This month, thousands of students across Europe have been staging protests to demand action on climate change. By walking out of schools, students hope that politicians will start to take climate change seriously and take action to protect the environment.
Young people have a different sort of urgency when it comes to climate change. After all, they will be the generation who truly faces the effects and they know that they can’t afford another year of inaction. That’s why so many students around the world are staging protests and connecting with each other to begin to solve problems within their own communities.
One of those students is PenPal Star Raine from New Jersey, USA. She recently participated in Protecting the Planet and learned a lot about some of the biggest issues threatening our environment.
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.
Bring global connections into your curriculum every month this semester! Here are the best topics and contests for every major content area each month this semester. To make it even easier for your class to participate, you can begin exploring a topic at any time!
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:
Have you joined PenPal-A-Palooza yet? Each day, thousands of students are making global connections and exploring different topics. Project based learning with PenPal Schools makes it fun for students and teachers to develop reading, writing, social and emotional learning (SEL), and digital citizenship skills!
PenPal-A-Palooza ends February 28, and each week we are going to recognize 4 all-star students that demonstrate excellence in reading, writing, social & emotional skills, and digital citizenship! Here’s a sneak peak of what we’re looking for in our PenPal-A-Palooza All-Stars and how to support your students so they can win an award:
Are you ready for PenPal-A-Palooza 2019? Join our biggest PenPal exchange of the year for a chance to win cool prizes, including a free school license! We’re challenging students around the world to write to as many PenPals as possible to see which school can send the most messages by the end of February. It’s easy to join- simply sign up and explore one of our many topics by the end of February to participate!
PenPal-A-Palooza is a great opportunity to discover the benefits of global project based learning. Today’s PenPal Stars exemplify the power of project based learning. Meet Gerda, Karolina, Rokas, Karolis, and Leva from Lithuania who recently explored the popular topic World Explorer!
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.