Global Dialogue in The Language Arts Classroom
Level Up Village’s newest literature course – Global Conversations: The Giver – prompted some interesting and thought-provoking dialogue between students at Eastern Middle School in Connecticut and their global partners in Kenya, Ghana, Jamaica and Argentina this spring on issues such as the role of government in people’s daily lives, discrimination, poverty and corruption.
These conversations took place both in their classrooms and virtually through the exchange of video messages with their global partners via Level Up Village’s secure global communications platform. The new course was piloted by Eastern Middle School teacher Bridget Suvansri who wrote this article for Edutopia about her first Level Up Village project.
Here’s a sample of what students at EMS and their partners at Kenya Connect had to say to each other about The Giver:
At the end of the course, the students in Connecticut had a chance to interact with their partners in both Kenya and Ghana via Skype. By planning their questions in advance, Suvansri’s students were able to cover a great deal of ground with their partners during the Skype, including favorite subjects in school, hopes and dreams for the future, where they would like to travel, and what they would want to change in the world, if they could.
“My students and I were quite touched by the Skype session. Since it occurred at the end of our video exchanges, it was also a wonderful way to interact one last time, to say goodbye and to wish each other well,” said Suvansri.
“Overall, I thought the biggest take away from this course for my students was that they heard directly from the kids who live in other countries about the issues that they face. I thought that was far more impactful than just reading about those same issues online. When students discussed solutions to societal issues and their hopes for the future, that was truly a highlight as well and is very much in line with Lois Lowry’s dedication of the book to ‘all children for whom we entrust the future,” added Suvansri.