Global perspectives are something everyone should have. Thanks to super fast transportation and instant connection via our devices, we quite literally have the world at our fingertips. As exciting as this new frontier is, it can be overwhelming (and scary) for students who haven’t gained global perspectives in their education as the world is becoming more and more globalised each and every day.
One of the best ways to help students prepare to interact in a global society is to allow them into the world, rather than confining them to the walls of the classroom. And, what better way to transport students than with books? The plus being their literacy skills are developing at the same time.
Below is a list of six books with worldwide perspectives that children around the world are reading right now (and why you should consider bringing them into your high school lessons now.)
Taught in Australia, Marsden’s novel demonstrates the power of a fighting spirit while acknowledging the fear of danger that resides deep in all of us.
Tomorrow when the world began, is the first in a series about a small group of teenagers who learn to fight back against an enemy force. They choose to fight back instead of living with their families in captivity. They fight a force that has taken over their town and the whole of Australia.
The series has sold millions of copies and a movie has been made of it too.
A Canadian classic, The Wars written by Findley honestly depicts the brutality of war while teaching how to “come to terms” with the world in a unique way.
A sensitive nineteen-year-old Canadian officer, finds himself in the nightmare world of trench warfare. It clearly pictures the chlorine gas and rotting corpses, and the terrors of the first world war.
A collection of short stories from Chile. Lillo brings an understanding of how different today’s world is from even just a century ago by revealing the “dangerous existence” of coal miners working in southern Chile.
The book is made up of 13 short stories describing the coal mines of Lota in Southern Chile, in the late 19th century. The people were exploited and reduced to simple beasts working in miserable conditions from dawn to dusk.
An autobiography by one of Egypt’s most influential writers, Taha Hussein. The Days is taught in the classroom because of its ability to communicate the importance of knowledge while simultaneously demonstrating the dangers of ignorance.
The books starts with the sounds and smells of rural Egypt through the eyes of a child. It tells of Hussein’s childhood and schooling in a small Egyptian village. The book definitely helps children gain global perspectives.
This is a novel taught regularly in Ghana and Nigeria. Things Fall Apart is a complex look at African traditionalism, offering a critical view at the “drawbacks of African and tribal masculinity.” It is a simple story of a young African man dominated by fear and anger,
Things Fall Apart is a popular novel. In the States more than two million copies have been sold, since 1959 when it was first published.
A true story from Indonesia, Rainbow Troops (or Laskar Pelangi, as it’s known in its native language) follows the events of ten Indonesian students and their teachers who learn the importance of concepts like sacrifice, dedication, optimism, and friendship.
This Indonesian bestseller, is written in the tradition of Slumdog Millionaire.
Ikal is a Elementary School student, on the Indonesian island of Belitong. Graduating from sixth grade is a major achievement. His school is constantly under threat of closure.
Ikal and his friends form a group called the Rainbow Troops – who are threatened by corrupt government officials and greedy corporations.
The book also has two hero teachers, and a barefoot student who’s a maths genius competing against wealthy academic students.
The beauty of bringing global perspectives through literature into your classroom is that it opens the door to the rest of the world. Inviting in important conversations, discussions and perspectives. Which are necessary for growth and success in today’s world.
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