For the Global Awareness activity, I chose to use the website Epals. Epals provides a safe way for students to communicate with their virtual "pen-pal" through email exchanges. What I like about this website is that you can choose a classroom within the United States or any country around the world. This makes it adaptable to any global activity. I chose this tool because I thought students would value the lesson more due to having a personal connection to the person.  During this lesson, students had to conduct research on a country of their choosing. Students had to complete a two-column note chart with the information they found. After they have their research complete, students use Epals to communicate with a student from that particular country. During their conversations, students "interview" their "pen-pal", by asking them questions about their country and experiences. Finally, students create a blog describing their country and their findings.

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I also used the ePals Website! I like your activity of conducting research!! I am constantly thinking of ways that I can incorporate research into my third grade classroom. With the new Common Core State Standards I want to give my students as much practice as I can so they can meet that particular standard. I think I'll use this next year in my classroom right away to give students the opportunity to learn about different countries all over the world and to gain experience researching a topic! Do you think you'll use ePals in the classroom or are you already using it?? If so, do students have access to computers and the internet? My school has very limited access to technology so I'm just trying to find creative solutions to this problem!

Amber,

I also chose to use the e-Pals website. I agree that this is a great website because it provides that safe environment for the students to communicate with their pen pal through email. The teachers can provide the safety of checking the emails before the students look at them. I also liked how the teacher can choose different cultures and different countries. This way the teacher can allow students to have choice for which country they learn about, or the teacher can pinpoint a particular culture or country.

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