Teachers IMPROVE STUDENT PERFORMANCE
Teacher's Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet

Creative and Language Arts Project Examples

Grandmother and Me
Students from around the world are encouraged to tell everyone the name they call their grandmother, ways they spend time (or did spend time) with their grandmother and why she is very special. The Grandmother and Me project gives students an opportunity to celebrate culture, language and generations with other Kidlink students using the writing process and art. Additionally, students will: participate in their own language (as well as English); record names given to grandmothers around the world; list reasons why grandmothers are special; write a collaborative story about grandmothers; spend time visiting and talking to their grandmothers; share stories, recipes, songs and other interesting information provided by grandmothers; examine, organize, graph, analyze data and draw conclusions from the grandmother entries; use art to express ideas and bridge language barriers.

  • Age Level: 6-19 years old
  • Curriculum Area: Language arts
  • End Product(s) for Students: Webpage
  • Timeline/Schedule: Ongoing
  • Webpage: http://www.kidlink.org/KIDPROJ/grandmother/
  • Level of Technology Used: WWW forums, e-mail
  • Contact: Patti Weeg pweeg@beaumont-publishing.com
  • Supporting Organization: Kidlink
  • Language(s) of communication: Afirkaans, English, Estonian, Finnish, German, Icelandic, Japanese, Macedonian, Portuguese, Setswana, Spanish, Tamil, Xhosa
  • Longevity: 2000 -

Kids' Internet Radio Project
Using the software, tutorials, and facilities offered by the project, students produce their own streaming internet radio show. Students' shows are then broadcast live, and can be retrieved from the web archive by future listeners. Listeners can provide their comments and suggestions to youth producers through anonymous communication channels offered through the project website. Equipment and internet access requirements are minimal.

  • Age: 13-19
  • Timeline/Schedule: ongoing until 4/30/07
  • Level of technology used: Digital Portfolios; Discussion Forum; Email; List server; IRC; Chat; Audiofiles; CDs; tapes.
  • Curriculum areas: Arts; Community Interest; Information Technology; International Relations; Language; Multicultural Studies; Science; Social Studies; Technology; Vocational Education
  • Webpage: http://www.projectkir.org/irp/public/
  • Contact: staff@projectkir.org
  • Supporting organization: Global SchoolNet

Kindred Magazine Cover: A collection of family storiesKindred/The Family Project
Students research events in the lives of members of their family or local community to find the impact of world or local history. They are asked to interview members of their immediate family (mother, father, brothers, sisters), extended family (grandparents, uncles, aunts), neighbors or friends in the local community. They should ask them about experiences in their life that have been affected by the events of world or local history. Events may include war, natural disasters, migration, important discoveries, monuments, famous places and so on. Students should focus on the impact for the family.

The Kindred Project has been recognized as a "Commended Project" by the Cable&Wireless Childnet Interational Awards for 2000.

  • Age Levels: All
  • Curriculum Area: Integrated studies, English, History, Social Studies
  • End product: A book will be published and a web site will be made showing the stories and pictures sent.
  • Time line/Schedule: Ongoing
  • Webpage: http://www.iearn.org/projects/kindred.html, http://www.iEARN.org.au/kindred/
  • Contact: Judy Barr, Australia judybarr@iearn.org.au
  • Level of Technology Used: E-mail, newsgroups, WWW
  • Sponsoring Organization: iEARN-Australia
  • Language(s) of communication: English (requests for other languages will be considered)

Laws of Life LogoLaws of Life
An essay project in which students write about their personal values in life. The Laws of Life Project invites young people to express in their own words what they value most in life. Participants will submit essays about their laws of life in which they describe the rules, ideals, and principles by which they live, and explain the sources of their laws of life (reading, life experience, religion, culture, role models, etc.). Participants respond to each other's essays and interact with each other electronically. They will also be able to report on any dialogue or events that occur in their learning communities as they participate in the Laws of Life Project, and are encouraged to use what they learned about values to initiate change within the community through action projects. A teacher's guide is also available in the project languages from iEARN.

Possible project/classroom activities: Writing essays about one's laws of life, Providing respectful yet open feedback on another participant's essay, Responding to feedback that one's essay generates, Reporting on any discussions that arise in one's classroom or group from writing Laws of Life essays.

  • Age Level: 9 - 21 years old
  • Curriculum area: values education, language arts
  • End product: Multi-lingual essay booklets is prepared and distributed to participants, media, and iEARN Coordinators throughout the world.
  • Time line/Schedule: October - May (ongoing each year)
  • Webpage: http://www.iearn.org/projects/laws.html
  • Contact: lawsoflife@us.iearn.org
  • Level of Technology Used: E-mail, newsgroups, WWW forums
  • Supporting Organization: iEARN-USA
  • Language(s) of communication: Open to all languages. Support materials exist in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Russian, Spanish

Learning Circles
Learning Circles are highly interactive, project-based partnerships among a small number of schools located throughout the world. Each session is 14 weeks. To join a Learning Circle, you must be a member of iEARN and complete a Learning Circle placement form two weeks before the beginning of the session. There are three general Learning Circle themes by which classrooms are grouped. Two are listed here in the Language Arts section, while the third, Places and Perspectives can be found in the Social Studies section of the guide.

Computer Chronicles - This theme promotes writing across the curriculum. Interaction online revolves around producing a newspaper called The Computer Chronicles. Each class has the opportunity to sponsor one or more sections of the newspaper as their Learning Circle project. They solicit articles from their partner classes and edit them to create one section of the newspaper. This section is combined with the other sections sponsored by circles partners to form the completed newspaper, the Circle publication.

MindWorks - Mind Works is a writing theme designed to enhance creative and expository writing as well as develop different forms of self-expression. The goal is to help student learn how to communicate their thoughts and feelings in writing, then share and compare them with other students from distant places. The Circle publication for Mind Works is a literary magazine that might be called Creative Minds, Mind Works or a name selected by the group. The sponsored projects could be a specific form of writing such as: personal narratives, place poetry, city dialogues, school fables, local myths or personifications of local products. Or students can select a topic to sponsor and request different forms of expression on subjects like the family, jobs, schools or cities.

Lewin Magazine Cover, original artworkLewin
Lewin is an anthology of student writing. Writing can be in any format and on any topic. A publication is produced of student writing which is distributed to all contributing schools. The project is being coordinated and published by a group of students and teachers in Australia and Pakistan. "Lewin" means "messenger" in an aboriginal language.

  • Age/level: 5 - 18 years old
  • Curriculum area: Writing
  • End Product for Students: Publication of "Lewin"
  • Timeline/Schedule: Contributions to the anthology can be made from September June. Lewin is published in September
  • Webpage: http://www.iearn.org.au/lewin
  • Contact: Virginia King virgina@iearn.org.au, Bob Carter bob@iearn.org.au, or Farah Kamal smssec@aol.net.pk
  • Level of Technology Used: E-mail, WWW forums, newsgroups
  • Supporting Organization: iEARN-Australia

Moving Voices
Moving Voices started in 2004 as a pioneering project integrating digital film-making into the curriculum. Students create a two-minute digital movie on the theme "what I want the world to know about my school." Teachers are encouraged to integrate digital video-making into social studies, language learning, geography, civics and community building and other disciplines, and to engage with a community of learners interacting and collaborating online.

As the whole concept of creating a digital movie can easily seem too big, risky, and demanding, iEARN Moving Voices team set out to provide rationale and help in terms of curriculum design and professional development for teachers as well as help in the form of individualized support with managing students, technical issues and ensuring that learning opportunities are leveraged in customized and specific ways.

Playwriting-in-the-Round
Classes will collaborate with 2 other classes to write the scripts of three mystery plays. Each play will consist of (3) acts with one act written by each of the classes in the script circle. Each class will write the script for the first act of the play. They will pass the script to the next group and receive Act I from another group. They will then write Act II and pass the script to the next group in the circle. This sequence will continue until each group has written three acts. When the originating group receives their completed play, they will develop the technical lists and mail the completed play to everyone in the circle. Supporting materials and activities will be posted on the project website.

  • Age Level: grades 5-8, 9-12
  • End Product(s) for Students: Collaboratively written play.
  • Timeline/Schedule: ongoing, students are involved for 6 weeks.
  • Webpage: http://telecollaborate.net/education/pir/, http://www.ameritech.net/users/jgfairman/playwrit.html
  • Contact: Jonathan Fairman, jgfairman@yahoo.com or fairmanjo@cmsdnet.net
  • Level of Technology Used: WWW, e-mail, Video Conferencing
  • Supporting Organization: NickNacks, Cleveland Municipal School District
  • Language(s) of Communication: English

Virtues
A project in which students highlight, investigate and write about virtues that make a difference in their lives, their country, and around the globe. They will reflect on their own experiences and inspirations and present them in the form of stories, poems, articles, narratives and artwork. Possible activities: Story time, drawings, role plays, debates, discussions, research, audio/visual presentation, gallery walk, creative writing. Students' contributions would be published on the web and also in the second annual Virtues book. The project is to demonstrate that we live by certain virtues without which we cannot live effectively.

Who-Am-I?
An educational program is a means for kids and youth to get friends in other countries. This eight-month, multi-lingual program assists by guiding them to knowledge about themselves, their place, rights, friends, families, roots, and by bringing them in contact with youth around the world. Runs in parallel in many languages. To teachers, Who-Am-I? is a means to classroom instruction within their curriculum: writing, research, social studies, history, geography, foreign languages, economics, mathematics, science, the arts, current awareness, as well as personal development, Internet networking skills, information and communications technology skills. It is also a means to networking and cooperation with other teachers throughout the world.

  • Age Level: 5-19 years old
  • End Product(s) for students: WWW pages
  • Timeline/Schedule: September-May for schools in the northern hemisphere, and from March-November for the southern hemisphere
  • Webpage: http://www.kidlink.org/kie/nls/abstract.html
  • Level of Technology Used: E-mail, WWW forums, WWW Chats
  • Contact: Esperanza Sepulveda, Puerto Rico response@listserv.nodak.edu
  • Supporting Organization: Kidlink
  • Language(s) of communication: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Catalan, Chinese, Danish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Saami

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Last Modified: 09/24/2009