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Students Rebuild: Paper Cranes for Japan

What it is: As news of Japan’s tsunami and earthquake(s) continues to roll in, students may be feeling overwhelmed by the devastation of it all.  Following natural disaster current events can give students (and adults) a real sense of helplessness.  As adults, we often ease this by donating money or time.  What do students do to make an impact? Today I learned of a truly wonderful site called Students Rebuild from a tweet from my friend @MZimmer557.  Students Rebuild is a site that helps students around the world connect, learn, and take action on critical global issues.  There are a few projects that students can get involved in currently: 1. Haiti- building stronger, permanent schools in Haiti.  This is a call to action for middle and high school students to rebuild strong, permanent schools in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.  Students and educators create a team to raise money.  Any money raised is matched dollar-for-dollar up to $2,500 per team. 2. Japan-folding cranes to support rebuilding in Sendai.  This is a way for young students to take action.  “Through a simple, powerful gesture of making and mailing in a paper crane, students worldwide are promoting hope, healing, and triggering dollars for reconstruction ($2 for each crane received).” Students Rebuild gives students the opportunity to connect to a global community, learn about the challenges of a natural disaster, and do something real to make a difference. In addition to the Rebuild challenges, educators can use Student Rebuild to connect students with others around the world.  The site helps build that global learning community  Interactive video conferencing encourages two-way dialogue and emotional connections.  Webcasts between Haiti and multiple schools around the world engage, and inspire.  (Learn more on the “Educators” page) How to integrate Students Rebuild into the classroom: Register your class to take part in one of the Students Rebuild activities.  The newest way to take part is through the Paper Cranes for Japan project.  Students Rebuild partnered with DoSomething.org to give students worldwide a way to support their Japanese peers.  Start by watching the video of how to make paper cranes on the Students Rebuild website.  Take a photo and upload it with a message to the Paper Cranes for Japan Facebook Page.  Mail the finished paper cranes to Students Rebuild to turn those cranes into dollars for reconstruction and an art installation.  This would be a great project to take on as a class.  Don’t stop there, encourage your students to make more paper cranes.  They can have a paper crane party, or encourage their families to join in on the paper crane creation.  Download the one-page flier to send home with students. Using Students Rebuild projects in your classroom is a great way to teach students about our global community, empathy, current events, and give students a way to make a difference. Tips: Be sure to check out the comprehensive toolkit on the Students Rebuild site.  In the toolkit you will find photos, videos, posters, fact sheets, logos, media coverage, and fundraising tips. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Students Rebuild in your classroom!

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Children’s Books Forever

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Download, Foreign Language, Interactive book, iPod, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 31-08-2011

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What it is:   Children’s Books Forever is a simple site that packs a powerful punch for instilling a love of reading at an early age.  These are free children’s books that have become classics and children’s favorite books from around the world.  The books can be used on an interactive whiteboard, power point, overhead projector, on iPads (or other iDevices), or classroom computers.  Did I mention they are free?  These fun picture books are downloadable in pdf format and are wonderful for expanding your classroom library.  New books are being added regularly to Children’s Books Forever so be sure to check back often!

How to integrate Children’s Books Forever into the classroom:  I love sites that spread a love for reading while simultaneously beefing up the classroom library (and student’s home libraries).  The site is simple to use, just choose a book, download as a PDF and read.  Couldn’t be any simpler!  The books can be read in multiple languages making it a wonderful place for students who are learning a second language or speaking English as a second language.  Be sure to click on the links in the left side bar, they will lead you to additional books.  Find books for toddlers, Waldo humor books, inspirational books and more information on author Hans Wihelm in addition to the books featured on the home page.

The stories featured on Children’s Books Forever are beautifully written and illustrated.  Do your students have a pen pal or buddy in another country who speaks a different language?  Why not find a book that is featured in both languages to read and discuss together?  This is a great connecting point for students!

Bookmark Children’s Books Forever on classroom computers so that students can easily access the books during reading time.  The books can also be printed and added to the class library.  Be sure to remind your students they can access these stories from any Internet connected computer, they can keep reading at home too.

Many of the stories on Children’s Books Forever can be used for character education discussions in the primary classroom.  Project these stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer for a class read along.

Tips: Be sure to sign up to be notified when new books are added to Children’s Books Forever via email!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Children’s Books Forever in  your classroom!

 

Comments (11)

[...] Children’s Books Forever     What it is:   Children’s Books Forever is a simple site that packs a powerful punch for instilling a love of reading at an early age.  These are free children’s books that have become classics and children’s favorite books from around the… Source: ilearntechnology.com [...]

This is a great resource, Kelly; thanks for sharing.

You forgot to mention that books are available in a dozen different languages: English, Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish.

And, the pdf books can easily be included in Moodle assignments and discussions.

Hi. The reveiw states you can use these books on an iPad, but the site uses Acrobat, which I’m told an iPad cannot support. Can someone share a work around that I can use to share this resource with my students who use iPads? Thanks in advance.
Chris

The Adobe mention is just a recommendation for a PDF reader. If you go to Children’s Books Forever from the iPad it works no problem :)

Thanks Dan! It is good to note that not ALL of the books are available in all languages but there are great overlaps between languages that would enable conversations and collaboration between pen pals of different languages.

Might be good to note that all the titles appear to be by the same author, the prolific Hans Wilhelm.

Thanks for the tips on Children’s Books Forever, and in addition to Tumblebooks, Speakaboos and can you also let us know of other free e-books available online? Thanks.

Story Cove is another good one!

True.

There was a suggestion for another ebook site that has since disappeared. Can it be put back? Thx.

Not sure of the one you are referring to Donna!

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