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Key date

8 September
International Literacy Day

49 Practical Activities and Methods for Human Rights Education > A glossary of Globalisation

A glossary of globalisation

... A smaller world - The Internet - IMF - Trade - Violent demonstrations.... What comes into your head when people use the word "Globalisation"?
Themes Globalisation, Social rights, Education
Complexity Level 3
Group size Any
Time 90 minutes
Overview This is an information-seeking activity involving critical thinking about the manifestations, causes and consequences of globalisation.
Related rights
  • The right to work
  • The right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being
  • The right to education
  • To gain knowledge and understanding of the manifestations, causes and consequences of globalisation
  • Dictionaries (at least 4)
  • Paper, A3 and A4 size
  • Tape and scissors
  • Pens and markers of different colours
  • Miscellaneous printed material, magazines, leaflets, for collage
  • Access to sources of information (library, the Internet)
  • Photocopier (optional)
  • Hole punch, string, stapler for binding pages
  • Gather together as much information on globalisation as possible. If necessary, use the links and references mentioned in the background information on globalisation.
  • Gather together newspapers, magazines, leaflets, brochures, calendars and postcards that may be cut up for illustrations


1. Explain that the aim of this activity is to create a glossary or resource-file of terms, facts and personalities associated with globalisation.

2. To warm up, do a round of the "word association" game. Ask people to say the first word that comes into their head when they think of the word "Globalisation".

3. Then do another brainstorm of possible things to put in the glossary. For example,

  • definitions of words and terms and common abbreviations such as ATTAC, IMF, CCC
  • the main globalisation issues
  • people/personalities linked to globalisation and/or the anti-globalisation movements
  • names, dates and places of events, meetings, rallies, conferences, etc.
  • transnational companies and international organisations concerned
  • illustrations - pictures and cartoons
  • quotes

4. Show people the resource materials and emphasise that they should feel free to go through the available literature and be creative. They have total liberty to design the layout as they wish. It could be in the form of a poster or booklet - anything!

5. Divide participants into small groups of three or four people to work on their glossaries.

6. When they have finished, ask each group to present its work in plenary.



Debriefing and evaluation

Start with a short review of how the activity went. Did people enjoy it? Then continue with a discussion about what people learnt.

  • What was the most surprising piece of information people found? Why?
  • Was all the information people found consistent? Were there contradictions or errors?
  • What are the pros and cons of globalisation?
  • Should/Can globalisation be avoided?
  • What are the consequences of globalisation?
  • Do you see any effects of globalisation in your daily lives? For good or for bad?
  • How can globalisation promote human rights?
  • What role can youth organisations play in a global world?

Conclude the session by referring back to the initial brainstorm, and ask the group to add the new words and concepts that they have learnt during the activity.

Tips for facilitators

It is important to provide a wide range of literature so that participants can find as much information as possible. For example, information can come from magazines and newspapers articles, Internet sources, radio, video, posters, leaflets, brochures and music.

You should not be overly concerned with the quality of the presentation of the final document. The focus of the activity should be on the interaction between the participants and the learning process of searching for, and critically analysing information. When you explain the activity, emphasise that the participants should explain the concepts as clearly and concisely as they can.

Suggestions for follow-up

ATTAC stands for 'Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens',

IMF stands for the International Monetary Fund

You may like to use the method described in "The merry-go-around", section 9.1 of Domino to continue the discussion on some of the issues that were raised when making the glossary.

If people would like to find out more about globalisation and how the Internet is used to promote human rights they could do the activity "The impact of the Internet".

Another way to explore aspects of globalisation such as inequality, power, discrimination, solidarity and competition is through the simulation game, " Limit 20" in the all different all equal education pack.

Ideas for action

In a school, the class could combine their efforts and make one glossary to be kept in the school library and available to everyone as a resource. A youth group could combine their information and make a group poster.
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