How to Make Global Connections in Your School Library
One of the highlights of this school year was partnering with a class of fourth graders to read the novel Fenway and Hattie by Victoria Coe. For six weeks, we were lost in the world of Fenway, a well-meaning Jack Russell terrier whose antics put him at odds with his best friend — “short human” Hattie. We read the book aloud, watched videos from the author, and participated in activities tied to the story. One of our culminating events was a Google Hangout with a third-grade class in Ontario, Canada. (We are located in Virginia.) The students exchanged questions about their hometowns and the book — making the world seem just a little bit smaller on that day.
Last fall was the second time I’ve participated in the Global Read Aloud, a fantastic project with a “simple goal,” as its website states: “one book to connect the world.” Whether it be through the Global Read Aloud, a Skype session, pen pal letters or other means, I’ve always enjoyed helping my students make connections across the globe. I know so many other librarians are making these global connections, which is why we decided to make that the focus of week four of School Library Month.
There are lots of ways to make global connections this month and in the future. At the very least, introduce your learners to a variety of books. Shannon DeSantis — a fellow School Library Month committee member and co-author of this blog post — and I encourage you to consider some of the ideas below:
- Make global connections through events such as International Dot Day or Global Read Aloud Day.
- Participate in some of the activities on Empatico, which helps connect classrooms around the world.
- Engage the school community in a project from the World’s Largest Lesson. Work together to help end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change.
- Find and follow someone new on Twitter or Instagram each day this week. Focus on making connections with educators and librarians from another state or country. Start with your School Library Month committee! Follow us on Twitter by subscribing to this list and check out these library Instagram pages:
Check out this week’s featured webinar featuring our very own School Library Month committee member, Michelle Cooper. Michelle will discuss how you can empower students to collaborate, learn, and share with their international peers. Register now and don’t forget to tune in on April 24, 2018, at 6:00 pm Central.
We hope you’ve been inspired by this blog. How will you give your students a voice beyond the walls of your school building?
Author: Hattie Garrow & Shannon DeSantis, SLM Committee Members