5th Grade Civilization Teachers Interested in Classroom Collaboration

I'm a 5th Grade Civilizations teacher. Units of study include Early Human Development, Early Farming, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Ancient Hebrews, China, and Greece. We use the text Message of Ancient Days. I'm interested in collaborating in sharing writing narratives or photo captioning between classrooms outside of my school. Help!! Thank you. Mbrownell

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Hi Heidi,
We will be working on Egypt in another week or so...just finishing a novel and a unit on early farming. Greece, preceeded by a small unit on the Ancient Hebrews, will finish the year. I'm just outside of Philadelphia. I'm interested in collaboration from something as straightforward as student penpals and sharing of ideas to something more elaborate and purposeful with skype, etc. Good to hear from you. Mary
Would you be willing to use ePals.com to facilitate the penpals? I will skype too!

We are going to the Field Museum in Chicago tomorrow to see the Egypt exhibit. We will be creating a video or a scavenger hunt through the Egypt exhibit. I will post a link to the videos by the weekend. Maybe your kids could watch it.
ePals has free, safe and protected student email, called SchoolMail (as Heidi mentioned). You can sign up at www.epals.com to "join" as a teacher and then can ask for accounts for your class. If you need help getting starting, I'm doing a webinar on this topic on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 4:30-5:30 eastern (3:30 central).

The email accounts are free and the webinar is free. The email does NOT have ads in it either.

ePals also has a project-based learning unit on digital storytelling that might be helpful for this or another unit.
I've never tried epals. I do use digital storytelling in my lessons using sites such as voicethread.com. I'm a member of Celebrate Oklahoma Voices which is part of a statewide digital storytelling project that originated out of the Oklahoma Digital Centennial Celebration. Thank you for telling me about epals and your webinar.
That would be really neat! Another teacher just told me about epals.com. We've looked into Skype but haven't made it a reality yet. I'll work on both and let you know ASAP! Thanks!
Here is the link to our field trip's scavenger hunt
Have you considered "skyping" with a children's book author? There are a number of authors writing about the ancient world. My book, ALEXANDER ROCKS THE WORLD (VOYA Honor List for nonfiction) was written for 5th and 6th graders and I have found that school visits--either virtual or real--inspire the students in many ways. Also, don't forget to tap into wonderful museum websites that focus on those eras. The Oriental Institute of Chicago has a wonderful interactive site as does the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University (full disclosure--I'm a docent there).
Thanks Vicky. Good idea..have not skyped with an author. Thanks!



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