Review by Vanessa Aranda, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2019

Global Oneness Project

Captivating, cross-curricular stories increase cultural awareness

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Skills
  • Character & SEL
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
9–12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (4 Reviews)

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Pros: There's a variety of media from photo essays to films to VR experiences. Everything is aligned to national standards and the cross-curricular content means all teachers can find something useful.

Cons: Not every story has a lesson to go with it, and some lessons require extra scaffolding or differentiation for different levels and abilities.

Bottom Line: Teachers looking to enrich their curriculum with high-quality, thought-provoking videos and photos will find plenty of inspiration, but may need to create or fine-tune some lessons.

The culturally rich and inspiring Global Oneness Project stories fit into a wide range of content including geography, history, anthropology, environmental science, foreign language, journalism, photography and film, and English language arts. It's clear that Global Oneness does their homework on these resources, so teachers can trust their introducing students to stories backed by well-developed materials. Since content can be accessed on any device, resources can be used for whole-class instruction or collaborative group and individual activities and assignments in traditional, distance learning, or flipped-classroom settings. Short documentaries range from four to 30 minutes, which make them easy to preview and integrate. Download the app on your phone and conveniently watch videos on-the-go. Teachers can create a personalized library based on their choice of topics or courses and save their favorite content.

While not all content has accompanying lesson plans, those that do involve impressive depth and critical thinking. Lessons go beyond recall or simply analyzing one source; instead, they incorporate and provide additional resources and ask students to grapple with meaningful questions and connect with current events. The lessons are probably best used as supplements or extensions to the core curriculum. For example, the “Repairing the Fabric of Democracy” lesson focuses the lesson on the article, “"Five Habits to Heal the Heart of Democracy," but also provides an additional article and video clip that enhances the guided discussion and writing prompts. Topics like young voter apathy, community involvement, and the 2016 elections are woven thoughtfully throughout the lesson. This lesson is downloadable in English or Spanish. Perhaps most impressive (and maybe a little daunting) is the short film Earthwise, which has a full 75-page film discussion guide. Like any lesson, teachers are free to skim and choose whatever content they want to incorporate from this massive guide.

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The Global Oneness Project produces high-quality digital stories for classrooms. The stories range from short videos and films to photo essays to articles to virtual reality experiences, and each offers culturally diverse, inspiring content that helps build knowledge as well as empathy. Many stories include a lesson plan aligned to the Common Core State Standards and/or Next Generation Science Standards. The topics address global themes such as cultural sustainability, architectural heritage, changing ecosystems, community, and language. Users can search for lessons by subject, media type, theme, or standard. The lesson plans all follow the same structure, which includes background information, themes, estimated time, materials, and procedures as to how to engage students. The instructional strategies vary from lesson to lesson; however, writing and discussions are the key elements of the curriculum throughout. 

The content is free and geared towards high school and college students, but can be adapted for middle school and elementary levels. Many videos have subtitles available in English and Spanish, and some also have French available. Content can be accessed via computer, tablet, or smartphone, but the most complete experience is best accessed via computer. With a focus on character study and multiple perspectives, students connect deeply with content and expand their world view.

The stories and lesson plans provide students with opportunities to explore global themes and make both personal and interdisciplinary connections. The lessons build on prior knowledge and encourage students to see beyond their immediate surroundings and make connections with other people and cultures. The guided questions and writing prompts bring context to each topic and help kids develop empathy and understanding for the subjects at hand. Each lesson helps students develop critical-thinking and communication skills, and there's a special focus on using evidence to support a position in writing. Subtitles in English, Spanish, and sometimes French expand the reach of the videos to not only different learners, but also world language curriculums. Teachers may need to modify (or just create) lessons to adapt to different levels or abilities. Still, the stories themselves -- even without accompanying lesson plans -- are at a level of polish and quality that's rare and easy for any classroom to incorporate.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The artfully told stories invite students to connect with content, ask questions, and expand their world view. Teachers have ample opportunity to craft lessons that'll further drive engagement.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Short films, VR, photo essays, and articles combined with well-designed lessons support cross-curricular content rooted in SEL and humanism. Curriculum is aligned to the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Many resources include detailed lesson plans. Subtitles in different languages and computer, tablet, and smartphone options make the high-quality content more available. Scaffolded or differentiated lessons would add to accessibility.


Common Sense Reviewer
Vanessa Aranda Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 4 reviews) (4 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Mary Ellen N. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Meaningful resources for teaching
Honestly, the most important contribution to my classroom from GO Project products is that they INSPIRE my students. Bringing in that outside voice can be so refreshing (especially at the end of a long MI winter!). There is a liminal quality to the videos, photoessays and curricular guide that is approachable at many levels. I came to the conversation cards with a little bit of skepticism, but I have seen that my students WANT to be asked these tender questions. I have had very excellent ...
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