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:
Political leaders across the USA are being sworn into office this month. As elected officials, they’ll help make decisions that affect towns, cities, and states across the USA. Young people have a lot of opinions and ideas about the issues affecting their futures. That’s why so many students are exploring American Perspectives, a project based learning unit that allows students to form and share opinions about some of today’s most important issues such as education, health care, the economy, energy, immigration. Students have access to information about a variety of political perspectives through guiding questions, videos, texts, and images.
This week, we are excited to highlight a 5th grade class from Fox Meadow Elementary School in New York, USA as our PenPal Stars!
Join more than 1,100 students as they participate in Holidays & Festivals of the World this month! Many countries are getting ready to celebrate holidays such as Christmas, New Years, and Día de los Reyes Magos and students are excited to share their holiday traditions! Use this excitement to motivate students advance their writing skills and share their culture and traditions with our collaborative learning community.
In November, students from around the world participated in a special photography contest to share photos of the people, places, and things they are grateful for. Students participated in the special PenPal Schools topic Giving Thanks Through Photography and submitted photos to the Showcase. The PenPal Schools team chose the 5 best student photos and shared them on social media for community voting.
Your votes have been counted, and we’re excited to announce that Lera from Ukraine is the winner! Congratulations, Lera! Check out her winning project:
For many of our readers, it’s almost holiday break! Parents, students, and teachers alike are counting down the days until vacation. However, how can you make the most of the time you have left?
Did you know that one in five jobs are connected to international trade? Our world is becoming more interconnected every day, highlighting the need to help our students develop as globally competent citizens that can successfully work with people around the world. This is highlighted by the UN’s fourth sustainable development goal (SDG), which calls for “inclusive and equitable quality education that promotes lifetime learning opportunities for all”. One way that the UN will track this success is by monitoring schools’ use of global citizenship education.
There are more than 1.5 billion English Language Learners in the world today. Are you or your students included in this statistic? PenPal Schools helps ESL students develop essential reading and writing skills through global project based learning.
Global communication is a perfect way for our students to study English as a foreign language and to present their own culture, customs and traditions to their new friends. What is more, they can improve the usage of ICT.
From 1995 to 2014, the fastest growing population of American children were first- and second- generation immigrants, increasing by 51 percent. In total, one in four children are first- and second- generation immigrants!
Many teachers struggle with how to bring up immigration with their students in a compassionate, productive way. Even the word immigration has strong emotional connotations for some students and can cause classroom conflict. So, what is the solution? Today’s PenPal Star from the USA provides an example of the kind of critical conversations your students can have about immigration through global project-based learning!