Goal / Objective - Each week my After School Reading Class reads and writes – and/or creates a computer generated presentation about a new culture, or current event topic having to do with culture. We bring in artifacts, I take them on virtual field trips (via YouTube and Skype) and they create a teaching tool about that culture, which they share with their peers, or write a piece about that text from any of a variety of perspectives. I have been volunteering in this capacity for about four years now. The class used to meet twice a week, but now meets once.
The students are very enthusiastic about researching the country or culture of their choice, but I don’t have the books they need at their high interest low reading levels. The students are literally begging me for books on the cultures they have chosen, but most of the ones we have are too difficult for them to read. I have done extensive research, and come up with a book list which will get us started. (Until now, I have personally acquired most all of the books that the students use.)
Impact - Students experience other cultures while utilizing text features and comparing and contrasting cultures and identifying cause and effect relationships. In addition to using them for comprehension-related exercises, they take the books home, read them and create posters and digital storytelling projects! They love to imagine that they are taking trips around the world, via reading!