Journeys of the Soles

Lesson Plan Published 10/5/12 Last updated on 5/16/18
In this unit, students will digitally “travel” around the world and learn what life is like in someone else’s shoes. Along the way, they will create action plans for helping others and becoming outstanding global citizens. The teacher will guide students through a study of their home country first, then students will break up into smaller groups and choose a country to study with coaching from the teacher. Finally, students will research a country on their own. As students learn about a country, they will log information in their “passports,” create digital scrapbooks, travel blogs, and action plans for helping their global community. Findings will be presented in “TED” style talks, where students will compare and contrast their lifestyles with that of a child in their country of study, then present their ideas for a call-to-action.

This project was created in collaboration with Marc Brown.

Also, this project can be adapted for various grade levels.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Presenter

    Transform your PowerPoint presentations into interactive eLearning content.

  • Illustrator

    Create beautiful vector art and illustrations.

Age Levels
Content Standards
Common Core State Standards
Custom Standards

Common Core Standards are used to teach this unit. It was created with the flexibility to meet all of the standards that the teacher has time to explore. All reading, writing and speech standards are met through the books, research and presentations students use for the unit.

Students the authors taught in fourth grade, for example, met all except geometry standards, which could certainly be included.

This unit has met the following math standards for 4th grade:
4.OA 1-3
4.NBT 1-5
4.NF 1-7 Fractions and decimals
4.MD 1-4

ISTE Standards
Students: Empowered Learner, Students: Digital Citizen, Students: Innovative Designer


  • Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Presenter 8
  • Passport worksheets (Figure 1a, 1b, 1c - in primay file upload)
  • Use Adobe Photoshop to create your passport photo
  • 12” x 18” piece of white construction paper
  • Cut navy blue construction paper into a 4.5” x 6” piece
  • Gold Marker


Unicef: Information by Country

CIA: The World Factbook

A Kid’s Life


by Francesco D’Adamo

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea
by by Greg Mortenson & Susan L. Roth

CC License
5 / 5 • 8 Ratings

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Comments (8)

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Sandra Hodges

Posted on 2/22/15 2:23:08 AM Permalink

Excellent! One of our Social Studies teachers uses passports in her class. Love the idea!

Jan Hunsicker

Posted on 7/28/14 9:58:46 AM Permalink

This is a wonderful resource. Thanks for sharing. It might be interesting to bring in food from the places visited.

Karen Ellis

Posted on 7/15/14 10:57:23 AM Permalink

Great activity that is creative and informative for world views from a young person's perspective.

Lourdes Fuller

Posted on 7/14/14 12:04:49 AM Permalink

This lesson can be extended by reaching out to schools from various counties and then sharing the projects for review and feedback across the globe.


Posted on 7/3/14 11:00:22 PM Permalink

Using imagination and creativity while becoming global citizens, great approach. If I may, I suggest that the bigger groups concentrate on continents or parts of continents and then individuals can choose one country from that specific area to get a deeper cultural understanding. Students can make video postcards too.


Posted on 1/19/14 11:57:04 PM Permalink

Multiculturalism and Geography are a great combination! I loved the idea of creating the passport and having students create scrapbook pages while learning. Art and technology are both great resources that supported that project! Great!

Eric Dumas

Posted on 8/5/13 4:40:33 PM Permalink

It would be interesting to have students of the country studied to review the work and maybe create a similar study for the country you are from. Often our perception of another way of life is different for the people that live it on a daily basis. Technology brings us closer to compare our views on each others

Dennis Martinus

Posted on 7/28/13 5:16:29 AM Permalink

What a great resource for collaboration projects from students around the world.
Thank you for sharing this.