Ray Middle School sixth-graders recently collaborated on a writing project with sixth-graders at Algonquin Middle School in Clinton Township, Mich. Videoconferencing made the partnership possible.
Darlene St. John, Ray's library media specialist, had Ray's sixth-graders pretend that Dr. Seuss was still alive and wanted them to draw new characters for a book. Students drew their pictures and then wrote descriptive essays about the characters they created. The goal of the lesson was to write a description that would enable someone else to create a drawing that matched or closely resembled the original character.
St. John e-mailed the essays to the school in Michigan so that those students could read them and draw their interpretations of the characters, based solely on the written descriptions. The Michigan students and Ray students compared their drawings during a videoconference, and many of the Michigan students' interpretations matched or were similar to the Ray students' drawings.
Baldwinsville's students enjoyed the opportunity to share information with their peers in another state while strengthening their writing skills.
Ray Middle School sixth-grader Margo Chrismer holds her drawing up to the camera during a videoconference between the middle school and a middle school in Michigan.