Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center
Social Studies



Karon Downing, Kelly Walsh High School, Casper, WY

AMERICAN EXPERIENCES ABROAD - AN INTERVIEW

Appropriate for grades 10-12.

OVERVIEW:  Young people rarely realize how much other nations
impact the United States.  With foreign trade being so
controversial, students need an opportunity to examine a broad
spectrum of information about our complex relationships with
overseas friends and foes.

PURPOSE:  In most U.S. communities you can find people who have
visited, worked in, or served military time in many foreign
countries.  These individuals are a valuable source of
information.  Students interviewing such people leads to a
surprising variety of information and perspectives.

OBJECTIVES:  Students will be able to:

 1.  Define culture

 2.  Describe examples of what causes cultural differences

 3.  List steps in a good interview

 4.  Locate nations mentioned on a world map

ACTIVITIES:  In this activity I ask students to seek out someone
to interview about their experiences in a foreign country.  I
direct them to ask for information such as:

 1.  During what years were you in the foreign country/countries?

 2.  What local customs do you most remember?

 3.  How was this nation most different from the U.S.?

 4.  How were the people most like the people in the U.S.?

 5.  What were the attitudes of the people toward the U.S.?

 6.  What was the climate & weather like?

 7.  In what kind of houses did people live?

 8.  How much of the society seemed rich?  -poor?

 9.  How did people make a living?

10.  What were the dominant religious groups?

11.  What political events most concerned the local people during
     your stay in their country?

In class, I encourage students to brain-storm and add other
questions.  Also, the people they interview usually talk a great
deal about many topics.  People usually enjoy discussing their
experiences overseas.

RESOURCES/MATERIALS NEEDED:  School library facility

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:  This activity gives students opportunities
to improve research skills, increase knowledge about other
nations, and to more fully understand the U.S. role in the world. 
I most enjoyed students having an opportunity to speak to the
class.  They "showed off" their creativity by making posters of
maps to show the class the location of the country they spoke of. 
Students brought in clothing and crafts of the nation.  Some young
people even cooked food from the area.

Students show so much enthusiasm about learning from each other,
their experiences are so positive with this activity, they seem
more open to learn about international issues in the future.


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Click here to return to OFCN's Academy Curricular Exchange

Click here to return to OFCN's Academy
Click here to return to OFCN's Main Menu

----------------------------------------------------------------------

John Kurilecjmk@ofcn.org