Meet PenPal Star Sam from Indiana, USA! This PenPal Star is in the 6th grade, and earlier this semester she participated in Walking to Freedom where she learned about diversity, discrimination, and civil rights movements around the world.
While there are great topics available for students to explore with PenPals all year long, students also have the choice to join special contests throughout the year. Earlier this spring, students participated in the Global Poetry Contest to celebrate World Poetry Day. Students wrote original poems and voted for their favorites! Two students from New Zealand won the contest, and you can read their original poems here.
Hundreds of other students wrote incredible poems during the Global Poetry Contest, too, and today we’re excited to introduce you to PenPal Star Alejandro from Mexico!
Earlier this month, PenPals from around the world joined the PenPal Schools Fake News Contest to celebrate April Fools Day by helping prevent the spread of fake news.
Meet the winners from the Fake News Contest, Isaac, Yasmin, Isabella, and Paty from the Dominican Republic and Caydaruus from Somaliland! These students were recognized by their peers and the PenPal Schools team for their outstanding, informative projects!
Students often grow up hearing fables, folktales, and myths within their homes and communities, and now students can connect and share those local stories with their peers around the world!
This week, we’re excited to celebrate PenPal Star Elena B. from Russia! Elena recently participated in Fables, Folktales, and Mythology with PenPals from around the world.
On March 21st, 600 students from 22 countries celebrated World Poetry Day by joining the PenPal Schools Global Poetry Contest. Students wrote and shared original poetry, then voted for their favorite poems written by their peers!
The United States of America is often referred to as a “nation of immigrants,” however students in the USA aren’t always aware of the impact that immigration has had on their communities.
When this week’s PenPal Star, Victoria from the USA, explored the impact of immigration in Immigration in the 21st Century, she expressed that she had never met an immigrant before.
“I have never met an immigrant before but I believe that immigrants have a positive effect on our society.”
Global connections are a great way to practice a new language. Whether connecting with native speakers or other language learners, global connections allow students to practice authentic communication.
For native speakers, connecting with language learners allows students to examine communication skills in a new way. Students often take their time to craft well structured paragraphs and sentences and pay closer attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation so that language learners can understand their ideas.
This week’s PenPal Star demonstrated excellent writing skills when she participated in Comunidades del Mundo. Meet PenPal Star Mar from Spain! Mar had the opportunity to learn more about world cultures and practice her language and communication skills with Spanish learners.
Global project based learning allows students to make connections with peers around the world as they explore issues that are relevant to their lives. These connections promote international mindedness, an important skill for success in the 21st century. Jane Drake, Head of Curriculum Innovation and Alignment at International Baccalaureate (IB), defines international-mindedness as “a world view in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility to its members (humans, other living things and the planet).” By learning with peers from around the world, students are exposed to diverse cultures, experiences, and perspectives. These learning experiences promote respect and understanding of other cultures, which are important skills for students’ future success.
While February is officially Black History Month in the United States, it’s important to discuss issues like discrimination, identity, and civil rights with your students all year long. Teachers around the world can incorporate lessons about civil rights movements from different countries to help students understand that the fight for equality transcends borders, skin color, religion, and gender.
PenPal-A-Palooza has officially started and our awesome students are loving making global connections through project based learning! To celebrate all of the great work our PenPals are posting, we will recognize four PenPal-A-Palooza All-Stars who excel in writing, reading, social and emotional learning (SEL), and digital citizenship each week. Will your students be next week’s All-Stars? Keep them inspired with these excellent examples!
Congratulations to this week’s PenPal-A-Palooza All-Stars: Cassidy, Jimmy, Marcus, and Alvaro! Your work inspires students around the world. See how these All-Stars are helping students develop key skills in these project based learning examples: