For the last three years, Woodward North second graders have participated in the Global Read Aloud in which classes from 60 different countries read the same book. This year, the book is Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe. Before Woodward North students connected with other schools about the book, they discussed it internally and used the author's blog page to ask questions such as, "How did you come up with the idea of Fenway's (the dog) point of view in the story?" The author was kind enough to reply to the questions by posting a video on her blog.
Then it was time to connect with another school that could be anywhere around the world. France, New Zealand, Thailand--the class had no idea who they were being connected with via skype. Once connected, the classes gave each other clues about where they were located, until at last the Woodward North second graders found out their partner school was in New York. The classes discussed the book and then had some time left to ask each other questions about each school's activities and, of course, lunches.
As Woodward North second grade teacher Mrs. Namburar reports, the kids loved connecting with another school and seeing the book, and the world, through their eyes. Her goal, she says, is "to take learning outside the classroom and remind the students that they are global citizens."