August 12, 2016

Philadelphia World Heritage Lesson Plan Project

On July 11th - 22nd, ten educators of diverse backgrounds came together to design lesson plans that teach Philadelphia’s heritage and its rich relationship to the global world. For this project, the World Heritage Education Working Group partnered with two curriculum developers from the School District of Philadelphia, the South Asia and Middle East Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Penn Museum. The curriculum developers, who are currently working on an overhaul of the existing Social Studies curriculum, saw this as an opportune time to unpack Philadelphia’s history as well as foster a sense of global citizenship within our youth. Over the course of two weeks, participating educators researched to develop lesson plans that fit into one of four areas: World History, African American History, US History, and Civics and Government. To frame the conversation, we asked educators to consider two questions: What has Philadelphia contributed to the world and, in return, how has the world contributed to Philadelphia?

More specifically, the four overarching areas of study focus on:

● Immigration and its impact on Philadelphia and the US
● Philadelphia’s impact on government and civics home and abroad
● Philadelphia art and architecture and its connection to other cultures and countries
● Philadelphia’s contributions to the world: socially, scientifically, and economically

Using a unique lens, the educators generated 90+ historically and culturally relevant lesson plans that will positively shape the District’s Social Studies landscape. This project provided the perfect impetus to challenge our students taken-for-granted knowledge and position them to engage in a steadily globalizing market. We are grateful to our participants and partners for empowering students to think critically about their communities and heritage as well as their role in the larger world. Lesson plans are currently under review and will be accessible by fall of this year. For more information, please contact Curriculum Specialist, Shaquita Smith at ssmith5@philasd.org.  

Article written by: Nikia Brown, Global Philadelphia WHC Coordinator. Orginally posted on Global Philadlephia Association website.