"All educators have the civic responsibility to learn and teach the basic history and tenets of this movement for racial justice." - Jamilah Pitt
To the PenPal Schools community,
PenPal Schools stands with the Black community in fighting for equality today while we continue our work to foster empathy and tolerance in tomorrow’s leaders. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others are not the result of a few “bad apples.” They are the product of a system based on a history of racism and injustice.
Below are resources that help to provide children and teens with historical and conceptual frameworks to better understand recent events. These resources also highlight civil rights leaders past and present to inspire our youth to work for a better future. PenPal Schools resources are provided for free to teachers and parents.
On March 21st, more than 1,000 students from over 30 countries celebrated World Poetry Day in the PenPal Schools Global Poetry Contest. Students wrote and shared original poetry, then voted for their favorite poems written by their peers!
Students poets came from countries like Somalia, Thailand, Argentina, and the United States. No matter where students live, poetry allows them to share their thoughts and perspectives with the world. In the Global Poetry Contest, students wrote poetry about history, the environment, sports, pets, and beloved family members. Their poems expressed emotions like grief, love, fear, anticipation, and gratitude. Join us in congratulating our 2020 Global Poetry Contest winners!
PENPAL SCHOOLS IS OFFERING FREE ACCESS DURING
THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
As of mid March 2020, the COVID-19 coronavirus has kept almost 300 million students out of school around the world. In response to school closures, PenPal School is offering free access for the duration of the pandemic so that learners everywhere can access high-quality online learning materials while maintaining the social interaction necessary for their continued development.
As of early March 2020, the COVID-19 coronavirus has kept almost 300 million students out of school around the world. Many schools are planning for the impact of coronavirus by moving instruction online or suspending in-person instruction.
The PenPal Schools team is here to support with free access to PenPal Schools for any teachers and students affected by coronavirus. If your school is affected by the coronavirus, mention that you would like assistance next time you join a PenPal topic.
When Mr. Knight wants to engage his students in academics, he looks for activities that offer student choice and opportunities to engage with an authentic audience.
Since joining the PenPal Schools community in 2018, Mr. Knight, a Grade 5 teacher from Canada, and his students have studied mythology from communities around the world, discussed environmental issues, and learned how art can inspire action and bring communities together.
This month, we’re excited to highlight two of Mr. Knight’s students as PenPal Stars for their outstanding work in the Protecting the Planet topic on PenPal Schools!
During each week of PenPal-A-Palooza our team profiles PenPals from around the world who demonstrate excellence in reading, writing, technology, and global citizenship skills. This week’s PenPal Stars come from just outside of New Delhi, India. In the town of Noida in the region of Uttar Pradesh, India, Ms. Aprajita Ralli makes global education and authentic writing practice a central part of classroom instruction.
Ms. Ralli’s young scholars connected with PenPals from the United States, Thailand, Australia, India, Spain, and many others countries to share perspectives and make new friends. Join us in celebrating these exemplary global citizens!
Too often, teachers tell students exactly what they’ll be learning instead of guiding students with questions. Essential questions for PBL create authentic learning scenarios to engage, motivate, and help students guide themselves.What is a driving question? Good PBL driving questions help you provide a purpose for learning so that you never hear students say “why are we doing this?”
The most engaging questions are open-ended and require investigation or research in order to answer. They also give students choice by allowing them to align their learning with their own passions and interests. Essential questions, or driving questions, are a key element of project-based learning, so we’ve outlined 14 essential question stems to help you craft the most engaging PBL essential questions.
Last month we invited you and your students to join classrooms from around the world in PenPal-A-Palooza 2020. Since then over 1,000 teachers from 70 different countries have joined this special event! To join PenPal-A-Palooza simply participate in any PenPal Schools topic during February 2020. At the end of PenPal-A-Palooza, we’ll recognize students who submit outstanding projects as PenPal Stars.
Meet PenPal Star Matt, a Grade 7 student from South Africa! Matt and his classmates recently participated in two PenPal Schools topics, World Explorer and Plant & Animal Adaptation.