Project 1: Living In North America

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Frank Martin - Grade 7 Teacher
(fmartin@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)
School: Davis Elementary
Carbonear, NF
A1Y 1B7
Tel: (709) 596-5012
Fax: (709) 596-5013
Grade Level: 7
Number of Students: 41
Project Start and Finish Dates: December, 1997 - May, 1998

Living in North America is one of the resources used in Grade 7 Social Studies. Unless students have been fortunate and have experienced travel outside Newfoundland, they have no knowledge of what it is like to live in other parts of North America. Their only experience has been through print materials and the media. This project is designed to let students gain first-hand knowledge of what it is like to like in a region of North America that is different from their Newfoundland lifestyle.

  Project Overview

Students in Grade 7 will write to several students in various places in North America. This correspondence will take place through the Internet via e-mail. Several schools have been contacted and all have agreed to e-mail us. Correspondence will be at least twice a month with each keypal, but more frequently if resources permit. Students are permitted to write about any personal interests, but the have to concentrate on weather, climate and geography of the place where their keypals live. Students will be required to give a bi-weekly overview of what they have learned from their keypals during the intervening two weeks. They will also be required to keep a log of letters sent and received.

  Curriculum Connections

This project is designed for the Grade 7 Social Studies. However, it fits into several other areas as well:

Social Studies

This project is designed to complement the Grade 7 Social Studies program. Students will write other students/schools in such diverse places as British Columbia, California, Idaho, New York, Virginia, Iowa, Alberta, and Massachusetts.

Language Arts

Students will be required to write letters to their keypals on a regular basis. They are expected to use good composition, spelling, sentence structure, etc. as in regular Language Arts assignments. They are required to keep a log of all letters sent and received. And, they are also required to give periodic oral presentations to the class of what they have learned from their keypals in the interval. Students are required to write about their Newfoundland culture and lifestyle so others outside our province will learn about us and our unique culture.

Math

Students are required to find out about the weather and climate of the place they are writing. Statistics such as precipitation, temperature, wind, etc., are to be asked about and information received in their e-mail is to be recorded and shared with the class. Graphs, charts, etc., are to be prepared and displayed for the whole school to enjoy. Students are also required to collect data for their town and share it with their keypals.

Computer Technology

Students will use the computers in the computer lab to compose their letters. They will use the Internet to send and receive e-mail. The Internet will also be locating resources and websites, and evaluating them, that relate to Newfoundland so that the people they write may use them to learn more about Newfoundland and Labrador.

  Evaluation

Evaluation will be ongoing. Students will be evaluated on their weekly and bi-weekly projects, organization of data, oral presentations, and the quality of their writing. At the end of the year, they will be required to write a term paper discussing the merits of the project and the major things they learn from it.

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