Learning About Water with Partners from Across the World!
Hello and greetings from Samantha and Stephanie! We are the Pre-K Blue teachers at The Goddard School in Southlake, Texas. We have been teaching together for four years and have taught both 3- and 4-year old programs! In our first year with Level Up Village, we were partnered with a 4-year old class from Zimbabwe through the LUV Curriculum “Global Discovery: Water.” We decided to try Level Up Village for our school’s Enrichment Curriculum because we felt it would be a great way for our kids to learn cultural awareness and diversity, and how best to learn about it than by working with another class on the other side of the world with the same questions!
We received amazing insight from the various stimulating and engaging activities we did as a class, and through the video interactions we enjoyed with our counterparts in Zimbabwe. The children loved learning how plants are nourished by water by planting their own seeds and watching them sprout in the classroom! During another activity, the children were challenged to use their STEM skills to create a type of water vessel to carry water to and from their “home,” just like many areas of the world do every day. We loved learning about our partner classmates and how their daily activities compared to our daily routines. We learned about their favorite foods, what they wear to school and at home, their favorite activities, and even their favorite music and movies! As a class, we tasted foods from Zimbabwe and learned to appreciate the traditional cultural music enjoyed in Zimbabwe. We also enjoyed the supplemental books that were suggested in the curriculum and our students still pull those books out of our classroom library to enjoy on their own.
Our children learned so much from the program, but I think their favorite part was making friends from another area of the world through the weekly video chats. The children loved asking questions and sharing information with their new friends from Zimbabwe. At the beginning of the program, most of our students were only familiar with the Texas region of the United States. After the program was completed, the children were able to point out Zimbabwe on the world map, as well as many other countries across several continents!
The experience wasn’t just beneficial for our students. Stephanie and I also grew as educators because we learned to appreciate and value the culture and traditions of our fellow teacher from Zimbabwe. It was richly rewarding to collaborate with a fellow educator and ultimately, we learned that despite differences in our teaching styles and objectives, we shared common goals to educate, nurture, and love our students.