The Complete International Cookbook Project -2014

My good friend, Matt McGuire, an educator from New Brunswick, Canada, is starting up a new project called the Complete International Cookbook Project.  This will be his second edition of the cookbook.  The Complete International Cookbook project is an innovative, culturally-diverse activity where students in classrooms from all over the globe contribute recipes which may be special family traditions or part of their cultural heritage. The end result is a culturally diverse, professionally published cookbook which can be accessed, purchased, and shipped to just about anywhere in the world at a very reasonable price.

A link to his previous project is http://www.lulu.com/shop/global-students/the-complete-international-cookbook/paperback/product-15835825.html

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Profits from the sale of the cookbook will be allocated, this year, to Help Lesotho. Lesotho is a country in southern Africa. It is the third highest AIDS-populated country in the world. Help Lesotho’s Child Sponsorship program enables high school students to continue their schooling and become educated, productive members of their communities. Prohibitive high school fees mean that many students will not go beyond the primary school level.  Matt would love to help as many high school students as possible graduate with the proceeds from The International Cookbook.

Interested?  Contact Matt at Matt.McGuire@nbed.nb.ca.

Making Sense of the World

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Starting at the end of November, Lisa Parisi and Donna Román will be launching a new global project called Making Sense of the World.  This project, designed for classes with children in the 8-12 age range, will entail collecting data for comparison.  We will begin with simple data, such as temperature, daylight hours, population, and move toward more detailed data, such as, favorite books, religions practiced, languages spoken.  Imagine what the children will learn about each other and themselves by comparing this data.  
We are looking for classes from all around the world.  Please do not let lack of English stop you from signing up.  We will work out the language differences with translators.  And we will help with any technology questions you might have.
 
Sign up now.  The fun is about to begin!  The website can be found here:  Making Sense of the World
 

Asking Better Questions … Helping Change Perspectives

This is a guest post from #globalclassroom teacher @LParisi. Lisa blogs at http://thelisaparisi.com, and this post was originally published here.  

Photo shared by the Global Grade 3s.

I belong to an amazing group called The Global Classroom Project.  I love this group.  The teachers have fabulous ideas, talk about the ups and downs of global connections, and seek out collaborators.  If you haven’t looked at the site, you must check it out.

Recently, a blog was posted by Michael Graffin as a reposting of a blog created by a student in Honduras. The class had just completed a mystery skype call, and this student was discussing the awkward, nearly offensive questions asked by the mystery class, which turned out to be in Texas. The two questions in point: “Do you guys use cell phones?” and “How does your house look like?”  You can read her blog to see her view about these questions.

This started a conversation in the Google group about being careful how we communicate with each other and what questions we ask.  So I just want to put in my two cents on the subject.  (You should note that I already talked online with Michael about my response. He, as usual, invites conversation.)

My purpose for Going Global with my class is an idealistic one.  I hope that my kids do a better job than we have.  I want them to understand, accept, and connect with others, regardless of language, religion, race, gender, etc.  I want them to learn that we are all people, deserving of respect and consideration.  And I want them to remember this when it comes time to work with others, have discussions with others, argue with others.  We are all people!

When I was growing up, in the 60s, we were just starting to talk about differences as positive.  “Be yourself.”    “Love who you are and love the one you’re with.”  But, along with loving each other, I was taught not to insult anyone.  And it was insulting to stare, to ask questions, to recognize differences.  So we never even looked at each other.  Really.  If a person of color walked into the restaurant where I was eating, in my very white neighborhood, everyone would look away.  To make eye contact might indicate that you were afraid of them or didn’t want them there.  So, in order to show our respect, we just didn’t look.  Strange but true.  I wasn’t taught to do this.  It was modeled for me.

Did this work?  Of course not.  I learned that people are different and deserve different treatment from one another.  Poor and rich, black and white, abled and disabled.  Labels were important.  They defined for us how to act and how to treat each other.

But I have grown up.  I have learned that this is not the way.  And I have taken it upon myself to model differently for my students and my own child.  I ask questions.  I talk about clothing, jewelry, political beliefs, religious practices.  I ask questions.  And I keep talking.  And I make eye contact.  And I smile.  And I invite people to sit down with me.  And I make plans to go to dinner, the movies, a book club.  And I ask questions.

My students recently did a Mystery Skype call with a class in Texas.  Once we figured out the states we came from, the questions started flying.  They thought we were all gangsters (New Yorkers are usually depicted that way).  We thought they were all cowboys.  After finding out the truth was quite the opposite, we laughed about our misconceptions.

What did we learn?  That Texan students like the same music we do, watch the same movies and tv shows, and shop at the same stores.  Hmmm.  Not so different.  The accents were certainly different but not much else was.  And my students now have a new understanding of Texans and other Southerners.

I work in a very multicultural climate.  We often have conversations about similarities with our religious rituals, our family dinners, and our weekend responsibilities.  We are so different and yet so similar. I don’t ever want my students to stop asking questions.  Eventually, their questions will get more mature, less “insulting”.  And, maybe someday, they won’t need to ask questions about each other.  They will just accept and understand.

What do you think?