We recently took part in a global project based on friendship on Valentine’s Day. We were one of 22 schools and Ronald Mcdonald houses across the world, to participate. Each of our 22 students were asked to write about themselves, our school, their home towns, Victoria and then Australian. We then made Valentine’s Day cards, added our letters and posted them off. For the past 2 weeks, we have been excitedly receiving the return letters, searching the schools on google earth and then marking the world map with pins to indicate where the letters are coming from. The students get to read out the reply, from the school they sent their cards too and the excitement when the cards arrive is palpable.
The students learnt a lot from writing the letters. We firstly brainstormed what sorts of things would be interesting to children in other countries and decided that we lived in an interesting, rural environment. We also discovered that what we considered to be routine and boring, might actually be interesting to students who may not live in rural areas, may not have back yards and who may be from many different cultures. This immedicately gave scope to the detail the students included in their letters. One of our student’s mother’s is a “rousy” or a rouseabout. We had a feeling that students in non rural areas, would struggle to understand this concept which is bread and butter to students in this rural environment.
The geography was also another positive to this exercise. I was fortunate to stumble upon a new world map in a local magazine, which I had laminated and displayed in the classroom. This particular map is really detailed and the students are able to find their pen pal countries quite easily. Through the use of the map and google earth, we are learning a lot about our place in space and this shrinking world in which we live.
The students were very proud of their letters and all of them have printed off their letters and placed them with great pride, in their individual profile books, in which they put the work they are most proud of. Many of the students have included their letters on their blogs which indicates the pride they have in them.
We are still waiting on a few replies and each morning as I come into the room, they ask me if we have any more letters. This has been a great experience and we hope to continue working on global projects throughout the year.