I used an email exchange activity that I obtained from the ePals Website. Epals is a Website that allows teachers to set up student email accounts so that they may exchange emails with students from other countries or parts of the world. My activity involved students getting to know other students from a different country. Students can email their ePal each week and ask questions about their home life, school life, and personal likes and dislikes. After a few weeks of email exchange, students are then required to compare and contrast their life to the life of their ePal. As a culminating activity students will create a digital presentation highlighting the major likes and differences. This activity is global in that it gives students access to children in other parts of the world. It gives students the experience in learning about a new culture without actually having to go there.
Your activity was very similar to mine. I also used ePals and found a Message in a Bottle activity with a class from the United Kingdom. I chose to do a spin on this for my lesson but the compare and contrast component was there. For mine my students had to create a digital presentation of their own culture to send do the other students and visa versa. Using their digital presentations and the one they receive they were to create either an essay (for my less ambitious children) or a second digital presentation (more ambitious) comparing and contrasting the two cultures.
EPals seems like an amazing Website where students can safely keep in contact with other students around the world. It is awesome that a site like this exists and next year I would love to join one of the projects listed.
Colleen and Nicole,
My lesson was also very similar! I had the students communicate with others from Mexico through the e-Pals website. Students then took the information they learned about Mexico and the culture and created a pamphlet to describe the similarities and differences. I really enjoyed the e-Pals website as well! I think it is a safe and exciting environment for students to talk with other students to learn first hand about another culture. I think it is a great experience and excite students to learn about other cultures.