During the recent holiday season Jackson Elementary students exchanged holiday greeting cards (via regular mail or electronic mail) with their counterparts in schools around the world.
Students were placed in teams and were paired up with a list of students in 24 other classrooms. Each class was sent an excel document with all names and addresses of the classrooms in their group. Each class created enough cards to send 1 card to each class on their list. Some students receive cards electronically and some by regular U.S. mail.
Some of the students used the Internet to find each school on GoogleMaps. The students practiced using Internet research skills to find a photo of each school, or in some cases, a photo from the school's community. Additional information found about the school included its location on a map, the average December temperature, the school's population, the city's population and at least one other interesting fact about the school.
One of the searches resulted in a photo of a playground in Hawaii that was surrounded by palm trees; another showed a playground in British Columbia that was covered in 2 feet of snow. Each student made a holiday greeting card for the school they researched. Jackson students received cards from as far away as Seoul, South Korea.
During this unit, the students studied geography, climate, map reading skills, Internet research, and even civics to bring our world a little closer.