It has been another busy week for our School learning about Christmas around the world. Our project of Christmas around the world was put together to try and connect classes from around the world to learn about Christmas in different countries. We have had an overwhelming number of schools sign up and I know that there have been many classes skyping with each other. Year 1,2 and Year 6 have all skyped with another class so it was Year 5 who had to chance to connect with other schools around the world.
Both classes had an extra element to their skype as they had to first use their geography knowledge to ask questions to find out the location of the class. They had iPads and Google maps at hand to help them narrow it down. Mystery Skype is a superb idea that really bring Geography to life. Sometimes I think there is a severe lack of coverage in knowledge of the world – countries, capital cities etc. The Mystery skype provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the world in a more interactive and engaging way.
We asked questions such as:
Do you live in the Northern Hemisphere?
Do you live in America?
Is it snowing where you are?
Do you border Mexico?
Eventually we narrowed it down to the state the school was in! Once we had worked out where we both were from we asked questions to learn about Christmas where they live. We asked questions like:
When do you put your decorations up?
What do you have for your Christmas dinner?
What do you leave for Father Christmas?
How do you celebrate Christmas in school?
We found out some great facts! Americans don’t have mince pies or Christmas puddings. They usually put their tree up straight after Thanksgiving. Depending on the type of school they have they don’t have a Christmas celebration in school but more of a holiday celebration where they also include other religions such as the jewish celebration of Hanukkah. They leave Father Christmas cookies and milk and call him Santa. But we also found differences between the two schools we skyped even though they were from the same country.
The school which skyped with Class 5B had a local TV station reporting on the impact skype can have on Children’s learning. They reported the story on the local news station, you can view the news story here:
Martinsville Teacher Uses Skype to Take Her Students Overseas.
Both classes thoroughly enjoyed this experience and learnt a lot about the differences in traditions in America to ourselves. We look forward to using skype again in class to help us further our learning.