Exchanges in Action

For students from the tundra of Alaska and their partners in the deserts of Mexico, imagining what the polar opposite climate would be like is no longer just a picture in a book. In spring of 2015, a group of Yup’ik students shared their climate, culture and daily lives with a group of Mexican students in a desert region for 8 weeks.  Teachers began by creating essential questions about weather, vegetation/flora/fauna, wildlife and survival for students to explore.

Using a Google Community, students shared their images and findings about their own environments. When students in Mexico decided to take a trip to their local natural museum, they discovered the Yup’ik students did not have a local museum to display the richness of their surroundings. Teachers decided to let students create their own virtual museums that showcased the rich wonders of the tundra and the desert. Through chat, posting and live conferencing, students built deeper cultural relationships with themselves and others. The accumulation: A vibrant library of information and video about these two beautiful places and people in the world.

2 students in Alaska share about fishing in the Tundra.

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