Around the World: Misconceptions Resolved

This afternoon Coloma Middle School, one of our RUS grant schools, is participating in a 3 hour Around the World session with countries in Central and South America. The sessions focus on “misconceptions resolved” as misconceptions are part of the 7th grade language arts curriculum for Coloma.

Costa Rica
Lincoln School, Costa Rica started with a presentation with an overview of their country and their school and daily life. Next they presented their game show to quiz our students on their culture. Many of the questions were taken from their presentation. Some of the questions were:

  • What is the capital of Costa Rica?
  • What is the most popular sport in Costa Rica?
  • What countries neighbor Costa Rica?

Next, our class presented about Coloma, Michigan, and misconceptions about America. They created humorous skits about the misconceptions. We started the game show, and then ran out of time. Clearly, though the students were having a great time!

Soon the American Nicaraguan School connected and we checked audio and video. Their students weren’t quite ready, so we played the “small town America” game for a few more minutes.

Then Nicaragua shared their humorous skits about misconceptions about Nicaragua. They were video clips liked the ones from Coloma. Both sets of video clips were a little hard to understand due to soft voices and background noise. We certainly learned a few lessons with those skits!

Then we played a Jeopardy game about Nicaragua Physical Geography, History and Culture, and Human Geography. We rotated between American and Costa Rica to compete in the game. Questions included the largest lake, types of food, etc. We just finished the Nicaragua game show in time.

We took a 20 min break for our Michigan students to eat since it was 5:00 p.m. here.

Soon Guatemala connected in. We started with quick intros from the participating classes, and then they started their presentation. They showed many pictures. Then we played their jeopardy game with American and Nicaragua competing. Guatemala had trouble with their skit video clips, so we played the jeopardy game about rural America with Nicaragua and Guatemala competing. This was a really fun format and the students in each class were really involved.

Finally at the end, we were able to watch the skits from Guatemala with misconceptions about their country.

Lessons Learned
We learned again that it’s important to slow down and speak clearly! It’s so easy to get excited and talk so fast! Laughing while talking makes it even harder to understand. We also had trouble with all of the video clips for the skits. They were very difficult to hear. We’ll have to think more about what could make these work better! I think that video clips probably can’t work unless there is a mic on the presentation. In a live skit, you can have the students come closer to the mic and speak slower. However in a taped skit, it’s hard to make it easier to hear.

Due to a comedy of scheduling problems, we didn’t connect to a country every hour for 12 hours as we originally planned. However we had a great connection with these three schools. We appreciate the hard work from all the students who participated in this set of videoconferences!

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