Project 1: Virtual Pen Pals

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Joan McCarthy, Grade 3 teacher
(jmmccart@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

Glenys Bussey
(gbussey@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

Norma Plowman
(nplowman@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

Gloria House

School: Ralph Harnum Memorial
P.O. Box 58
Hawkes Bay, NF.
A0K 3B0
Grade Level: Grade K-3
Number of Students: 35 students
Project Start and Finish Dates: March 1 to May 1, 1998
  Project Overview

"Virtual Pen Pals" is a project that is already started on Stem~Net. We wish to participate in this project. Students will be connected to a school in another country and will correspond via electronic mail (e-mail). They will get to know the country and area where their Pen Pals are from and will exchange information regarding their own area. The amount and kinds of information is only limited by the amount of time available to prepare it.

Students will do the actual composing of letters and messages but teachers and some grade 6 and 7 students will do the actual e-mailing and accessing the home page of the Pen Pal school.

Primary students study the community theme in Social Studies so this project will reinforce many of the objectives for this theme.

The objectives for the project are as follows:

Students will:

  • increase their proficiency in writing.
  • improve their writing and reading skills.
  • develop an awareness of other cultures and the global community.
  • develop and awareness of and interest in the Internet.
  • use information technologies such as CD Rom encyclopedias and atlases.

  Curriculum Connections

This project addresses the following curriculum areas:

Social Studies:

Creates an awareness of other countries and cultures. Through the exchange of information via e-mail students will find out all kinds of information about their Pen Pals.

English Language Arts:

Through composing and writing letters and e-mail messages students will be practicing writing and reading skills.

Communications Technology:

Many of the Provincial learning outcomes related to Technology education will be met with this project. Students will gain practical experience and exposure to the Internet through the use of e-mail, accessing home pages and using Internet browsers.

  Resource Connections

We have two computers that have the necessary software installed to connect to the Internet. We will access e-mail through Netscape Communicator 4.01. Our Internet connections are through Cable Atlantic’s "The Zone". We also have multi-media capacities on these computers.

  Evaluation

We will evaluate this project through the normal methods of teacher observation and evaluation of students writing. The success of the project will be judged by the kind of information that is exchanged and the level of expertise students develop at writing and corresponding with their Pen Pals.

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