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Globalization Economic and Cultural Inquiry Unit Print & Digital

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
114 PDF + 68 Google Slide pages + 30 PPT slides
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Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).


Explore everything about our world’s current era of globalization with an overview of economic systems and macroeconomic basics, the role of international organizations and free trade agreements, cultural diffusion, and multinational corporations in this eye-opening inquiry unit that's perfect for your Human or World Geography course.

This unit comes in both print PDF and digital for Google Slides.


Greatness is seeing one’s role in the world as part a larger story and era in history in order to affect it for good.

It's hard to believe how just 30 years ago most American clothes were actually made in America (now it's about 2%) or that Starbucks had under 100 locations (now they have over 30,000, half in other countries).

It's even harder to believe that the cheapest part of all this global reach are the transportation costs.

Guide your students through a wide variety of sources (from documentaries and maps to photo galleries and all sorts of data displays) as they grapple with the not-so-simple questions: "What has our world become?" and “Who really wins with all this globalization?”

You will set each of your students up for success in this high interest, multi-faceted inquiry-driven unit, regardless of ability, with highly scaffolded graphic organizers, skill sheets, and supplemental resources included at each step of the way.

Empower your students to become globally-aware citizens in this 4-week unit!

Included in this complete inquiry-driven unit:

Teacher Materials

  • Teacher Unit Overview with general notes, links, standards, and a pacing guide with standards (3 pages)
  • Daily Lesson Plans with step-by-step directions, planning tips, and lesson takeaway notes (19 pages total)
  • Detailed Answer Keys for each activity
  • Editable PPT file to assist in daily lessons with student prompts, images and each of the data displays
  • Student Unit Review and Skills handouts with self-checking questions and "I Can..." statements
  • Student Unit Notes sheet for building deep and nuanced mastery of concepts over the course of the unit using powerful graphic organizers
  • Student Skill Handouts that include Annotating a Text, Analyzing News Media Sources, Analyzing a Political Cartoon

Student Materials

  • Unit Notes: record and reflect on learning throughout the unit, both conceptually and map-based
  • Incoming Brainstorm: open unit with discussion of the unit's key concept, globalization
  • Globalization Pop Quiz: Kick off the unit with some eye-opening statistics and facts
  • Economic Systems Video Notes: gain a solid overview of systems and macroeconomics with guided notes for a Crash Course video
  • Picture This: review the main levels and types of global economic activity and match them up photos in a gallery walk exercise
  • International Organization: explore the major ways in which nations align and cooperate for economic, humanitarian, and cultural unity
  • Globalization Video Notes: gain a solid overview of globalization's history and future with guided notes for a Crash Course video
  • Cost of a T-Shirt: trace the global journey of a single t-shirt from cotton to doorstep
  • Trade and Technology: analyze a wide variety of maps and graphs for the ways the world has drastically changed in the last two generations
  • Two Million Minutes: compare the lifestyles and values of teenagers today in America, India, and China in this compelling documentary
  • Open Courseware: conduct first-hand research into the free high-quality education content that is available to anyone online
  • American Factory: witness the struggles of one Chinese manufacturing company open a factory in middle American in this powerful documentary
  • Cultural Diffusion: review the ways cultural aspects spread throughout the world and examine exactly how McDonald's and Starbucks became international powerhouses with global identities
  • Case Study: Skateboard Culture: dig into the underground subculture of skateboarding in Japan, an very American import, that's not very welcome
  • Political Cartoon & News Article Analysis: incorporate timely events with these templates that relate to the topics being studied with ideas for how to incorporate throughout the unit
  • Socratic Seminar Discussion: culminate learning with a deep conversation about what all this means for the future of the planet and for your students
  • Assessment: confidently assess with these short-answer and extending written response questions
  • Digital File: link to a Google Slides file with copies of all student sheets

Note on Resources Used

Many of the activities utilize video clips, news articles, and data displays that can be accessed free online at the time of this latest update. As for the two full-length documentaries, Two Million Minutes is available for free streaming at the time of this latest update, and American Factory is available for streaming on Netflix.

Note to Homeschoolers

Though the included teacher lesson plans are written to fully support a traditional classroom teacher, this resource is also a great fit for your teenage homeschooler:

  • the inquiry, thematic structure of this unit is driven by critical thinking, reading, and writing skills and a central high-interest question
  • a wide ability range can easily access the rich variety of sources utilized in this unit,
  • your student’s voice is central to each activity, through talking out their learning, maximizing the one-on-one
  • most activities can be completed independently and aren’t solely reliant on group or whole-class work
  • all utilized sources are free and easily obtainable; either included or accessible online (links provided)
  • this unit is independent of a textbook, though one could be used for greater background knowledge
  • any one activity can easily be left out to customize for your student’s skill level or personal interest


Interested in more Global Issues stand-alone units like this one?

These units can be easily integrated into your Current Events, Human Geography, or Environmental Science course (more units coming!)

  • Population Growth: a 3-week unit exploring what the simultaneous global problem of explosive population growth as well as alarming decline
  • Extreme Poverty: a 3-week unit exploring what it's really like to live on one dollar a day around the world
  • Water Supply & Pollution: a 3-week unit exploring our finite freshwater supply and the human rights, pollution, and conservation issues that need urgent solutions
  • Fossil Fuels & Alternatives: a 3-week unit exploring our addiction to oil, the harsh impact it is having on our air pollution and greenhouse gas levels, and the urgent need to switch to clean renewable energy sources
  • Plastic & Garbage: a 3-week unit exploring the modern invention of garbage, landfills, and single-use disposables, the effects it is having on our oceans, and how a zero-waste lifestyle can be possible
  • Global Priorities Research Project: a 2-option, 2-3 week capstone research project where students complete either a one-pager or research essay on the global issue they find most pressing

Or check out the Global Issues to Empower course for real impact

This semester-long thematic PBL course combines current events, human geography, environmental science to create engaged and empowered global citizens

This listing is for one license for regular, non-commercial classroom use by a single teacher only. In upholding copyright law, PDF resources are uneditable and resources made for Google Classroom have some editing abilities. By purchasing a license to this resource, you have access to all future updates at no cost, available under “My Purchases". Multiple and transferable licenses are available for purchase. To request a complete terms of use prior to purchase or if you have any questions about this resource, please leave a question below under Product Q&A.

Total Pages
114 PDF + 68 Google Slide pages + 30 PPT slides
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.


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