Email presents students with excellent opportunities to connect their learning to the world. Student can use email to:
Contact other classooms to communicate, gather data, share ideas and stories; build communication skills; learn about life in other states or countries; and compare and contrast lifestyles, natural resources, weather, traditions, cultures, or foods, etc.
Since many of the world's classrooms can easily access email, this is an excellent strategy for sharing information about wildlife, wildlife habitats, and attitudes about wildlife.
National Science Education Standards
Sponsored by NSTA
Content Standards for All Grade Levels
Science and Technology: Understandings about science and technology.
History and Nature of Science: Science as a human endeavor.
Standards for the English Language Arts
Sponsored by NCTE and IRA
12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
U.S. National Geography Standards
Sponsored by National Geographic
Element 2: Places and Regions
Standard 6 - How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions
National Council for the Social Studies
IX. Global Connections: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of global connections and interdependence.
- ePals, iEarn URLs
- One or more computers with email access (This strategy can be applied equally well in one computer classrooms or computer labs. It can also be used by students with email access at home.)
- Criteria for the "buddy" classroom(s): How old are participating students? What grade levels will participate? Where should they be located? What language will correspondence be conducted in?
- A notebook for logging each email sent and received. (Teachers should receive a copy of each outgoing message.
- Maps to document locations
- Brainstorm with students a list of the information which will be communicated with the buddy classrooms. What will we be talking about? Are we gathering data, sharing information, exchanging ideas? Will we communicate as groups or as individuals?
- Select a buddy classroom and ensure that these students and their teacher wish to participate.
- Review your school's Internet Acceptable Use Policy with students, and discuss procedures for logging incoming and outgoing email messages
- Have entire class, small groups, or individual students prepare email messages for teacher's review. After reviewing content, the message can be sent.
- When students receive replies, they should print them and share with the larger class. Sharing may be achieved by posting replies on a bulletin board, reading them to the class or to a small group. The dialogue can then be integrated into the classroom's day- to- day activity. For example, information gathered about distant ecosystems can be incorporated into the student's research on habitats.
- Class members should assist each other in constructing responses.
- Use the Ask the Expert section on the Field Trip Earth site to send questions to wildlife researchers.
- Use maps, charts, and graphs to visualize data collected via the email exchange.
- In addition to email, students could send attachments, such as digital photographs or maps, to their buddy classrooms.
- Students with nearby buddy classrooms could take a field trip to meet their colleagues and continue the exchange in person.
- Review logs to ensure that students are participating fully in the project.
- Logs will also show if students are progressing in terms of writing and technology skills.
- Review evidence of correspondence, as well as maps and other materials, to assess student's ability to incorporate information in other learning.
- Writing skills - Use of details, writing for a purpose
- Comprehension and ability to respond to written material
- Incorporate written material into creative projects
- Formulate clear and concise questions that encourage appropriate response
Author: Brewer, Bunnie