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!
Do you remember learning rhymes and poems when you were younger? Poetry is a fun way to develop language skills, remember lessons, and share stories! However, surveys show that fondness for poetry fades as children grow older, with only 11.7 percent of the adult population reading poetry in the last year. Reading and writing poetry has several benefits for students, including increasing empathy, building vocabulary, improving public speaking skills, and chunking information into memorable pieces. So, how can we teach poetry to help our students develop these skills and maintain a love for the genre?
It is officially holiday season! What holidays do you and your students celebrate? In Holidays & Festivals of the World, students explore how people around the world celebrate different holidays including New Years, Christmas, Ramadan, and Diwali through project based learning. Students collaborate with peers to discover traditions and culture as they create products such as holiday cards, proposals for new holidays, and stories about how they celebrate their own holidays!
There are hundreds of different ways to engage students in reading, but it can be challenging to implement strategies that work for every student in your class. One of the simplest ways to engage all of your learners is to provide a purpose for reading, but that’s easier said than done!
Global project-based learning is a great way to provide an authentic purpose and engage students in reading. Because project-based learning challenges students with real-world learning experiences, the purpose becomes immediately clear to students. There are a lot of reading comprehension skills that students improve when they connect with their peers through global PBL, like summarizing, supporting claims, and comparing & contrasting.
“Reading comprehension helps to improve the effectiveness of reading and understanding the given text. It enhances the vocabulary, increases the fluency of reading, develops the comprehension skills and also helps an individual to think critically and come to deductions. A student also learns to summarize the given text in less words which helps to express one's ideas in the most effective way. Hence, I think reading comprehension is an extremely important exercise in the learning of a language.”
Teachers from 150 different countries have been using PenPal Schools to connect their students through global project-based learning. We’ve seen educators emphasize reading comprehension skills in different ways as they participate in projects, so we asked them to share some tips and advice for improving reading comprehension. Here are 3 ways to support reading comprehension with global PBL: