This summer, I signed up on a Skype beta project for educators to connect with other educators via Skype. Through this forum, I was connected to a teacher named Ms. Keenan in Maine who knew that her class would be studying Morocco this year. As I was headed for Morocco, I was quite excited by this possibility. We exchanged a lot of emails and talked about what we were going to do. We decided to exchange questions and set up a Skype date. It took a bunch of planning, but the results were awesome!
First, Ms. Kennan’s class sent my class a list of questions. Some of their questions included:
– What food do you eat?
– Have you ever been to the desert?
– What animals live near your house?
– Are there any churches near your school?
My kids had a great time answer their questions. We shared with them that we live in the city and don’t see much of the desert, although lots of my kids have been on vacation in desert areas. We told them about the donkeys and horses that we see on the street, along with wild cats. We told them about hearing the call for prayer from the mosque, but not knowing where the closest church is. My kids shared their list of favorite foods which included cous cous and tagines, but was also full of foods like spaghetti, french fries and hotdogs!
Then, my class sent Ms. Keenan’s class our own list of questions: Some of the questions my kids came up with her:
– What languages do you speak?
– What games do you play?
– Do you build snowmen?
– What do you bring for snack?
Ms. Kennan’s class sent back their answers and my class was thrilled. They loved hearing about how her students build snow forts and played Wii. They loved hearing that they are learning Spanish at school and eat cookies and goldfish for snack. It was great for the kids to understand that these kids did the same things they do.
Finally, the date was set and we had our Skype date. Unfortunately, I don’t have a projector, so my class simply sat in front of my laptop. It worked out very well. Ms. Kennan’s class taught us a song. We taught them a song and how to count to 10 in the Moroccan dialect of Arabic. Then the students got to ask each other questions. One of my favorite moments was when one of my students said “Hey, they aren’t wearing uniforms!” Overall, it was a great experience, and I’m so glad we were able to help Ms. Keenan’s class learn a little about Morocco. Now I’m looking for a class in the Democratic Republic of Congo to do the same to help my class for International Day!
Here are some pictures of the Skype event:
In USA (Maine)
This was such a great experience for my class and a great chance to use technology, that I just had to share!
For two years, I was a computer specialist, and I was always trying to come up with new, great ways to allow students to use the computer, while integrating all the standards we have to teach anyways. One resource I created for my students and teachers were internet scavenger hunts. The internet scavenger hunts that I created allowed my students to visit websites to find the answers to questions or activities on a given subject – specifically their science and social studies topics. As a technology specialist, I actually had my students working on these at home, or with their home room teacher, so I had almost forgotten about them. Then, the other day I was going through my files to see what I had for States of Matter, my next science subject, and I realized that I have an internet scavenger hunt for it! I also have one for weather and moon phases, two of the other topics I cover this year! I love when I come across materials that I have already made and I can use them in a new way. I also realized that some of these internet scavenger hunts may be useful to you guys, so here are some links to some of my favorite internet scavenger hunts. (FYI – I have internet scavenger hunts for grades K – 5, so there’s something for everyone!)
P.S. These work great as a computer center, or an at-home project.