(Letter sent to Odd de Presno, KIDLINK's founder in Norway) Odd, Mike and his students at Oldfield House School already had a good rapport with a young student of mine, AJ, who was having academic difficulties. The relationship was so unique because Mike 'adopted' this young man into his class of boys in London! How this was accomplished is quite another story
...we could fill a book with the messages between Mike, his lads, and AJ! My student loves the computer and enjoyed coming to my lab to write to Mr. Burleigh and his 'classmates' in the UK. On April 18th Mike chatted on IRC with AJ (his mom came to the lab also!) and the 'maps' lesson was 'planted' by Mike because AJ made reference to Bushy Park in their chat. Mike sent AJ the maps and we began our preparations. The 9 participating students were chosen by AJ and not me. The only time I was able to work with the students was during their recess which matched my lunch time. I teach in two schools and could only meet with the children every other day. We managed it somehow! =========================================================================== Mike sent the following message to Dr. Manorama Talaiver and myself: =========================================================================== From MIKE BURLEIGH May 12, 93 09:47:00 pm bst Resent-To: firstname.lastname@example.org MTALAIVE%EDU.VAK12ED.VDOE386@NSFNET-RELAY.AC.UK Subject: Lesson plan suggestion ----------------------------Original message---------------------------- To Mrs Weeg, the Computer Teacher at Delmar school and Dr Mano Talaiver, Dear Colleagues, With reference to the on-line lesson I discussed with Mrs Weeg some weeks ago I believe that the student AJ has received the pack of Richmond-on-Thames maps and is keen to play his part in this 'distance learning exercise'. The main function of this trial lesson through the medium of IRC on the Internet is to provide another strategy in the remedial and therapuetic programme offered at Delmar Elementary School. We hope in this instance to assist the self esteem of one of Patti's students who is not doing well academically. A secondary aim is to test the use of a new KIDLINK resource as a learning environment for children and teachers alike. With this aim in mind we hope to have the services of Dr Mano Talaiver of the Richmond Virginia Maths and Science Centre in the capacity of appraiser and observer (Dr Talaiver may decide that this could be a useful model in curriculum exchanges between the twin towns of Richmond Virginia and Richmond-on-Thames). (Dr Talaiver should have received a set of the Richmond maps in the post from the Richmond-on-Thames Town Twinning committee). Might I suggest the following lesson plan for discussion between us (dates and times to be agreed according to our diaries and the local call tariffs in the UK). Research: The children to work in groups and research in the library so that they can discuss the following points: Group one: Investigate the game of Rugby and the possible links between it and the London Borough of Richmond-on-Thames. Group two: You are detectives investigating King Henry the Eighth, what crimes do you think he could be accused of, for example how did he acquire the Palace where he hunted. Group 3: Discover what you can about the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the year 1918 and you will be able to ask what this has to do with poppies and disabled people. Group 4 1) Be able to describe a steam powered 'Beam Engine' 2) How did William Hogarth describe London in the 1700s? 3) Who was Capability Brown? 4) Find a picture of Kew gardens (The groups should work independently and research as they would to make a presentation to the class.) The actual lesson could be in the form of a drive around the map using a compass and reading road names to arrive at locations where I will ask questions which will enable each of the groups in turn to answer from their research to the class in detail. They can then decide on precis/summary answers to the computer. The arrival at locations on the map will give contexts for the information the children have researched. Comments please Regards Mike ==================================================================== = ** THE GLOBAL YOUTH Communications Network LONDON ** = ==================================================================== = Mike Burleigh JANet = = Director KIDLINK UK KIDLINK = = Oldfield House School Dialcom 10001:CLK003 = = Oldfield Road APC/GreenNet email@example.com = = Hampton Voice +44 81-941-3887 evening = = Middlesex TW12 2HP +44 81-979-5102 day = = United Kingdom fax +44 81-783-0207 = ==================================================================== =========================================================================== These are some of the objectives of the 'maps' lesson as it was fondly named from this point on... =========================================================================== 1) Improving self esteem Sadly, the student for whom this lesson was originally planned transferred from our school two weeks before the actual lesson took place. This type of activity, however, makes everyone feel very important. 2) Deeper awareness of a global community... The world out there is bigger than Delmar, Maryland! London is in another time zone and many miles away. But...we are more alike than we are different. a) map skills b) time zones 3) Developing a greater awareness of the value of cooperative and distance learning using computer technology... The information highway can take us anywhere we want to go to seek information. Resources (people, text) are in place to assist us in our search for knowledge. 4) Exploring historic sites along the River Thames... Hampton Court Palace, Rugby Union Football stadium, Syon Park, Kew Bridge Steam Museum, Hogarth's House, Kew Gardens, The Royal Star and Garter Home ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Materials needed: Computer, modem, phone line, overhead projection plate (maybe), 2 willing teachers, maps, library reference books, compasses for each student, highlighters, string, (video camera ?) ----------------------------------------------------------- Activities prior to the 'lesson' 1) Questions sent by one or both teachers 2) Time given for researching those questions I think it is important to draw in the rest of the staff and give them some ownership in this lesson. I tried but state wide testing and end of year activities made this nearly impossible. This lesson could have been expanded to include other teachers in the fourth grade area. a. Full discussion of time zones by math teacher 24 hour clock The 'maze' garden at Hampton Court Palace is a wonderful geometry lesson. The symmetry! b. Map skills...social studies teacher Location of The River Thames Henry VIII (oodles of lessons here!) November 11, 1918 11 o'clock c. discussion of rugby by physical education teacher d. The art teacher could discuss the works of Hogarth and landscapes of Capability Brown e. Science teacher...poppies...Cornish beam engine Syon Park and the butterfly and insect collections... f. Language arts teacher... The students could write their experiences of this global 'lesson' in a diary from the first days of research to the final lesson event. This is an ongoing task. Evaluation Hmmm... important part... We go back to our objectives and see what we have accomplished. Some written evaluations might be necessary because administrators want 'hard copies' of results. =========================================================================== I sent my few ideas about objectives to Mike for his additions. Then we worked on the lesson plan itself. =========================================================================== I wrote: Mike, Somewhere I remember that you asked us to find your school on the map even though it isn't named there... We found the street... Oldfield Road. (From Mike's original message) The actual lesson could be in the form of a drive around the map using a compass and reading road names to arrive at locations where I will ask questions which will enable each of the groups in turn to answer from their research to the class in detail. They can then decide on precis/summary answers to the computer. ========================================================================= The above paragraph (which you wrote) is a perfect plan. I think it would be nice if we could establish: 1) where you are (at home) 2) what time it is. The kids need to know that you are 5 hours ahead of us. You can talk to them about GMT and BST if you like. Then let them decide what time it is in London. My first thought was that you would begin the trip at Oldfield House School but the kids need to know that it is evening and you are at home. Then I thought you could take us on a tour (summon the school bus! ) following a route that would take us past the sites which are a part of their research. (I use the term 'research' lightly. We had three 20 minute sessions together as a group but they worked hard.) Watch your time so we can visit them all! I'd love to take the towpath along the Thames but....we won't have time! Would you use Hurst Road from your house to head east or would you go out Walton Road to get to Hampton Court Palace? Start us there? I've listed the seven locations that you directed us to with your questions. Since the kids searched for these places on the map I think it is important to take them there. If you can guess the distance we will travel *altogether* as we make our tour, tell the kids. Then tell them we will be traveling x amount of kilometers to Twickenham from Hampton Court... and so on .. as we travel. Then ask them how far we have traveled so far ( let's say we are now at Kew Gardens) You can work this any way you want. It will help to have some math in here for the math teachers) 1) Hampton Court Palace and Bushy Park Henry's hunting palace (Is that Hampton Court? one of the cloisters he confiscated? Cardinal Wolsey's?) We have your drawing and Shay's drawing of deer in Bushy Park...we should mention these. These drawings tie us closer together because your children made them for us. Important point to make. Ask the kids for a 'crime' Henry VIII committed. Haley researched this one. 2) Rugby Union Football (Twickenham) Tell us about the rugby games and how they attract crowds... We can identify with the hordes of people who travel our roads once the summer season at the beach opens. 3) Syon Park ('Capability' Brown) Ask the kids what he is famous for... Our questions for you... Why is he called 'capability?' What makes him so famous or unique as a landscaper? Tell us about the butterfly collections there and insects...kids love that! 4) Kew Gardens (we have Sam's drawing of the Pagoda and the cut out of the Palm House) Tell us about your favorite place in the gardens 5) Kew Bridge Steam Museum Try to help us imagine the size of these huge machines. Tell us briefly how the Cornish beam engine works. 6) Hogarth's House Ask your question about how he describes London... Are his paintings and engravings of London? Is this how he described the city... through his art? 7) The Poppy Factory in Petersham Tell us why poppies are associated with the disabled veterans. -------------------------------------------------------------------- YOU are the valuable resource here for the kids because this is your home. We can look in our books any time we want but you are a *real* connection to the historical places. Having the kids follow you on the maps is really great. Let's make sure they are using both. The Richmond map is more detailed and covers a greater area. Use that for the drive. Would you like me to give them an 'itinerary' for the trip before we start? We can finalize these plans tomorrow (today for you!). Once we 'arrive' at the location we can refer to the Hampton Court map and its larger pictures. The only place not on the Hampton map is the Poppy Factory but it's not on the other one either ...though Petersham is. ======================================================================== This was the last of our planning... The lesson took place on the following Monday and Wednesday.