Still continuing our Read Around the Planet connections this week. Today two classes from River Valley Middle School are connecting to South Carolina and Virginia. The 8th grade students have been studying the book Anne Frank. Recently they did the Anne Frank program with the Center for Puppetry Arts.
Based on that inspiration, they shared two shadow puppet plays that the students wrote. The play came across really well in the videoconference. In addition, a couple of groups also shared their rap written about Anne Frank. Our partner class really enjoyed the puppet shows.
Still another 23 Read Around the Planet connections to go!
After the first week of so many Read Around the Planet connections along with other VCs, I finally was able to actually watch a full session today. We have 63 RAP sessions this year.
Today’s session was an ESL Read Around the Planet. We started by our 7 students saying their name and hello in their native language (Spanish and Korean). Then our friends in TX also said their names.
Our friends in Texas shared a song with us. Then our students taught the kids in Texas the alphabet using ZooPhonics with actions. Our class sang about the animals that live at the zoo.
Our friends in Texas shared the beginning of a book about an animal in the zoo. Then they shared a song about colors, with each student representing different colors.
Some of the questions the students asked each other were:
- What is your favorite food?
- What is your favorite book?
- What is your favorite toy?
- What kind of weather is it there?
- Why aren’t you wearing blue? (one class had uniforms and the other class didn’t)
The students enjoyed a great conversation and learned about each other. Reminds me why I love this project!
Now that I’ve made it through organizing my 63 Read Around the Planet connections, I sent an email to my teachers on preparation. I haven’t done this before. Usually I trust to the email and my coordinators to make sure everything goes well. But this year I wanted to check up on the process a little more carefully. Here’s what I sent. Feel free to use it with your teachers if you want. (The interaction ideas are copied from the teacher packet.)
By now you should have received an email with your partner information and date & time for Read Around the Planet. It came from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let me know if you didn’t receive it!
Communicate with your partner teacher
Please take some time in the next week to email or phone your partner teacher to let him/her know what you are planning.
The teacher packet is online here: http://www.twice.cc/read/RAP-TeacherPacket.pdf
If you printed the one from the match email, please get this one instead because it’s newer and has more lesson ideas.
In particular, these ideas below can be used to increase the interaction – so it’s more than just two presentations and then Q&A.
- Ask your partner class questions related to your presentation as you go through. I.e. presenting state symbols: “What are your state symbols?”
- Ask your partner class to guess something (i.e. who do the biography dolls represent).
- Make statements about your class and have your partner class decide if they are
- true (touch nose) or false (touch shoulders).
- Share riddles for your partner class to solve.
- Give the other class something to print and fill out (i.e. lyrics to a song and fill in the blanks).
- Have your students dress up as a book characters and have the other class guess whom you represent.
- For middle or high school students, have your students perform with the other class acting as judges.
- Create a Mad-Lib for your partner class to complete.
- Teach the other class something – a local saying, a local dance, how to make some local food, how to draw a book character, etc.
- Research your partner class’ town and create a presentation about similarities and differences that you learn. Prepare questions about facts or news items that you find interesting or are curious about.
- Play Wheel of Fortune with phrases, nouns, or sayings from your town or school. (This one should be 3rd grade or higher and watch the time!)
- For older students – middle or high school – write a story about characters who journey between your town and you partner class’ town. Share it during the RAP connection. (If you really want to get creative, use a wiki to write collaboratively and then meet in the videoconference to present it.)
- Play twenty questions. Be sure to review the rules of the game before you begin and give a clear idea of what they will be guessing. Example: You will be able to ask us 20 “yes” or “no” questions in order to figure out our mystery Dr. Seuss’ character.
As always, you can get assistance from me or your school videoconference coordinator.
What are your tips for keeping organized for Read Around the Planet and supporting your teachers? Please comment!