The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

As a whole school, we are studying various parts of the globe in Social Studies for the next two months. Each grade has a different continent to focus on: Kindergarten - Australia, 1st - Africa, 2nd - Europe, 3rd - South America, 4th - Asia, 5th - ancient Middle East, 6th - ancient Egypt, 7th - ancient Greece and Rome.

I thought it would be fun and interesting for students to use Skype or Voice Thread (www.voicethread.com) to share with people on those continents. The project is somewhat open ended since A) this is the first time I've done this, and B) it somewhat depends one the connections I make. The concept I'm tossing around is the idea of a short conversation about similarities and differences between us and them. I plan on asking my students what they would like to learn from people who live elsewhere, but I don't want to ask my students and get them excited about it if I don't have a connection.

I've got a couple teachers already in England, France and Australia who have signed on to cover Kindergarten and 2nd grade. I wondered if you might have connections to help with the other continents. For 5th-7th, it's a bit different since they are studying ancient world history, so it would be cool to talk about the ruins, archeology, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Sumerians, etc. that lived there. My ultimate dream would be connect to an expert, like an Egyptologist for example, and allow kids to ask questions.

I know this is very vague and I'm sorry about that. I am just throwing a bunch of ideas out there to as many connections as I can think of to see what might "stick." If you think you could help, I would REALLY appreciate it!

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Have you looked into epals.com? Our 5th grade spanish teacher is using this work with students in Costa Rica.
Hi there,

I'm giving some PD tomorrow and might have some interested teachers. I already know of one 6th/7th grade teacher who would like to make some connections in England if possible. Although, I'm sure she'd be thrilled with any of your suggestions. I'll get back to you this week. And I'll check out, ePals (thanks Michelle).


Matt
Thank you both for the responses. I forgot about epals so I will definitely check it out. Looking forward to hearing back from you Matt.
Sorry I didn't get back to you. My principal bumped me to next Monday. I'll get back to you.
Hi Oh the Places (maybe just hi?)

I think it's a wonderful project! It has to be vague, because it's positively ambitious and flexible!

I'm in (from) Argentina and would love to help, but at the moment I'm self-employed and have only one school-aged learner. I'm working on a cross-cultural project with other teachers and one of them is from Argentina, and is a member of this Network. Maybe you could try contacting her: Maria Rosario Di Monaco (I'll send her a message but feel free to say I suggested you contact her).

You have a fantastic project there!!! The closest I can get to the Middle East from people in our project is several English teachers from Morocco who might be interested as well, one teacher from Egypt who teaches adults but probably knows teachers working with kids, another teacher from Turkey (she's a member of this Ning) and a teacher from Russia. Also, for South America, you can get in touch with Henrick Oprea (also a member of this Ning). We are all language teachers.

In the meantime -if you haven't already- you could watch one of the sessions recorded last week at the Smithsonian conference on how science can help history (it's session 2 day 1 -lots of bones!! the kids would love it). I haven't checked the programme for Part 2 at the end of April, but if you find a suitable topic it would be great -all six sessions were incredibly interactive, and you can also post questions/comments before and afterwards.

And if you find a role for me in your project -please count on me; I wish I were teaching children!!! Let me know if you want to get in touch with any of the other teachers, apart from Mary and Henrick.

Hope this helps
Beatriz
I
Hi Beatriz,
Thanks for such a great response! I would be thrilled if you could point me in the direction to make contact with friends from the Middle East area. I missed my window for this year, but would love to get something in the works for next year. I really appreciate the great ideas you provided. I'll be sure to check them out!
Oh the Places,

The teacher that I was working with has gone rogue and jumped into ePals herself. She's in contact with an English school and is beginning to plan a project. Sorry I couldn't help you out more.

Thanks,
Matt
It's okay. Thanks for trying. I hope she was able to make connections. I've managed to make at least one connection on each continent minus the Middle East so let me know if she needs help.
Hey there, I could be able to get a Grade 4 class in on this if you are still doing it?
We're in Hong Kong.
We might be coming late to your dance, but my Indiana kids are experienced Skypers. We would be happy to set up a chat with you on a variety of topics. We can share about projects we have done with schools in Israel, India, Taiwan, and many more. If we can help, email me at rglass@warsaw.k12.in.us

Thanks,
Rick

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