Getting a global project started … Where do you begin, and how do you make it meaningful and sustainable?

The May #globalclassroom chats are upon us, and this month’s question and discussion post comes to us courtesy of Laurie Renton, a Grade Three teacher working in Alberta, Canada. (@RentonL)

In her own words … this is how her global inquiry began:

I have been blessed with the opportunity to work closely with a not-for-profit organization working in Peru.  Our Library Project was a global inquiry that essentially “fell into our lap” and took on a life of its own because we allowed our children to wonder, to clarify, and to ask further questions after participating in a Video Conference experience to “enhance” our understanding of the customs and culture in Peru.  What we thought would be a “one time only” has grown into an amazing partnership with our Grade Threes and this organization – working to build a library in a small rural weaving village – Q’enqo Peru.

This is our second year in the project.  This year, we’ve been given permission to pilot a classroom blog in order to connect with experts and to share our learning journey.  The blog has added another incredible layer to our global inquiry.  Although our inquiry is tied to our Social Studies curriculum, it is interwoven into all other curricula in ways we would have never predicted.


  • A global project is easiest and most meaningful when it is directly connected to your curriculum – not an add on that isn’t found within your grade SLOs (often the engagement and “buy in” is not there when it isn’t directly connected to the learning taking place within the classroom), especially if you want it to be long term and sustainable.
  • It can occur naturally when you allow children the opportunity to extend their understanding of concepts and personalize meaning by asking questions.
  • When you are able to connect with experts in the field and ask student questions, this often further extends the inquiry.
  • Being able to weave the inquiry into all aspect of the curriculum enriches the exploration and deepen the connections.

What do you think?

  • Finding an inquiry to take to the “next level” is challenging … what would you suggest for people who are interested and just not sure where to begin?
  • Do you have examples of authentic global inquiry projects that you could share with us?
  • How do you make these connections with “experts in the field”?
  • How do you make your inquiry “manageable” so that you are able to get ALL curricular “responsibilities” addressed AND find time to pursue your global project?
  • What tools are you using to share your global inquiry with others?  Blogging? Video? Skype? Wiki?
  • How do you generate global interest in your inquiry? Twitter?

May Chat Details

Saturday, May 12 – USA, Europe, Africa (17:00 – 18:00 GMT)

  • 1PM (13:00) New York, 6PM (18:00) London, 7PM (19:00) Cape Town, 8PM (20:00) Bucharest
  • Or click here to find out when this chat runs in your timezone.

Sunday, May 13 – Asia / Europe ( 9:00 – 10:00 GMT)

  • 10AM (10:00) London, 5PM (17:00) Singapore, 6PM (18:00) Tokyo, 7PM (19:00) Sydney, 9PM (21:00) Wellington
  • Or click here to find out when this chat runs in your timezone.

Monday / Tuesday May 14 / 15 (22:00 – 23:00 GMT)

  • 6PM (18:00) New York, 11PM (23:00) London – Monday
  • 6AM (6:00) Hong Kong, 8AM (8:00) Sydney, 10AM (10:00) Auckland – Tuesday
  • OR click here to find out when this chat runs in your timezone.

Can you help?

We are always keen to recruit new chat moderators, and would love suggestions for future chat topics. Please tweet @mgraffin if interested or access the online form on the #globalclassroom chat wiki. We sincerely appreciate your support!


3 thoughts on “Getting a global project started … Where do you begin, and how do you make it meaningful and sustainable?

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