cost and easy to order online, and frankly, universally loved.
Try a suitcase challenge
Put your packing skills to the test. Tightly pack a suitcase with funny items, then time your students on how quickly they can unpack and then re-pack it themselves. To keep it interesting, keep a scoreboard or play for small prizes.
Have a Carnival celebration
Carnival: It’s feathers, not Ferris wheels; costumes, not corn dogs; brass bands, not bumpy rides. It’s an annual festival of dancing, masks, and parades that is celebrated in over 20 countries around the world, including Brazil, Italy, and Jamaica—and now in your classroom. Explore the importance of Carnival in various regions and maybe have celebration of your own.
Need more ideas? Here are a few to get you started.
- Do a local photography challenge
- Have a souvenir show and tell
- Lead an origami lesson
- Take a group cooking class
- Watch a foreign language TV show
- Try a local foreign restaurant
- Pair up with pen pals
- Explore the Guggenheim, virtually
- Create travel bucket lists
- Have a Chinese New Year celebration
- Watch a themed documentary as a group
- Hold a Día de los Muertos celebration