Wednesday, May 21, 2014

4th Grade Students Travel All Around the World with CultureGrams

Harding Elementary 4th Grade students in Mr. Feight's, Mrs. Long's, and Ms. Ibis's and Ms. Beatty's classes are travelling all around the world to learn about countries!

When I found out 4th grade students are going to research a country and write a report about it, I immediately got excited about how I could collaborate with the classroom teachers and their students on this particular project!  As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, one of my goals this year is to increase awareness and usage of Iowa AEA Online resources!

Of course, these country research reports present itself as a perfect opportunity for these students to learn about another Iowa AEA Online Resource, CultureGrams!

Also, the 4th grade teachers and I are also teaming up, as a data team, to work on the goal of improving students being able to summarize a non-fiction text.  So, researching and writing a report on a country, while working on the skill of summarizing are perfect opportunities for me to work alongside the classroom teachers and students!

Check out the 4th grade's learning targets!

According to CultureGrams, their goal is "to foster understanding and appreciate of the world's countries and peoples by creating and publishing concise, reliable, and up-to-date culture content."  With just a few clicks, students are able to access CultureGrams to obtain the most "concise, reliable, and up-to-date culture content."

Another bonus about collaborating with the 4th grade classroom teachers and students is this allows me to continue practical applications to Google Drive.  4th grade students recently learned how to login and use their own Google Drive accounts.  I thought this would be great timing to have students use CultureGrams alongside Google Docs to research, summarize, and take notes on a graphic organizer I shared out with the students!

The following are screen shots of the country notes form graphic organizer that students are using for summarizing and note-taking.  It meets the criteria that the classroom teachers are seeking for areas on content information on each country.  This Google Doc "Country Notes Form Graphic Organizer" was shared out to students from me, using gClassFolders and Doctopus (stay tuned for a future blog post on Doctopus, an AMAZING time-saver)!

Students were taught how to click between the two tabs of their Google Doc and CultureGrams.

Check out the following pictures of students "in action" using Google Doc and CultureGrams to travel around the world to learn about a specific country!

I am quite pleased with students' efforts and work on their country research reports!

If you know a Harding 4th grade student, ask them...

  • How do you login to Google Drive?
  • What is a Google Doc?
  • How do you summarize information in a non-fiction text?
  • How do you access Iowa AEA Online Resources?
  • What is CultureGrams?
  • How do you access and use CultureGrams?
In the meantime, stay tuned for a future blog post on how I use gClassFolders and Doctopus to share out one Google Doc with multiple students, like I did for the 4th grade students' "Country Notes Form Research!"