Wednesday, Feb. 23, was a very special day at Mill Creek School. At MCS, we are committed to ensuring that our students have the opportunity to truly engage in this world, and in this regard we are dedicated to helping them develop a more global perspective.
During Who is Your Neighbor Day our students and staff took part in a variety of activities that were designed to support this goal. Throughout the day, all staff and students worked together to learn a little bit more about how our fellow global citizens live their lives. It is our belief that by living and working through dialogue we can all learn to see the world a little bit better, and we are proud that we had the opportunity to begin these important conversations last week.
Below you will find a brief description of some of the activities that we all took part in last week.
Flat Classroom: A Week in the Life
How does your life compare to other kids your age around the world? We took a look at what 5R learned during a recent collaborative project with students from London, Prague, Mumbai, Beijing and three other U.S. schools. Students compared their lives in the areas of school time, food and celebrations, leisure time, housing and transportation, and languages and clothing. This session was comprised of photos, video and audio clips and discussion.
In Material World, with the use of photographs, students look inside the lives of 12 families from all parts of the world. The photographs provide a revealing glimpse into the families’ daily lives. They also reveal information about the societies in which the families live and their most important values. As the students observe the photographs, they will be encouraged to think about the similarities and differences between the various families and their environments and cultures.
Life Around the World
Children listened to a nonfiction book about North America as well as one other country, then brainstormed and discussed the similarities we share with our neighbor. We use a Venn Diagram to organize and chart these similarities.. Some of the topics covered in each book include weather, plants, animals food, languages and environment. We are looking forward to learning about our neighbors and making some important connections about how our lives are similar!
Tourist vs. Traveler
"A tourist sees what he has come to see. A traveler sees what he sees" (G.K. Chesterton)
This session is designed to help participants see through both lenses. Student volunteers shared their experiences abroad using a guided five-question prompt. Inquiry and discussion will be facilitated in an effort to help students determine which mindset is more effective in garnering an understanding and appreciation of global interconnectedness.
The oral tradition of storytelling has existed in all cultures for thousands of years. There are over 1,500 versions of the story of Cinderella in a multitude of languages making it the most reiterated folk tale in the world. All of the versions show that within everyone there are common longings and fears. We will be reading and comparing two or three different versions of Cinderella, looking at characters, plot and setting elements, as well as cultural differences included in the stories.
What Do You See?
“…progress lies not in the substitution of new names for old habits but in the transformation of old habits into a new quality of mind and heart." (Boyd Bode)
We all know that some people wear glasses to help them see the world a little more clearly. In this session we had an opportunity to think about and discuss the "invisible" glasses that we all wear, and tried on some glasses to help us "see" the world a little more clearly. By sharing some stories, using some crazy optical illusions, and having some meaningful discussion about the lives of others, we hope to have an opportunity to see the world a little more clearly.
In Hungry Planet, students used photographs of families from around the world to study their lives. The photographs provide a revealing glimpse into the families’ daily lives. They also reveal information about the societies in which the families live and their most important values. As the students observe the photographs, they were encouraged to think about the similarities and differences between the various families and their environments and cultures.
Children of China and India
Students observed the life of a 10-year-old child in both China and India. As students observe these children via video, they will track the similarities between their life and the lives of these children half a world away.
Andrew Barrett is principal of Mill Creek Elementary School.