My Alien Friend
Level : From 7 to 11
Key competencies : Cultural expression / Digital / Foreign language / Learning to learn / Social and civic
This project aims to:
1. Facilitate communication between pupils in an interactive and enjoyable way
2. To develop imagination and creativity
3. To improve language and communication skills
4. To express feelings and imagination through art and music
5. To enhance knowledge and respect for diversity, as a source of enrichment for everyone.
The project may be integrated with the curriculum in the following subject suggestions:
- Physics/Astronomy - The Solar system
- Local history - ancient and modern monuments of the region, customs, festivities, food, celebrations, costumes
- Geography/History - famous places of all countries members of the project
- Language learning: reading, comprehension, writing free texts, delivering a speech in another language;
- Music - recording musical performances, singing and playing musical instruments;
- Art -painted pictures; creation, changes and movement of digital images from drawn images (digital cartoons);
- Informatics - Learning how to use digital devices, computer-learning selected Web 2.0 tools, writing and sending e-mails, etc...
A key feature of this project should be the great flexibility in the schedule of activities, to allow everyone to freely choose the order of the proposed activities. In this way it is encouraged creativity and motivation of teachers and pupils.
Another key feature should the absence of competition between the participating schools. This is not a "race" between one school and another. The strong collaboration between all schools partner, the close friendship that grows between teachers and between pupils should become a constant and integral part of the project.
The steps are outlined below in months with a separate suggested activity for each month. The activities and their place in the outline should be agreed by all the partners in advance.
The idea is to create a new universe full of different planets. Each country creates a name for his planet, a description of its climate, colour etc. Each pupil creates an alien name for themselves that will be used for the project All of these are uploaded into the TwinSpace.
Through the TwinSPace, each pupil sends a message to the Universe in order to seek a alien friend. Pupils will choose their friend who will communicate by describing first of all their favorite song/ dance/food etc. This may be done by creating a video message for example
Using a collaborative writing/drawing tool, create a common alphabet with your friend. Establish a rule together. The alphabet will be composed of lines, images, animals or birds. Make a link in the TwinSPace
a) In the TwinSpace, upload a file describing yourself (clues about physical appearance, personality, hobbies) Use your alphabet!
b) Get your partner to draw your image, an image my alien friend (you can use a graphics editing program to get a funny collage, or you can draw.
Invite your friend to visit Earth! Make a presentation with images of your favourite places in your country. Use whatever tool you feel is appropriate.
Visit the planet...! Let the pupils put up a set of clues regarding the planet they live on. Draw the planet where your friend lives. Upload the outcomes in the TwinSpace
Create and exchange symbols of friendship (Friends for ever!) These can be drawings, physical objects or a performance of song/dance or something totally different. Use your imagination! Exchange using the TwinSpace tools
Revealing true identity! Game: Put your picture in the picture folder. Choose the picture that you think is your friend. Did you find your friend?
Evaluation is through the feedback received at the end of each project activity.
This feedback can be done through the TwinSpace using the video conference tool to exchange views. The evaluation should take place in a non-competitive atmosphere and not a direct comparison with the work of other schools.
From time to time the pupils should be challenged to propose new ideas, and the teachers should be prepared to write down all the ideas and proposals of the pupils and try to integrate them into the project activities.
This project thus promotes cooperation between the various schools, valuing individual and cultural differences as a resource and enrichment for all.
At the end the pupils will find that they have been part of a team, composed not only by their classmates, but also by their teachers and all schools that participated in the project. The final result is a collaborative work: the feedback of the entire project.
The project can be expanded, using the many materials created by the pupils, which can be used in films, galleries, sound tracks...
The project is very open to different ways of pupil expression. It takes into consideration pupils with special needs and gives them the opportunity to participate.
The school can also benefit from this project, as the demonstration of the importance of interdisciplinary courses, based on the use of new educational technologies, provide motivation for both pupils and teachers.