Read Aloud Part Two

Students Participate in “Global Read Aloud”


This fall, Onekama Middle School students are participating in a valuable learning project called the Global Read Aloud.  The project began on October 2 and runs for six weeks.  


The idea behind the Global Read Aloud is simple: teachers around the world read the same book aloud to their students and then use technology to share the reading experience with other participating classrooms.  


Onekama sixth grade students are reading the award-winning novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, which introduces students to the global water crisis through the real-life stories of two children, Nya and Salva, living in South Sudan.


The sixth grade class was matched with a class from Washington, D.C.  The classes began their interaction with a live videoconference to introduce themselves.


“I was surprised that their class looked so different from ours,” commented student Destiny Tyler. “Two of the girls wore head scarves, and their class had people with many different cultures. They were surprised that our town is so small, and that we get so much snow in northern Michigan.”


Additional interactions included written communication through a program called Padlet, video communication through FlipGrid, and a postcard exchange with 25 other classes also reading the book. As the class receives postcards in return, they are mapping the locations of the schools on a map in their classroom.


Onekama seventh grade students are reading the novel A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, a story of grief and coping as told by a 13 year old whose mother is battling cancer.  


Students’ first communication with their partner class was an exciting “Mystery Skype” session, in which students had to figure out where each class was located via Skype, by asking Yes and No questions and utilizing maps.


The seventh graders used additional technology tools including FlipGrid, Padlet, and WriteAbout to facilitate unique connections and conversations about the novel.


“This is my first experience with the Global Read Aloud project, and I cannot say enough positive things about it,” said English teacher Megan McCarthy. “It is a free project and it fits perfectly into the standards we have to cover.  It allows for our students to use technology tools in a meaningful way, learn about other communities, and share their reading experiences with students from around the world, all while listening to a fantastic read aloud.”  


This year, more than one million students from around the world are participating in the Global Read Aloud project.


Seventh grade students work as a team to discover the location of their partner class during a Mystery Skype activity.

Onekama sixth grader Ashlyn  shows the postcard she has written to a class also reading the same book as hers.

Postcards are ready to be mailed out to other classrooms as part of a postcard exchange for the Onekama sixth grade class.
Seventh grade students work as a team to discover the location of their partner class during a Mystery Skype activity.

Students recorded and exchanged video responses, based on teacher-posed questions about the novels, using a program called FlipGrid.

Students Dante and Carly , with teacher Megan McCarthy, talk to a class in Oostburg, Wisconsin, during a Mystery Skype session.