Wyandot Partners with Canadian Second-Graders

Wyandot Students Partner with Canadian Second-Graders
Posted on 10/23/2018
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Second grader recording a video
The world is getting a little smaller for Wyandot second-graders in Melissa Riehle’s class. That’s because they are participating in the 9th annual Global Read Aloud (GRA).

The GRA started with the simple goal of using one book to connect the world; this year 1.5 million students in 86 countries will be taking part in this six-week program with options for kindergartners to college students.

The Global Read Aloud team chooses books and holds a public vote to make the final selections. The books chosen spark connections, spark change and make people feel something. Mrs. Riehle’s class is in the Picture Book Study, and each week they read the selected book aloud.

"My partner teacher in Canada and I actually read the book to our class twice each week because we know there is value in rereading the same story and gleaning new reading ideas,” said Mrs. Riehle. “Then we respond to the book in different ways and share our responses. Our partner class responds to the same story, sometimes in the same way or in a different way.”

At the start of the program, the Wyandot second-graders created introduction videos (using a video discussion platform called Flipgrid) that they shared with their Canadian friends. In Week 1, they read My Heart Fills with Happiness by Juliet Flett, and used videos to share what fills their hearts with happiness. During Week 2, they read Wild Berries by Julie Flett that included collages and words in the Cree language. Riehle’s class created collages, and their partner class shared words in the different languages they speak.

Second-graders Melida Sieng and Paietyn Knox talked about the Global Read Aloud and what they enjoyed about it. Melida especially liked Week 2 where she shared how to say a few words in Cambodian on the video she created. And, by watching the videos from Canadian students, she said, "I also got to learn about French." Paietyn said she likes the program because she "can listen to other people and learn more about other people." 

This week Riehle's class read You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith and created their own books about who “holds us up” and how. On Wednesday, the class created videos to share their books, and on Thursday Mrs. Riehle’s students viewed videos from their Canadian partner class. In a few weeks the Wyandot students will Skype with their partner class and meet "face to face”. 

"The students can’t wait to talk to the other students,” said Riehle. “GRA is giving my students the chance to share their voice with not just their classmates, not just at their school, but across the world. They are connecting with second-graders in another country and seeing how we can all learn from each other.”

Pictured: Second grader Sadeel Abuelhija is shown here recording a video that will be shared with a partner class in Canada as part of the Global Read Aloud initiative.