Global Synergy and the 4C's

Jessica Esposito and Cheri Hudson

2nd Graders Synergize with the World

We began this journey by planning to inspire our students to learn locally but think globally. Little did we know that this Project-Based Learning year long unit encouraged our students to make independent choices, collaborate with each other, be creative, and curious about the world.

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Learning Activities and Outcomes

  1. Discuss maps, globes, and the compass rose. What are the different types of maps and globes? Show examples from images, watch an appropriate short video (Discovery Education), and have students look at and touch maps and globes.

  2. Have students pick out places they would like to visit and place post it notes on the maps and globes. Make connections to animals and maps/globes/continents. Video students pointing to the map or globe talking about where they want to send a letter or where they would like to go.

  3. Read Flat Stanley, Dear Mr. Blueberry, Mailing May, The Jolly Postman, and Letters from Felix: A Little Rabbit on a World Tour. As you read each book, make connections to maps, globes, and the compass rose. For example - From North Carolina - London is across the Atlantic Ocean - North East of NC. Make connections to genre, characters, and setting.

  4. Discuss with students different types of landforms that are located on the different continents. Show students different types of maps that show the locations of the landforms. For example - There are 19 different deserts around the world. There are different ranges of mountains around the world.

  5. Introduce National Parks to students. There are national parks around the world and students can access through web pages, through Tweets on Twitter, images on Google, a Google Tour, and other social media.

  6. Have students create their own “Flat Stanley” and we are creating “Flat Superheroes” through our Leader in Me program. (See example)

  7. Students choose one National Park in the United States and one National Park in the World. Students choose the National Parks through exploring or by interest in a particular area or landform. For example - a student who loves volcanos and is writing to Lake Clear National Park because it has two volcanoes that are covered with glacier ice.

  8. 2nd grade students will work with 6th grade students and parent volunteers to learn how to address envelopes and write letters to the National Parks.

  9. Students will record videos of where they are sending their letters as they point to a map or globe showing the location. The videos will be placed on a Google Drive, linked to a QRCode, hashtag, and placed in the hallway outside of our classroom.

  10. In the Hallway, there will be a large map of the world, titled Global Synergy, with string/yarn connecting links to pictures, places, QR Codes, hashtags, labels of landforms, and copies of the letters with the Flat Superheroes.

  11. When mail comes back to us, we will share it with the class, and add to our Global Synergy wall display.

  12. Students will also utilize their Kid Blogs to document the travels of their Flat Super Heroes, global connections, what they find out in the their research, and mail out their Flat Superheroes to the next destination (museum, family member, connections from Twitter, American Embassy, school).

  13. Our goal is that this cycle of Global Synergy will continue to expand until the end of the school year. Our ultimate dream is that the concept will catch on and never end.

Dr. Cheri Hudson & Jessica Esposito

Dr. Cheri Hudson


Jessica Esposito