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:
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?