Global collaboration is necessary to show students that they are part of something bigger than them. Monday, October 1 marked the kick off to the 9th annual Global Read Aloud. For a period of six weeks, more than 1.5 million kids around the world will get to experience reading aloud by sitting and listening to incredible stories, and having meaningful conversations about different lands and cultures.
Contributed by Emily Edwards, grade 4 teacher
Several classrooms in the Lower School are excited to participate in this year’s Global Read Aloud program. Each grade level has selected a book or series from the list to read during the 6-week period. Exploring websites, we have reached out to other teachers and schools around the world to connect globally through pen-pal letters, video chats, and shared resources. This is an incredible way for our learners to connect with other students about a common topic.
The fourth-grade has been reading the book, Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. Amal is a 12-year-old girl living in a Punjabi village in Pakistan. Her goal in life is to go to school and someday become a teacher. Through the story, many outside forces get in the way of her dreams.
To kick off the learning, the fourth-grade students studied the author and her inspiration for the book. Then we dove into the geography, culture, language, and traditions of Pakistan. On Wednesday, October 3, we had the opportunity to video chat with Abdul Samad Khan, an external expert on Pakistan, and ask questions about the culture, language, and life in Pakistan. Middle School Maker Chris Andres used to work with Abdul Samad Khan through National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Samad now lives in Pakistan. This helped us gain a better understanding of the country and we are already planning another video session where we can connect our students with students in Pakistan.
We feel so lucky to participate in this program with our students. They are making global connections and the possibilities are endless.
“The project was created in 2010 with a simple goal in mind; one book to connect the world. From its humble beginnings, Global Read Aloud (GRA) has grown to make a truly global connection with more than 4,000,000 students. The premise is simple; we pick a book to read aloud to our students during a set 6-week period and during that time we try to make as many global connections as possible. Each teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be. Some people choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible. The scope and depth of the project is up to them. While there are commonly used methods such as Skype, Twitter, WriteAbout or Flipgrid, you choose the tools that will make the most sense for you. Teachers get a community of other educators to do a global project with, hopefully inspiring them to continue these connections through the year.” The Global Read Aloud Official Website