The Most Pressing Problems on The Planet

Global Students - Global Perspectives

The Most Pressing Problems on the Planet

From Origins to Solutions

March 20, 2017 - April 21

Pressing Problems Blog

Idea: An international collaboration of middle school students around the concept of pressing global issues.  

Modern Learning Skills: collaboration, creativity, curating data, critical thinking, empathy, global stewardship, presentation of ideas

Goal: Students will use research skills to investigate pressing local and global issues.


1- Students will collectively investigate global issues and determine five that they feel would qualify as the 5 Most Pressing Problems on the Planet. Each class will use this Google Form to post their results which can be viewed on a live Google Map.

2. A blog will be created reflecting the most common choices.  A separate page will be designed for each issue. Students from each participating school will be encouraged to post on the pages of interest to them, further developing and challenging their understanding of these local and global concerns. Students will be encouraged to interact with peers (Skype, Google Hangout, email) from other countries to gain a global perspective on their pressing problem.

3. While researching, blogging and discussing each problem,  students will consider:

a) why this problem is so urgent.

b) what is currently being done about this issue.

c) what, ideally, should be done.

d) which subfields of geography are involved (environmental, political, historical, economic, etc.)

3- Students will narrow their focus to one main issue and discuss how that issue is prevalent locally vs. globally (a country to country comparison)

4 - Students will create a digital presentation (3-5 minutes in length). Presentations will be posted on the blog site. Students will then have an opportunity to provide feedback and reflection on the varying issues.


The week of....

March 20

  • Teachers commit to the project

  • Please be aware that commitment to this project includes the following:

    • students will be available to complete the project between March 20 - April 21

    • students will be able to connect with their global peers through the blog but are also encouraged to connect using Skype, Google Hangout, FaceTime, email or some other form of social media

    • a commitment of time in class as well as a commitment from your students to complete research at home is required

    • based on the time commitments, we encourage that you use this project in lieu of other class assignments (test, paper, project, etc.).

  • Teachers identify motivated participants (can select a small group of students or your entire class to participate)

  • Parents are informed of the project requirements.  (see sample sample parent letter) Permission is given for their child to communicate/collaborate with other schools

  • Teachers will create a list of their students / blog names (first name/country) that will be used for the duration of this project

  • Teachers will lead class discussions about pressing global issues
  • Students are encouraged to begin investigating potential problems
  • Appropriate use of the Blog / students expectations will be discussed
  • Each class will be required to submit their top five pressing global issues by Friday, October 7th
  • Teachers within the project will determine which issues will be focused on in collaborative blog

March 27th

  • Students will begin posting on topics/pages of interest by providing factual information, videos, website links and personal reflections/thoughts designed to challenge the thinking of youth today on these topics

  • Students will also be encouraged to connect with others to further discuss their topics

  • Students will have two weeks to blog and further their understanding 

April 10

  • Students should begin to narrow down the issue they wish to focus on for their final presentation

  • This week the focus will be to connect with students in other countries that have blogged on their issue, helping to develop their global perspective

  • Students will develop their final compare/contrast presentation
  • Presentations will be posted on the blog by Monday, April 17th

April 17th

  • Classroom presentations are shared and viewed

  • Student will provide feedback and reflection on the global issues presented by their peers