During the past school year, I signed up to integrate The Walking Classroom into my daily routine. I taught 5th Grade Language Arts integrated with Social Studies while working on my NC Global Capstone Project.
Happenstance, I came across the Out of Eden Walk Blog sponsored by National Geographic and Harvard University. This online learning community allowed my students to have global walking partners. Each day we walked and talked about Paul Salopek’s Walking Journey.
Paul Salopek is a journalist who is on a mission to retrace the global migration of people. Integrating the Out of Eden Walk Blog with The Walking Classroom required me to be selective in my choice of topics. However, each topic consisted of actually learning how to listen and learn, and taught my students how to walk while reflecting and taking notice of the environment around them. Our experiences would then be compared to other communities globally.
The ease of using The Walking Classroom Teacher Guide to pick and choose relevant reading resources made the process much more user friendly. It was also nice to have the electronic versions available as well. There are a wide range of topics available and it makes for many teachable moments when the topics sort of mesh with current global events, a recent Language Arts lesson, or a personal experience being shared by a collaborative group. The students were easily able to skip forward on the WalkKits to find the matching listening modules.
My students were highly motivated to communicate, collaborate, think critically, and create project-based products to reflect their learning. The Walking Classroom is an innovative resource that I look forward to using again.
5th Grade Teacher
G. W. Carver Elementary
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