Patricia Hill, Library Media Technology Specialist, at Shorewood was looking to partner with another school for the Global Read Aloud. The Global Read Aloud wants to show students that they are part of something bigger and they pick a book to read aloud to students during a set 6-week period and make as many global connections as possible (https://theglobalreadaloud.com/). Mandy Meloy, Library Media Technology Specialist, at Lindbergh was interested. The Global Read Aloud book was chosen to be Wild Robot by Peter Brown. Patricia and Mandy started talking about the logistics and started talking with the 4th and 5th grade teachers at their prospective schools.
Lindbergh 4th and 5th grade teachers, Beth Callies, Ben Langer, and Pam Vitale, decided they wanted to read Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and thought Shorewood might be interested in reading it with them. Patricia spoke with her 4th grade teachers, Phillip Edmonds, Leigh Ellingson, and Shannon Holum and they thought it was a great idea! Independently, the two schools read and discussed Wonder.
In late November, three Shorewood 4th grade classes spoke with Lindbergh’s three 4th and 5th grade classes via Google Hangouts. They introduced one another to each school and included how many students, mascots, and other unique information. The students then made connections to the book and each other. For example, in the book, the kids eat with their friends in the lunchroom. Let me tell you about lunch at my school. .. What is lunch at your school like? (The questions were shared with classes in advance and the classroom teachers helped the students prepare for the hangout.)
After the Google Hangouts with a class, the Shorewood students created individual videos using the tech tool Flipgrid. Shorewood students video recorded themselves and talked about their favorite character and/or favorite part of the book. Each Lindbergh student responded to the Shorewood student and shared with that student a favorite character or part of the book. They had a conversation with a student from another school using technology.
Participating in Global Read aloud (with a twist) was a fun way to engage students with reading, technology, speaking/listening, and digital citizenship. The students enjoyed learning about and from students at a different MMSD school.