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Want to use powerful visual stories & films to develop global citizenship?

Global Oneness Project

Marker California, USA
The Global Oneness Project brings the world's global cultures alive in the classroom. They provide award-winning films and photo essays which explore cultural, social, and environmental issues and accompanying lesson plans using stories as a pedagogical tool to inspire growing minds. All for free.

What is the Global Oneness Project?

Cleary Vaughan-Lee
“We believe that stories play a powerful role in education.”

Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director

In an increasingly globalized world, we need to find new ways to understand each other and to inspire a global perspective, so that communities everywhere can work together to find peaceful, innovative solutions to challenging and new situations.

Learners should have opportunities to further their understanding of interconnectedness, empathy and global issues so that they are prepared for the globalized world they live in, which in turn will inspire a future generation of responsible, compassionate citizens.

The Global Oneness Project believes that stories play a powerful role in education. Founded in 2006, the Project is committed to the exploration of cultural, environmental, and social issues. They house a rich library of free multimedia stories comprised of award-winning films, photo essays, and articles, which are accompanied by a companion curriculum for educators.

The Global Oneness Project aims to connect students through stories from the local human experience to global meta-level issues, such as: climate change, water scarcity, food insecurity, poverty, endangered cultures, migration, and sustainability, among others. Through featuring individuals and communities impacted by these issues, their stories and lessons provide opportunities to examine universal themes that emphasize our common humanity—identity, diversity, hope, resilience, imagination, adversity, empathy, love, and responsibility. The curriculum, available in both English and Spanish, contains an interdisciplinary approach to learning and facilitates the development of students’ critical thinking, inquiry, empathy, and listening skills.


The Global Oneness Project’s website is designed for educators to explore and search for content in a variety of ways: media type, course subjects, U.S. national standards, and via curated collections. 

The resources are intended for whole class instruction. Teachers are using the stories and lessons as extensions to their core curriculum. The Project’s resources can be integrated into a wide range of courses including anthropology, English language arts, environmental science, history, media and journalism, and the arts.

For example, a high school environmental science teacher’s core curriculum focuses on local geography, the qualities of environmental citizenship, and healthy watersheds. He used the photo essay “Kara Women Speak” and the companion lesson plan “On the Verge of Displacement” in his classroom to get a global perspective and learn how an indigenous community is finding their self-sustaining ways of life at risk due to the development of a hydropower dam in Southwestern Ethiopia.

Each month, they release a new story and an accompanying lesson plan. All of the content and resources are available for free with no ads or subscriptions. To read about how a middle school teacher integrated the film Welcome to Canada in her classroom, for example, visit this blog on PBS Learning by Executive Director of the Project Cleary Vaughan-Lee.

The Project’s award-winning short films have been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, The Smithsonian & The New Yorker, among others. Their lessons are currently featured on Ted-Ed, PBS Learning, TES Global, United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Share My Lesson, and Edmodo, among others.

Read more ›
Intended Outcomes
13 - 18
Age Group
Resources Needed
All resources can be found on the Global Oneness Project website. Each lesson provides detailed background information exploring global issues and cultures represented in each media story.
HundrED Criteria
An exciting and new way to engage young people about global stories and issues, through film, photo essays and articles accompanied by resources and lesson plans for teachers.
By using meaningful media in a learning environment, educators can engage young people and take them on a journey to experience the world. Global stories and issues become relevant to students' lives, providing opportunities for them to find their own voices, creating stronger and active global citizens in our fast-changing world.
The Global Oneness Project is being used in over 31 countries and is actively looking for distribution, technology and media partners to help them expand their reach to educators and educational institutions for maximum impact.

See this innovation in action.

Film Sanctuaries of Silence wins Lexus VR Award at Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2018
Global Oneness Project selected as 2018 Best Website for Teaching & Learning from American Association of School Librarians
Access free PD class from Global Oneness Project and Share My Lesson
Elementary teacher librarian inspired by film to teach about endangered cultures
Read article by Cleary Vaughan-Lee about global education innovations in Education Week
Earthrise film Inspires Episode of This American Life Podcast
Elementary students watch a film
New Film Earthrise Premieres in The New York Times Op-Docs


Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Explore the website
How can we prepare students to become perceptive and engaging global citizens?
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Select a film, photo essay, or article to explore
As storytellers, the Global Oneness Project is committed to the exploration of global cultures. Explore which story will resonate with your students, curriculum, or instructional goals.
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Use the companion curriculum guides
The lesson plans on the Global Oneness Project are intended for whole class instruction— Grade 7 through college. Teachers can also use the lesson plans and stories as add-ons to their existing curriculum.
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Choose a theme or entry point
Thought-provoking questions are included to introduce each story to the class. The teacher can also pull information from the background section to provide an overview and set up the lesson.
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Engage students in dialogue
Classroom activities are provided for students to engage with others by working in pairs, small groups, class discussions, or other classroom projects. Teachers are given suggestions for student engagement, including specific actions or tasks of observation.
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Student express their opinions and views
This section provides discussion questions—from comprehension to analytical— the class will explore, which will help students dig deeper into the themes and issues raised in the story.
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Connect with the innovator

Cleary Vaughan-Lee
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