Art helps people make sense of the world around them. Whether telling stories about a community or inspiring a debate, art introduces new ideas and can be powerful enough to change the world.
Students around the world have been creating and sharing art with PenPals in The Power of Art, and this week we are excited to highlight some stellar artists as our PenPals of the Week! Congratulations to Daniel, Emily, Danny, and Walran from New York, USA, Hannah from Texas, USA, Aunva from Thailand, and Sergiy from Ukraine!
When you think about global education, chances are the first thing you think about is learning about different countries and cultures. Why simply read about various world cultures when you can explore and compare them with global PenPals! A global PenPal exchange brings geography to life, adds context to cultural studies, and motivates students to examine their own communities.
This week, we’re celebrating PenPals of the Week Lukas from Sweden, Sebastian and Stacy from Texas, Callie from Georgia, Hayden and Vanessa from South Carolina, Amber from South Africa, Celestino, Martina, and Santiago from Argentina who recently completed World Explorer.
There are a lot of ways to try to engage students in their learning, but nothing engages students more than giving them opportunities to use their own voice and choice to direct their learning. If you haven’t invited students to write their own math problems, then you are missing out on a great way to engage students in math tasks. Simply asking students to create their own math problems challenges them to be creative, communicate clearly, and have a thorough understanding of mathematical formulas and equations. You can even take it a step further by inviting your students to share their math problems with their peers around the world!
This week, we celebrate Tkachuk from Ukraine, Kathryn, Katelyn, Rogan, Kate, Lauren, and MaryEllen from Iowa, JJ from Massachusetts, and Cheryl from California, USA as our PenPals of the Week. These students recently completed global math projects and developed their own word problems to challenge PenPals from around the world.
Whether you are gathering to celebrate or just take a lunch break, food connects people. The food we eat tells a story about our culture, our environment, and our lives. Food is home, and by sharing their favorite foods, students can learn a lot about cultures around the world.
This week, we celebrate Anisha from Thailand, Alondra from the United States, Ellenor from the United Kingdom, and Aqilah from Malaysia who recently completed A World of Food. Our PenPals of the Week shared the foods that make their community home.
When I was a high school history teacher, my students used to ask me how their peers around the world learn about history. “Miss, how do students in Germany learn about WWII? How do students in England learn about the American Revolution? Is that even what they call it?”
Students spend most of their time in school, so it makes sense that they are overflowing with questions about how students around the world learn. We’re proud to celebrate Aneesh and Kael from ES International School in Spain, Anton from Sweden, and Annika from Taiwan who recently completed Schools Around the World.
"To me, clothing is a form of self-expression. There are hints about who you are in what you wear."
Clothing also reflects where you come from, who you surround yourself with, and what cultures you celebrate. Students can learn a lot about other countries and communities by exploring international clothing and fashion trends.
We’re excited to celebrate 18 PenPals of the Week who recently completed Clothing and Culture of the World: Mia and Anja from the United States Acozthavylla, Stephanie, and Siti from Malaysia, and Adis, Eimantas, Lukas, Aurimas, Rapolas, Ayda, Armina, Akvile, Marius, Dainora, Greta, Kazimieras, and Vilte from Lithuania.
The Chinese flag raised at a 2016 Rio Olympics medal ceremony had a major design flaw: the four small stars were aligned parallel to each other rather than rotated towards the larger star. Classrooms all around the world are learning more about flags to better understand the countries, values, and movements they represent. As a result, students develop international mindedness, empathy, and respect.
We’re excited to celebrate 12 PenPals of the Week who recently completed Flags of the World: Faith from the United States, Julia, Keira, Soleil, Summer, Alana, and Catherine from Canada, Ahmed and Hezha from Iraq, and Akshara, Auritro, and Amrutha from India.
Many students fear poetry because they expect it to to be stiff or confusing, not meant for mortal eyes. However, teachers can break down those preconceptions by sharing thought provoking poems that cover culturally relevant topics. Poetry can be puzzling at first, but it can also be personal, purposeful, provocative, anything but pointless.
This week, we're excited to celebrate eight American students who recently participated in A World of Poetry as PenPals of the Week: Olivia from Missouri, Kate from Ohio, and Taryn, Rianne, Sarah, Genevieve, Kayla, and Claire from Virginia. They read poems from the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. They discussed writing styles, cross-cultural themes, and shared original poems with each other.
Plastic clogs waste streams, poisons aquatic organisms, and litters landscapes. On April 22nd, 2018, more than one billion people from around the world will celebrate Earth Day and focus on reducing plastic pollution. Everyday citizens are taking action, and the majority of PenPals also believe that individuals are responsible for protecting the environment.
This week, we celebrate Ekaterina from Russia, Mauro from Italy, Hanisah, Magdalena, and Shamser from Malaysia, and Amani, Molly, and Mariam from the USA as our PenPals of the Week. They participated in Protecting the Planet with students from around the world to learn about environmental issues ranging from oil drilling to poaching. These PenPals took a deep dive on the topic of coral bleaching and surfaced with ideas to spread awareness and inspire action.
The European Union is the most divided region in the world on the topic of immigration. Scores on the 9 point Migrant Acceptance Index range from a high of 7.92 in Sweden to a low of 1.69 in Hungary. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump requested $25 billion to fund a US-Mexico border wall, even though a Quinnipiac University study found that the majority of Americans oppose the border wall, as do the majority of PenPals.
Students who empathize with immigrant experiences are better equipped with knowledge and social skills to engage in respectful conversations around policy. This week, we celebrate Nikki and Kye from an IB school in Thailand as PenPals of the Week. They participated in Immigration in the 21st Century to learn about how immigrants impact communities and shared their families’ immigration stories with their peers.