Bicultural Literacy Exchange

Purpose:  To provide students with an opportunity to share their knowledge with other students, and in turn, receive constructive feedback and answers to their questions (at the end of their books).  Students also have an opportunity to learn about another ecosystem (Savannas) from students who live in or nearby them.  Thus, students are essentially learning from each other by reading and writing, which function as a means for co-constructing knowledge and sharing relevant and personally meaningful information.  This learning and teaching platform fosters a community of learners and inquirers.  Students’ finished products can contribute to an in class library, school library, and even worldwide web access to other students around the world.  This builds a sense of ownership, pride, and confidence in one’s work.

Materials:   Research reports, template books, pencil, colored pencils, crayons, markers, water-color paper, watercolors, cups, paint brushes, Internet access, books, magazines, articles, consult experts, etc.

Procedure:

  • Ask your class which ecosystem they would like to learn about from other students anywhere in the world.
  • Contact a teacher in that region where the ecosystem is located in the world.
  • Make colored copies of your students’ books and send them off to the school.  If you can, scan them and send electronically (save paper).
  • Ask the teacher at that school to disseminate your students’ books to his/her students, having students choose a book of interest to them.
  • Ask the teacher at that school to have his/her students write a ‘pen pal’ letter to the student whose book they read.  The letter should also answer the questions at the back of the book and provide constructive feedback and/or positive comments.
  • The teacher will then ask his/her students to construct an ecosystem book for your students.
  • Ask the teacher to send colored copied of the books back to you, or even better, have him/her scan the books to your class; you can view them electronically.
  • Now, your class will write ‘pen pal’ letters to these students.  Again, these letters should answer the students’ questions at the back of their books and also provide constructive feedback.
  • This is a fun and highly interactive project.  Be patient with it.  It takes time and care to complete this process.
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