Our end of the year social studies unit is all about how kids live around the world. We spend a lot of time throughout the year talking about the different communities we are a part of, including our school community and our neighborhood, all the way up to our country and our world. We make community circles, like the ones below, to help visualize each community we are a part of:
We read lots of books and watch videos on how children live around the world. We also study maps and the globe and learn how to locate our part of the world. This year we were especially lucky, because we got to talk to a group of students at a school in Rwanda about how they live and go to school! These students attend the Akilah Institute in Kigali, Rwanda, and a good friend of mine teaches there. We were able to use Skype to talk to them on our Smartboard, which was an amazing experience.
To prepare, we talked about elements of our school and drew our favorite parts to share with the Rwandans.
Then we wrote down "I wonder" questions that we wanted to ask them. Many kids were interested in what the other students did during their free time, and whether or not they had a playground. :) This one says "Do you have a computer lab?"
Then early in the morning we got to Skype with our new friends at Akilah! It was a bit tricky because the board projected the computer screen, but the camera wasn't mobile. So we improvised and each kindergartener walked up to the computer to ask their question. The women we spoke to were so wonderful, even though English is not their first language and it was hard to hear the kindergarteners! We learned a lot and it was a very memorable experience.
Here are some pictures from our conversation: