This week, we are excited to celebrate Mrs. Cain’s 6th grade Digital Citizenship class from Georgia, USA as our newest PenPal Stars! They participated in A World of Food, learning about different foods and cultures through project based learning with students from around the world. This class of 6th graders worked in teams to create global cookbooks, share about secret ingredients, and compare meals from different countries around the world! Check out their incredible work in this project based learning example:
Around the World in Three Meals
Maggie, Walker, and Landron
Landron: We chose 3 countries to showcase in our slideshow. USA, England, and France. We went through the common breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each country. We chose these countries because they all have pretty different tastes in food. Each of us did one country to represent and I thought the slides were very spread out. Enjoy.
Excerpt from “Mexican Cookbook”
Caroline, Mathew, and Mia C
Mia C: Our group chose to do a Mexican cookbook because we all love Mexican food. I personally enjoy doing a Mexican cookbook because I am half Mexican and I have tried some of these dishes before. We chose dishes that are authentic to Mexican cuisine and dishes that you can find if you go to Mexico. We decided on dishes that were simple and taste amazing. Hope you enjoy!!!
Excerpt from “All Around the World Cookbook”
Christian, Haley, Sage, and Joshua
Haley: My group made a slideshow that is a cookbook of all around the world. We did different foods from all around the world from places like France, Germany, and the USA.
Global Cookbook: Italy
RJ, Audrey, Herris, and Dennis
Dennis: My group and I created a Italian cookbook online. I hope you like it.
RJ: We put some traditional recipes and how to make them. They are very fun to make and they also taste good. I hope you like the cookbook, and enjoy.
Excerpt from “Secret Ingredient”
Carleigh, Owen, Mia N, and Liam
Liam: This [is] our project that we have been working on for the past couple of weeks with our groups and we had one ingredient and we found out all the foods that we could make with it and our ingredient was avocado. We found some interesting foods and drinks like avocado toast and smoothies.
Teaching 21st century skills is easy and fun with project based learning. Educators agree that it's important that schools help their students develop “the Four Cs”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.” Mrs. Cain’s class did a great job showcasing these skills with their final projects! They showed critical thinking by deciding which information to include in their presentations, communicated with teammates and peers from around the world, collaborated in groups, and published projects that showcased their creativity! Students from all around the world will learn about culture and food from these fantastic presentations.
We caught up with Mrs. Cains’ class to learn more about their experience with PenPals:
PENPAL SCHOOLS: How did you feel when you found out you were going to be featured as a PenPal Star?
Haley: I was very excited because my team and I worked very hard and it is so nice that they wanted to feature us.
Maggie: Very surprised.
What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
RJ: I like to talk to other people from different places and see what they like. Everyone has a different opinion.
Haley: I have loved learning about new cultures and different places around the world. I learned that it is very important to know about other people's heritage and what they celebrate and do.
Maggie: You get to see different responses from students all around the World. [I learned] about multiple cultures food.
Why do you think it's important to learn with other students from around the world?
RJ: Because we can see the difference between us and them
Herris: Because you might be able to hear things that you couldn't imagine, or see a different perspective on things.
Haley: I thought this was important because we learned so much about how other people live there life and how everyone else world's might be completely different from ours and I think it was cool we got to learn that through food.
Maggie: You get to see how different cultures have different answers to the same question.
What is the most interesting thing you learned from your PenPals?
RJ: People like different things and that's okay. Everyone is equal and has a different opinion.
Herris: All types of interesting foods around and how they relate to the culture. I know where to find the best pizza.
Haley: I learned all about what they are learning and what they do in their countries. I think it has changed my mindset in the way of me realizing that it isn't the same everywhere with what they say, eat, and do.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
RJ: Be nice.
Herris: Always be nice and supportive, always listen to them and what they have to say, and not everything is about you ;).
Haley: My advice about being a great PenPal is to be kind to one another and to give good feedback.
Maggie: Make sure you proof read before you post.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
RJ: Disney Land because it is awesome there
Herris: My couch, because that is where some of the greatest ideas form.
Haley: I would want to go to Bora Bora because it's the island so nice they named it twice!
Maggie: I would go to Switzerland so that I could ski my heart out.
Can you believe this was Mrs. Cain’s class’ first project? The students did a great job working together to learn from each other and sharing their ideas with other classmates around the world. We wanted to find out more about how Mrs. Cain used PenPal Schools with her students to support her teaching goals:
PenPal Schools: What has been your favorite part of PenPal Schools?
Mrs. Cain: I loved seeing my students learn about cultures different from their own. Additionally, I was inspired by their eagerness to share aspects of their own culture with others around the world.
Tell us how you supported your students throughout this project. How much class time did you dedicate to PenPal Schools? What kind of instructional supports did you provide for your students?
We worked on this project every day, for about 20 minutes a day, for a week or a week and a half. Along the way, I asked students to share out what they were working on and I offered feedback on their process and product.
How has learning with PenPals from around the world impacted your students?
They have gained empathy and understanding for people who come from different backgrounds and live in other parts of the world.
How did you connect your project to your curriculum?
I teach a class on digital citizenship, so it was easy to connect PenPal Schools to our main goal: make a positive contribution with others online.
How did you share your students' learning with your school community?
Because this was my first project, I treated it like a pilot for our school. I had a positive experience and I shared my thoughts with our Lower School and Middle School Heads of Learning and Innovation. We are excited about the possibility of using PenPal Schools more at our school.
What advice would you give a teacher who is new to project-based learning or PenPal Schools?
Just try it! I love that teachers have the chance to complete 2 projects for free, which gives teachers and students a great opportunity to try out different features of projects and see what works to incorporate into a curriculum.
Congratulations, Mrs. Cain’s 6th grade class! You’ve inspired us with your teamwork, projects, and reflections. Thank you for being amazing PenPal Stars!
Want to learn more about digital citizenship and 21st century skills? Check out these resources:
Learning Digital Citizenship
How to Teach Digital Citizenship through Global Project Based Learning
A World of Learning with a Quarter Million Students