Pre-Lesson (Part 1): Self To Country Banner

Pre-Lesson (Part 1): Self To Country

(Activity: Five Rings)

Theme: International


  1. Enable students to work together and individually to explore geography on a local and international level.
  2. Students will demonstrate object-based learning and make connections between objects and geography.

Rationale: Living in a global economy, it is important for students to understand the international influences between countries. (or between the U.S. and countries.)


The Five Rings Activity
Divide the class into four groups. Assign each group one of the following rings:

  1. self
  2. family
  3. your home town
  4. country (the fifth ring is the world and is discussed later)

To help the class appreciate the activity and the relationship of the five groups, display the poster of the Five Rings.

Directions for brainstorming: each group is responsible for identifying three to six ideas that will explain your ring. Encourage students to think of both personal and universal objects.

Helpful questions to pose to each group:

  • Self
    1. An object from your room
    2. An object that represents your favorite hobby
    3. An object that you have made

  • Family
    1. An object from your home
    2. A photograph of your family
    3. Memorabilia from a family activity/trip

  • Your Home Town
    1. Is there a popular sports team from your hometown?
      What object would you choose to represent this sport?
    2. Is there a special food from your hometown?
    3. Is there a trademark or an outdoor sculpture in your hometown?

  • Country
    1. What piece of cloth is identified as from your country?
    2. What do we use to pay for goods?
    3. Can you think of an object in a museum or around the country that is special to your country?

Allow 5 - 10 minutes for group work and ask each group to report their lists of objects to the class.

Recommended homework assignment: In preparation for the second pre-lesson, ask each student to bring to class a small object from their home that was made in another country.

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