WHO IS IT? eTwinning National Awards 2016
WHO IS IT? is an eTwinning project based on a sociocultural and language (English and French) exchange between pupils aged 11-14. Through games and endless communicative and interactive activities, pupils create their own foreign language ‘learning material’.
Edelmira Riero, coordinator at the ALCA school (Ames, La Coruña) describes this fruitful experience in eTwinning:
WHO IS IT? is a collaborative project between 5eme3 pupils from the French school of Francois Pithou (Troyes-France), and second year secondary (ESO) school pupils from the ALCA school, Ames (Spain). With this project, eTwinning allowed us to move from an educational model focused on teaching to a model focused on learning to learn, using techniques such as cooperative work, problem-based learning, collaborative artistic creation and expression in different fields (visual, plastic, musical, technical…).
We started off from the assumption that each pupil has some forms of intelligence that are more developed than others and attempted to strengthen and reinforce them in order to achieve a more effective learning, and this is why, from the very beginning, we took into account basic competencies and many types of intelligence, apart from linguistic objectives, and that’s how we assessed them at the end of the project.
Pupils were able to communicate with native colleagues in real situations during the course of the game, and throughout the course, through frequent connections via Skype, chats and forums. Opening the classroom door to Europe was an achievement that gave us the greatest motivation, both the pupils and myself.
The use of innovative methodological strategies, discovering other educational realities, developing creativity, expanding ICT knowledge, collaborating and sharing experiences with European colleagues have been the aims achieved at a more than satisfactory level.
Cooperation was constant in performing activities. Pupils from both countries created actual materials with which to learn the foreign language (videos and cards for understanding them). We combined group activities with other individual ones. The game and other activities are communicative and interactive, which means a friendship has grown between pupils, an emotional motivation. There’s been no lack of creativity either in artistic creations for the avatar, the logo, the bookmarks, the rap, the musical…
The teachers maintained weekly contact via Skype and WhatsApp; pupils maintained frequent contact (most Tuesdays) by Skype and/or the TwinSpace forum. This was the first project performed at the school in collaboration with overseas, and it was therefore a new experience for both pupils and teachers. This was a challenge and a collaborative learning exercise that we faced with great enthusiasm and determination.
There was considerable work and time spent, both during school hours and outside the classroom, even devoting holiday periods to recording videos of exteriors, all done with great enthusiasm by the pupils. The enthusiasm with which they created and received videos and completed cards, the contribution of constant ideas for new activities such as the logo, the bookmark, rap, the story, the interest and effort in rehearsals so that the musical Les Miserables would turn out as good as possible and the involvement of grandmothers and parents are examples that confirm the motivation of children throughout the course.
eTwinning promotes the process of student learning through discovery, enriching the professional development of teachers and creating human bonds.
In September 2014, I personally took a flight into the unknown. I’ve met with constant turbulence resulting from my inexperience and my ignorance but I was extremely fortunate to have the best pilot directing my steps. “Con pan y vino se hace el camino” (The path never seems so bad after a good meal) as the saying goes. We followed our path with Olga Paniagua (eTwinning NSS). She’s been my adviser on this route. Almost immediately she resolved all my doubts (as shown by the more than 60 project cards), but she’s basically been my breath at times of helplessness, times when the phrase that passed through my mind was “… but who got me into this mess …!” THANKS, OLGA, you’ve managed to get some children and their teachers to achieve a goal, a desire and to repeat the experience!
I’d like to thank the work of my pupils and colleagues in France, the collaboration with my colleague Palmira Grau, and Sophie Bois, my friend in France.
Having received the European quality label, being ranked in the top eleven in our European prize category and receiving the National Award was unthinkable. This tells us we’ve done a great job and pushes us on to keep going.
We tried to make this project as collaborative as possible in order to arouse the greatest interest in our pupils, as exemplified by the following activities:
1) The Who is it? game
With this activity we sought contact between children. Indeed, two Spanish pupils played with two French pupils on Skype or in the forum (in the middle of the year we changed partners to promote greater interaction). It should be noted that some pupils voluntarily made contact from home.
See the site: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/35447
2) Cultural videos
Videos made by pupils are also part of this collaborative work. After each video the pupils created comprehension cards for their colleagues in the other country so they could learn in a more enjoyable way. See the sites that host the videos:
And the cards:
We made more videos than expected. Indeed, videos of Mother’s Day and Make Music Day were added in France and, in Spain, videos of the carnival, the school fete and the musical “Les Miserables” performed by pupils as a tribute to their French colleagues and to mark the 10th anniversary of eTwinning.
3) The logo and the bookmark
On 14 February, French pupils tend to celebrate Friendship day at school. This year they decided to send their friends in Spain a letter by post.
See this site: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/35991.
Having received these letters, http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/35992 , the Spanish pupils created a twinning logo for both countries to show their appreciation.
With this Logo they wanted to express support for their French colleagues, (children with different religious ideologies) who were experiencing, against their wishes, moments of confusion in their country, and so the slogan of the Logo is ‘WHO IS IT?, together we are ONE’.
See the site: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/35452.
In both countries, the pupils took the decision to create a bookmark in which they shared the image of the Logo and the names of their respective colleagues in the neighbouring country.
See the site: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/44182.
We the teachers printed these bookmarks on “photo paper” and gave them to the children as a souvenir.
These bookmarks indicate the end of the project in the story, since after-the pupil-elves have gone, (the end of the year), our characters find them and consider the impact they’ve had on their path through the school.
4) The rap song
Now nearing the end of the project, all the pupils as a group assessed it. They did it the traditional way, using a common questionnaire prepared by both teachers.
See the site: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/46752 and by singing in both languages.
This was how the ASSESSMENT RAP came about, the lyrics, music, cover and song..
See the site: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/46751
This site also contains two videos with an individual assessment in each country.
5) We say goodbye
With the end of the project, it was time say goodbye. We did it through a last Skype session and the French pupils also decided to say goodbye by reading a “poem” dedicated to the colleagues, (see the site; http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/45969) and the Spanish by performing (for parents and pupils at School fetes) the musical Les Miserables, from the play by the French writer, Victor Hugo, in honour of their French friends and also with another video in which the group says goodbye in French, to mark the celebration of the feast day of St. James and the Way:
See the link: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/45967.
6) Our Story
The characters (avatars) we created to play Who is it? become the main characters of our interactive story.
Red Tags: Spain / Blue Tags: France / Green tags: Skype Sessions / Black tag: Rap (hosted on page 25, in the image on the cover)
- The pupils as a whole: Questionnaire and RAP: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/35461
- The teachers: Key Competencies, Multiple Intelligences and Learning Standards: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/1783/pages/page/49063
Images source and videos : Who is it? Project