On completion of this activity, children will be able:
- to seek contact with other people in order to learn about their culture
- to listen carefully to differing opinions
- to understand other people positions
- to reflect critically on how person’s worldview is just one of many worldviews
- to recognise that cultural diversity should be positively valued and appreciated
Source of the activity
Contributed by Vasilka Kolovska (Free-to-speak-safe-to-learn)
Competences targeted by the activity
- Valuing cultural diversity
- Openness to cultural otherness, other beliefs, world views and practices
- Skills of listening and observing
- Linguistic, communicative and plurilingual skills
- Knowledge and critical understanding of the world: cultures, media, economies
- A partner school in another country – the CoE Democratic Schools Network is a suitable place for finding partners21
- Access to an online means of communication22
- Advice about online collaboration23
- Tools for online collaboration24
- World Health Organization Covid-19 picture dashboard25
- National responses to the Covid-19 pandemic26
- Identify and establish contact with a suitable school in another country with which to collaborate. Interactions can take place through online means such as Skype or Zoom. If the children do not share a common language, they can communicate either through a language that they are learning at school as a second language, or through a lingua franca.
- Pair each learner with a peer in the other school, or pair small groups of children in each school with each other. Ask them to discuss the current Covid-19 situation in their own countries, and to compare the actions that are being taken by their respective governments for dealing with the pandemic. They should consult the Covid-19 response pages on the official websites of the children’s national governments for information. The following questions may be given to the children to stimulate their discussion (these questions may be simplified for younger children):
- Is the Covid-19 pandemic progressing in the same way or in different ways in the two countries?
- What actions are being taken by the governments in the two countries for dealing with the pandemic?
- Are the actions in the two countries being properly presented on international websites (such as the World Health Organization website)?
- Can the children identify some actions from the other country which could be implemented in their own country?
The online collaborations can be conducted using Google Slides or Tricider.
- Ask children to discuss the actions that can be taken by national governments, and to develop a list of the actions which they think that national governments should be taking.
- The children (or groups of children) make presentations on the outcomes of the activity to the other children in their own class. They may also make presentations to children in the other school.
- The international contacts created by this activity can also be used for other joint activities and collaborations between the children in the two schools in the future.
Debriefing and Evaluation
- Ask the children to reflect critically on what they have learnt through the activity. They should also be asked to comment on and discuss the learning process and the results of collaborating with children from other countries. The following questions may be used:
- What did you learn about your partners in the other country?
- What challenges or difficulties did you encounter during the communication process, and how did you overcome them?
- How has your understanding of people in other countries, and your ability to communicate with them, been changed and enriched by this activity?
22 https://www.skype.com, https://www.zoom.us/
24 https://www.google.co.uk/slides/about, https://youtu.be/dvLuwL9Quzw