World Thinking Day is February 22

World Thinking Day

Mark your calendar for February 22—and put your brain in gear!

Celebrate World Thinking Day—the day when girls around the planet participate in activities and projects with global themes. It’s a fun, engaging way to connect with sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in other countries.

World Thinking Day not only gives you a chance to celebrate international friendships, it is also a reminder that Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a larger global community.

The theme for World Thinking Day 2015 was “Girls worldwide say ‘we can create peace through partnerships.’”

Stay tuned for 2016’s theme…

The World Thinking Day award activities are designed to complement the Girl Scout Leadership Journeys and reinforce the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

Activities for Girl Scout Daisies

Daisy Activities:
To earn the award, girls learn more about this year’s theme by completing one or more of the following activities.

  1. Teamwork is great because everybody brings unique skills to a partnership. For this activity, cut out slips of paper and have everyone write one of their skills on the slip (ex: "good listener," "have good ideas," "can draw nice pictures"). Glue the slips together as circles in a chain and discuss how everyone's different skills make for a stronger group.
  2. Learn about different symbols of peace and discuss the reasons why they may have come to represent the idea. The UN says that "peace is in your hands." Trace your fellow Daisies’ hands on a piece of paper and then ask them to draw a symbol in the center to symbolize working together.
  3. Read Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter and discuss what Wangari's goals were and how she was able to work with others to accomplish them.
  4. Watch “ Tipping the Balance" or read Zapizapu Crosses the Sea by Diane Abad Vergara to learn about fair trade. Then go to your local grocery store and see if you can find three fair trade items sold there. Are there fair trade items you eat at your house?
  5. Make five bracelets and collect five facts about how girls live in another country. Tell five friends or family members the facts and give them each a bracelet.
  6. Girls who take the  Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden Leadership Journey take action to help their community. What could you do in your community to help children learn about peace and partnerships? As a group, choose a project and take action for World Thinking Day.
Activities for Girl Scout Brownies

Brownie Activities

To earn the award, girls learn more about this year’s theme by completing one or more of the following activities.

  1. Part of working together to create peace is ensuring that everyone feels safe and comfortable in their surroundings. Make a list of things that are necessary for having a safe and happy troop/group or school environment (ex: quiet time, no "put-downs," time to play). How do you feel when you can't have the things you need? Share this list with your troop/group. Are they all the same? If not, work with the members of your group to create a list that everyone agrees with. Remember, you may have to compromise or negotiate to get there.
  2. Sangam is one of WAGGGS’ World Centers, located in India. Sangam means "coming together." The Girl Scouts at Sangam want to connect with Girl Scout sisters around the world through the Friendship Bracelet Project. Learn about the different World Centers and then create a bracelet with colors you feel represent issues important to girls everywhere (e.g., blue to represent water conservation). Pass on your bracelet to a friend and be sure to explain the meaning behind your color choices.
  3. Picture the peace. With your troop/group, cut out puzzle pieces about five inches tall from construction paper. Take one puzzle piece and draw a picture of what you think working together looks like. Then put the pieces together by taping them to a wall. As you put up your puzzle piece, explain what you drew. Use the pictures and everyone's explanations to make a list of the things your group needs in order to work together peacefully.
  4. Watch “Tipping the Balance” or read Zapizapu Crosses the Sea by Diane Abad Vergara to learn about fair trade. Then go to your local grocery store and see if you can find three fair trade items sold there. Are there fair trade items you eat at your house?
  5. Play the "bunnies and hawks" game with your troop/group to learn about fair trade. Break up into two groups. One group will represent the richer countries (the hawks) and the other will represent the poorer countries (the bunnies). Give the bunnies their products and 6 beads. Give each of the hawks their products and 15 beads. Now it's time to trade! Remember, bunnies need to hop and hawks fly! Each group will need to buy what they need from the other group, and each product is marked with the price. After 5–10 minutes, come back together and talk through the following questions: Did you get everything you needed? Was trading hard or easy? What do you think would have made it easier for the bunnies? Explain the concept of debt relief and fair trade.
  6. Draw a picture to show what you've learned about MDG 8 (to develop a global partnership for development). It could be about peace, partnerships, fair trade, or something else.
  7. Make a better world for girls by taking the World of Girls Girl Scout Leadership Journey. Take action on something that helps children in your school or community understand more about fair trade or peace.
Activities for Girl Scout Juniors

Junior Activities

To earn the award, girls learn more about this year’s theme by completing one or more activity below.

  1. Keep a peace diary. Every time you see someone compromising and working together, make a note of what they did and how they did it. Share your observations with the group. Share with your troop/group about a time you could have solved a conflict in a more peaceful manner. Was there a tactic you observed when keeping a peace diary that you could have used in your conflict?
  2. Read One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference. Discuss what a micro-loan is and how individuals can assist others around the world.
  3. Watch “Tipping the Balance” or read Fair Trade First by Ingrid Hess and learn about fair trade. Then go to your local grocery store or mall and see if you can find three fair trade items sold there. Are there fair trade items at your house?
  4. Shop fair trade. Collect empty boxes or packaged items of different brands of chocolate, coffee, sugar, tea, etc. If you can't find empty packages, print out pictures of the brands. Examples:  Coffee: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Lavazza, Folgers, Maxwell House. Chocolate: Cadbury, Dagoba, Hershey, Godiva, Amano.Tea: Twinings, Hampstead, Tazo, Lipton, Yogi, Mighty Leaf. Then take a shopping trip with the packages and/or photos. Ask family or friends to "shop" what they think is fair trade. Why did they choose those products? Have you ever considered checking the produce in the supermarket to see if it was fair trade? What other products can be fair trade certified? Flowers? Honey? Wine? Fruits and vegetables? Next time you're in the supermarket, look for the fair trade logo on different brands.
  5. Collect an old plastic coffee cup cover. Clean it. Draw the fair trade logo on it with a marker. Put a piece of thread in the drinking hole and tie it around your book-bag. Explain to people who ask you what the logo means and what you’ve learned about fair trade products ("products where people who make them get the amount of money they deserve and no less"). Note that some farmers get less than $1 a day when products are not fair trade.
  6. Take a photo for social change. You will need a camera for this activity. Many charities and organizations use photography or movie making as a tool to help individuals and communities speak out about their needs and views. In a group, take three minutes to take a photo to represent an issue that matters to the girls. Take turns showing the photo and explaining the issue it represents.
  7. Check out the  Agent of Change Girl Scout Leadership Journey and how girls raise awareness about issues of concern to them. What are ways you can take action to end conflict in your community or promote learning about fair trade?
Activities for Girl Scout Cadettes

Cadette Activities

To earn the award, girls learn more about this year’s theme by completing one or more of the following activities.

  1. Create a “peace pole”! There are more than 200,000 peace poles around the world, which all stand to remind us to work together toward world peace. Each pole has the message "May peace prevail on Earth" written on the sides in many different languages. Find out what languages are spoken by members in your surrounding community, learn how to write the phrase in those languages, and then paint the phrase on the sides of a 4x4 post. Obtain permission from your school, park, or local community center to plant the pole and host a ceremony dedicating the site to peace in your community and the world.
  2. Pick a product and learn about its life cycle (for example, see this video (The Lifecycle of a Shirt). What are the impacts of buying your favorite product? Design a poster showing the life cycle of a product and discuss how your actions can affect people globally. How can buying fair trade items help in achieving the MDG 8 goal to work together for global development?
  3. Scour a week's worth of newspapers and cut out articles describing countries working together to find solutions to global issues and which detail unresolved conflict. Are there more stories about conflict or about resolution? Discuss what countries do to help resolve conflict and how you might apply these tactics to the unresolved issues.
  4. Campaign for cooperation! Break up into two groups. Have one group represent developed countries and the second represent developing countries. Ask each group to do research on what they can offer to the other group and to create an imaginative campaign to present their case. They might create a song, drama, or formal presentation, keeping in mind that developed countries can offer security, financial aid, industry, technology, etc., while developing countries can offer agricultural products, labor, textile, animal products, etc. Discuss how both groups can benefit each other and the importance of cooperation. How do you think the relationship between developed and developing countries can improve?
  5. What does fair trade look like? Trace a map of the world on butcher paper and make a vibrant, tactile display that demonstrates the impact of fair trade around the world. Stick representations of fair trade ingredients on different locations on the map.
  6. Invite a returned Peace Corps volunteer to speak to your group about her/his Peace Corps experience in the country where she/he served. Specifically, ask the volunteer to speak about any conflicts they encountered and partnerships they formed, and how the people there are working towards peace in their community. Not familiar with the Peace Corps? Watch A Legacy of Service. If you can't find a returned Peace Corps volunteer in your community, contact a local university and invite an international student to speak.
  7. One of the most important skills a peacemaker has is the capacity to interact and engage with others. Try the  aMAZE Journey and consider how you can use what you learn to ease conflict in your community.
Activities for Girl Scout Seniors

Senior Activities

To earn the award, girls learn more about this topic by completing one or more of the following activities.

  1. Invite a counselor, social worker, or community leader to teach methods of conflict resolution and mediation. Use these methods along with Girl Scouts' BFF curriculum to design a conflict mediation program for younger girls. An example is to think of a conflict that may arise between groups with different values or backgrounds and to role-play successful ways to remedy the issue(s). Invite a group of Juniors or Cadettes to participate in your program.
  2. Watch “Benefits of Debt Relief” and discuss other ways debt relief can better support developing countries in addressing key issues within their borders. Do you think there should be more debt relief or less? How is debt relief and some of its outcomes beneficial for everyone?
  3. Learn the basics of fair trade and how it can aid in achieving MDG 8. Make a list of your favorite consumer goods and then research fair trade products in your region. Make the list available to people in your community who might be interested in fair trade products.
  4. Come together with your group and ask everyone to bring their favorite chocolate bar. Watch this PowerPoint presentation about chocolate production. At the end of the presentation, have everyone open their chocolate bars and participate in a "tasting." Is your chocolate bar fair trade? If not, are you willing to change to a fair trade brand? Have you ever wondered if the chocolate you enjoy is fair trade? How many brands do you know for sure are fair trade?
  5. At the United Nations general assembly in 2014, President Obama said, "We can reaffirm our collective responsibility to confront global problems or be swamped by more and more outbreaks of instability." Search for recent stories about how investing more in the health sector globally could've saved the world from global threats. For example, think about the Ebola crisis in Africa. What went wrong? Could this problem have been better contained, in your opinion? Where does the responsibility lie for developing countries versus developed ones? Why can't the developing countries control the problem on their own?
  6. The UN has created a number of partnership initiatives: GAVI AllianceGlobal Education First initiativeRollback MalariaSanitation and Water for AllSustainable Energy for All, and Zero Hunger Challenge. Select and learn more about one of the above initiatives, find stories about how the initiative(s) has addressed issues they are concerned with, and share the information you collected with your group.
  7. Tanzania used resources saved via debt relief to abolish primary school fees (2002), build 30,000 new classrooms and 1,000 schools, and hire 18,000 trained teachers. The percentage of children enrolled in mainland Tanzania's primary schools climbed from 58.7 percent in 1990 to 94.8 percent in 2006, according to the UN. Take the  GIRLtopia Girl Scout Leadership Journey and explore ways global partnerships can make a better world for girls.
Activities for Girl Scout Ambassadors

Ambassadors Activities

To earn the award, girls learn more about this year’s theme by completing one or more of the following activities.

  1. What happens when two parties have conflicting interests but need to work together to solve the same problem? Research different methods of conflict mediation and come up with a social justice mediation style that allows both parties, particularly the disadvantaged party, the opportunity to have their voices heard. Role-play conflicts and mediate them using the system you designed.
  2. Stage a mock United Nations. Have each girl choose a country from the five WAGGGS regions (Africa, Arab Region, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Western Hemisphere). Pick an MDG issue (such as maternal health or water conservation) and have each girl discuss her country's responsibility toward achieving this goal. Be sure to ask the girls how their countries might feel about the issue, as opposed to their personal opinion.
  3. Read Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai. Discuss how Maathai's international experience and partnerships aided her work. How were Maathai's goals impeded by differences between her and her fellow Kenyans? What types of differences arose? What should be considered when G8 nations are looking to assist developing nations? How can G8 nations better listen to countries they wish to aid?
  4. Watch the 2006 documentary Black Gold, about the international coffee trade. Then research some of the struggles those in the coffee industry face and what well-known business are doing and not doing to help. Some useful websites:
    http://blackgoldmovie.com/directors-faq1
    http://www.globalexchange.org/fairtrade/coffee/faq#2
    http://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/sourcing/coffee
  5. More than 4 billion people don't have access to the Internet, and 90 percent of them are from the developing world. Design an "Internet-free for 48 hours" campaign in your community and take part in it yourself. Reflect on your experience with your friends. How difficult was it for you? How does Internet access make your life easier?
  6. Imagine your group/troop could join together with the person or organization of your dreams to take action and make the world a better place. Share with the group who you would choose, why, and what project you would want to develop. Use the  Your Voice, Your World Girl Scout Leadership Journey to create a Take Action project, and see if you can contact your dream person or organization for support.


 

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