Curriculum Unit Overview

In Cultures, Critters, and Communities, lower primary grades students learn about the interconnectedness within and between communities worldwide. The study of South African cultures, wildlife, and physical geography serves as the focal point for students’ developing awareness of their own cultures and their responsibilities within the local community. Specifically, students will learn about the visible and invisible features of culture, concluding that humans are more alike than different. The beautiful diversity evident in South African cultures and landscapes invites children to reflect upon the rich diversity in their own communities and how people work to protect vulnerable and endangered species. Lastly, contemporary global interdependence is explored through the marketplace. Students learn how South African beaded clothing reflects their cultural traditions and the available natural materials in the local environment. The unit’s summative assessment empowers children to design and sell a product that uses natural materials to express their own culture.

Author Biographies

Yvonne Ketchum has been teaching Kindergarten and 1st grade in Onslow County Schools for 10 years and was a teacher participant in the SACHL project. She has a Bachelor's degree from UNCW in Elementary Education. She currently teaches at Carolina Forest International Elementary school which was the first school in North Carolina to be certified as a Model Global Ready School. Yvonne represented her school as Teacher of the Year in 2014 and is currently representing her school as Global Teacher of the Year in 2017.

Lara Stiles is a teacher at Carolina Forest International Elementary, a North Carolina Model Global-Ready School in Jacksonville NC and a participant in the SACHL project. She has taught in Onslow County Schools for three years as a first grade teacher, and previously taught preschool/daycare students for 11 years. Lara graduated from UNCW with a BS in Psychology and attained her teaching certificate through the Watson School of Education.

Becky Tyson has been teaching 1st and second grade in Onslow County Schools for 12 years and was a teacher participant in the SACHL project. She has a Bachelor's degree from UNCW in Elementary Education. She currently teaches at Carolina Forest International Elementary school which was the first school in North Carolina to be certified as a Model Global Ready School. Becky represented her school as Teacher of the Year in 2010.  She has served as a WNCW partnership teacher for numerous interns and a   for mentor for new teachers since 2012.