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Showing Karen Waller

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K-2 | Social Studies | Mobile/Handheld

Station UNC-TV in North Carolina

My Classroom Innovation

We are a global school and I decided to bring hands on technology into a Christmas Around the World lessons that focused on Denmark. The library was decorated like Christmas in Copenhagen, Denmark including the canal with both, the Little Mermaid, store fronts including Danish products such as Legos, Pandora and Royal Copenhagen. I created QR codes and put around the library on the various displays. Students used iPod Touches to scan the QR code and then a documentary that I created or a snippet of a PBS Rick Steves documentary would pop up and tell them about what they were seeing. At the Lego store, they scanned a QR code, and up popped Rick Steves telling about the origins of Legos and Legoland in Denmark. In all I used about 15 different QR codes that linked students to online resources so that they could learn more about Denmark. At the Royal Copenhagen table, they linked to find out how famous Danes come to the store to decorate a Christmas table every year. Students learned about the Vikings, Hans Christian Andersen, exciting landmarks in Denmark and Danish Holiday customs.

How Students were Engaged

Students were highly engaged, they were able to see, feel, touch and get a taste of Denmark. From the Danish cookie they tasted, artifacts they touched, woven hearts that they created, PBS videos that let them see and hear what life is like in Denmark. Students were able to immerse themselves in Denmark and gain understanding about the Danish Culture. They were then able to tell us what they had learned and compare and contrast it to holidays in the United States. By having these experiences, students now have a better context to understand fairy tales and other literature. Most of our students have never left North Carolina, much less gone overseas. This lesson gave them an interactive world view of life in Denmark. Students were engaged and remembered what they saw because they got to choose the centers that went to and the order that they went to them. Students and staff enjoyed learning about life in another culture.

PBS Program/Content Used

Rick Steves Travel Shows