Last year, Saint Benedict Academy established a partnership with the International Student Office at Southern New Hampshire University to bring a group of international students to Saint Benedict Academy to teach the students about the geography, culture, and heritage of their countries. The SNHU students visit the same class throughout the school year so that students at SBA can really get to know the student and acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation of their guest’s country.
This year, the nations of China, Iraq, Malaysia, and Morocco are represented through the program.
On Friday morning, students from China presented a lesson on geography and greetings to Mrs. Johnston’s third grade class. The SNHU students taught the students how to say hello and surprised each student with a gift – they wrote each child’s name in the beautiful Chinese characters. Next door, Mrs. Hauck’s fourth grade class met their Moroccan mentor. The students learned about important cities in Morocco and practiced writing their names in Arabic script.
In the afternoon, the sixth grade class met their SNHU partners from Iraq. Students in the fifth grade were paired with two undergraduates from Malaysia who visited last week for a fascinating lesson that helped the students make comparisons between geographical features in Malaysia and their own state.
The first floor was also focused on Geography this week!
First grade students in Mrs. Silveira’s class were busy this week researching the seven continents and preparing for presentations on geography. After learning about Christopher Columbus and his adventures as an explorer, the students set off to chart their own odyssey around the world.
Students worked in small groups to become an “expert” on one of the continents. Students used Play-Doh to create a model of their continent – using puzzles, images, maps, atlases, and even an iPad as references. The students then used those same references to research their given continent and had to write several key facts that they found important to share with their peers. Students also had to design a cover sheet for their project. Finally, students had to present their information to their classmates.
Throughout the week, students were actively engaged in geography centers during social studies time. Map puzzles challenged students with the shape and placement of the 50 states, providing opportunities to learn the state capitals and other facts along the way. Apps on the i-Pad similarly challenged students to test their growing knowledge about the continents and the major bodies of water.
With all this new information, as Dr. Seuss might say, “oh the places the first grade will go!”