Become a District Partner Become a District Partner

Bhutan: The World's Happiest Country

This unit introduces students to international development and politics. Students examine Gross Domestic Product in comparison to Gross National Happiness and they also compare monarchies and democracies.


Previewing the Reflection:

A series of open-ended pre-reading questions designed to engage students, assess prior knowledge, and expose any pre-conceived ideas about the person or culture explored in the Reflection.  Previewing the Experience questions are intended to be non-threatening and accessible to a range of students.  Students are encouraged to answer honestly, and to discuss their answers with their classmates.

PDF icon Previewing the Experience

Reflection: Bhutan: The World's Happiest Country by Lukas Canan

Lukas writes about his experience living in the only Buddhist Kingdom in the world, Bhutan. He reflects on the intersection of traditional culture and modern globalization and the challenges that arise in a country that seeks both. Lukas introduces us to an alternative measure of progress found only in this tiny Asian nation, Gross National Happiness.

PDF icon Bhutan: The Happiest Country in the World

Understanding the Reflection:

This resource is to be used during and after students read the Reflection.  Included in it are a series of reading comprehension questions designed to check for student understanding of the Reflection.  These questions formats include multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, short response, or other effective questioning strategies.

PDF icon Understanding the Experience, PDF icon Understanding the Experience - ANSWER Key

Learning Activity: English/Language Arts & Social Studies-What Counts?

English/Language Arts, Social Studies / 10th, 11th, 12th / 3-5 class period (250 mins)

In this learning activity, students examine concepts of economics related to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Happiness (GNH). They build on this knowledge by working together to prepare an essay and debate on the question of whether GDP or GNH is a better measure of a country's progress.

Learning Activity: Social Studies-Where Do You Belong?

Social Studies / 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th / 50 mins

In this learning activity, students create representations of democracy and monarchy and work collaboratively to form an persuasive argument about these forms of government based on guiding questions.

Reviewing the Reflection:

This resource is to be used after students read the Reflection.  It includes a series of post-reading questions designed to encourage student reflection and assess changes in students' perception and understanding of the cultural issues addressed in the unit through some deliberately repeated questions in the "Previewing the Experience" activity.

PDF icon UR3_Reviewing_November2010.pdf

Responding to the Reflection:

This resource should be used after the students read the Reflection. Students are presented with a list of questions intended to illicit a more personal response about the Reflection they have just read. After considering those questions, students compose a letter to the author of the Reflection with their thoughts, observations, questions and comments. Teachers should feel free to contact rachel@oneworldeducation.org if they would like to have their students' finished letters delivered to the One World Ambassador.

PDF icon UR5_ReflectionResponse_November2010.pdf

Culture Cube:

This resource can be used at any point within a unit. The Culture Cube allows students to think about and organize their research of any culture into eight major traits (social groups, government, history, language, daily life, economy, religion, and art). The Culture Cube can prepare students before reading a Reflection, or before doing unit resources and learning activities. Similarly, teachers can use the Culture Cube to wrap up or assess students’ knowledge after engaging in the other unit resources and learning activities. The Culture Cube can be used in isolation of or integrated with the larger One World Curriculum. Definitions and examples of each trait of culture are given to guide students. The Culture Cube requires students to go beyond the Reflection for their research, so teachers need to make available a number of different resources from which students might gather information, including, but not limited to: textbooks, websites, encyclopedias, reference books, reports and maps.

PDF icon UR4_CultureCube_November2010.pdf