This month is Multicultural month at my school. Each grade is assigned a country to study throughout the month. We have a multicultural tasting and assembly at the end of the month. This year our theme is Missions and what it is like to be a Missionary in that country. We were assigned The Netherlands (I actually begged to have that country because of some personal contacts I have there!).
I started our study by reading some books about The Netherlands and giving some background on the country. Students colored flags and maps of the country. I also read a few stories about missionaries in The Netherlands. Today, we took our study to a whole new level! We used Skype. My sister and her husband are missionaries in The Netherlands and we were able to Skype with them right in my classroom!
Chris on the big screen with the students listening.
I told the students last week about Rebecca and Chris and had them write questions they wanted to ask. The students came in all excited today because of our upcoming Skype session. They were counting down the minutes all day!! We were able to Skype with them at 2 pm eastern, which was 8 pm their time. I had both fifth grade classes, which is 29 students in my room. They had to make sure they were quiet during the session because Rebecca and Chris could hear everything. I asked Rebecca and Chris some questions that the students wrote down and then I invited students up to the ipad to ask additional questions. Rebecca and Chris could not see us unless you were standing in front of the ipad, but we could see them.
One of the students asking a question.
It was a neat experience for the students to have this interaction with people living in another country. The students also learned about missionary life and what it is like to be a missionary in The Netherlands. My students were amazed at the differences in the two countries. Some of the most shocking differences were:
- There are no mall in The Netherlands...there are shopping centers which are similar.
- When you go to the movie theater, there is a ten minute intermission in the middle of the movie.
- The Netherlands is famous for cheese, but you can not get Cheese-Its or Goldfish there.
It was a very successful Skype session with Rebecca and Chris. I have a feeling the students will remember this for years to come. The last thing I did was take the ipad off the projector and turn the camera to the back so Rebecca and Chris could see all of the kids. The students went wild and I had to stand on a table for all of the students to be in it!
A view from The Netherlands!
It was a very successful lesson! Tomorrow we create Delft paintings in our continuing study of The Netherlands!