Hello, GLOBE Community!

Connect with your GLOBE partner class to share information about your local community and local environment.
Ages 8-14 / 90
min Activity
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  • Collaborate to prepare artifacts to help your GLOBE partner class learn about you, your local community and environment, and environmental challenges facing your local community
  • Exchange materials with your GLOBE partner class to help them learn about your class, community, and local environment
  • Meet with your GLOBE partner class to ask questions and build community

Supporting Research

Research shows that classroom activities that are culturally-responsive, which provide students with the opportunity to share about their identity and experiences, collaborate on projects meaningful to them, and affirm the value of diversity and cultural differences, help create a more inclusive classroom environment. Engaging in this project can help students practice kindness, collaboration, and inclusivity as they gain a better understanding of each other, negotiate how to include everyone’s ideas in the project, and work together to produce an artifact that represents their collective identity. 

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out Empatico’s Empathy Framework


Activity Partners

Educator Note

Empatico offers an exciting opportunity for educators to connect their classrooms with other classes around the world. These cross-cultural experiences enable students to share their stories, explore different perspectives, and make new friends in another community.

Empatico exchanges are most successful when educators plan and get to know each other beforehand. To do this, please schedule a video call to connect with your partner educator, and use this opportunity to share your goals for this experience, exchange helpful information about your students, and discuss how you will lead the exchange together. Our "Get to Know Your Partner Educator" resource provides suggested conversation prompts for your meeting.

For more tips on leading a positive, cross-cultural experience for your students, please watch our “Teacher Tips” video.

Part 1: Hello! Package

  1. Introduce the activity to your students.

    You might explain: “Imagine filling a box with some of your favorite things and shipping it around the world to help new friends get to know you! What would you put in it? What would you want them to know about you? Today, we’re going to figure that out by creating a digital package to send to our partner class! We might have a lot of different ideas about what to include in our package, so we’ll approach this project with kindness and respect so everyone feels included, and it helps capture what makes our class so unique.”
  2. As a class, discuss the following questions and share photos, videos, and/or text with your partner class on the GLOBE Community Padlet.

    Note: the GLOBE Community Padlet will be used over the course of several collaborations. For this introductory activity, please share the information below. Click on "+" in the bottom right corner of the Padlet and search for your location to add a post to the map. Be sure to include a descriptive title, corresponding to the bolded items below, on each post to share information about your GLOBE Community.

    Meet Your GLOBE Community: What is something interesting about you and/or your local community?
    Tell Us About Your Local Environment: How would you describe your local environment to someone who has never visited?
    Environmental Issues in Your Community: What do you think is the most pressing environmental issue facing your local community?
    Taking Action: What can students like you do to help address the environmental issues you have identified?
  3. If time permits, select one of the following projects: School Tour or Class Survey. Use strategies such as dot-voting to ensure that all students have the opportunity to contribute ideas and participate in the decision-making process as you decide what information to include in your class project.
  4. Share your students’ project with your partner class via Empatico Chat or email, and include your students’ answers to the questions above on the GLOBE Community Padlet. You might also consider sharing as a class photo, a letter introducing yourselves, or a video of your local community.
  5. After exchanging your digital packages, review the artifacts shared by your partner class with your students and encourage them to share their observations by asking these questions:
    • What can we learn about our partner class from their project? What similarities and differences do you notice?
    • Is there anything that surprised you?
    • What is something that you found interesting and want to learn more about?
    • What questions do you have for our partner class?

Part 2: Get to Know You

  1. Introduce your students to Empatico by watching this video, and ask them the following questions:
    • How do you feel about meeting our partner class? What do you think our new friends will be like?
    • Do you know anything about the city or country where our partner class is located? Where can we find more information about their location? (e.g., by using Google Earth to explore their neighborhood, or searching for images of their city online)
    • What do you think it might be like to live there? What do you think our neighborhoods might share in common, and how do you think our neighborhoods might be different?

    Throughout your conversation, nurture positive feelings such as excitement and curiosity. Explain that it’s normal to notice differences between ourselves and others, and that you will practice doing so respectfully. If any misconceptions or stereotypes arise, gently counteract them and explain how to reframe assumptions by asking questions or making "I wonder..." comments. (e.g., "I wonder what our new friends’ community is like!") Ensure that students see this experience as an exciting opportunity to learn from their partner class!
  2. Help students come up with questions to ask their partner classmates, such as:
    • What types of activities do you enjoy outside of school?
    • What is your favorite thing about your community or local environment?

    Students might also prepare comments about something they found interesting about information that their partner classmates shared on the GLOBE Community Padlet and want to learn more about. Students should also prepare other questions that they have for their partner class.

    Encourage students to write down their reflections and questions on notecards that they can reference during the virtual exchange.
  3. Establish and share communication norms for the virtual exchange, such as:
    • Keep yourself on “mute” (unless you are talking) to limit background noise, and raise your hand when you want to speak.
    • When it’s your turn to speak, come close to the device, say your comment or question loudly and clearly, and remain at the camera to hear your partner classmate’s response. Start by saying your name (e.g., “Hi, my name is ___. My question is...).
    • Listen attentively to the speaker and use hand signals (e.g., thumbs-up, “me too” signal, etc.) to indicate agreement or similarities.
    • Make sure that others have a chance to speak during the exchange.

    Ask students to share additional ideas for how they will show respect to their new friends, and consider leading a practice session so students can practice these strategies and imagine having a fun, positive interaction with your partner class.

    For more tips on setting up your classroom for a virtual exchange, please visit this resource.
  4. Facilitate the virtual exchange using Empatico’s built-in Zoom integration, or the video tool that you previously selected, and follow the suggested exchange structure below:
    • Start the video call by greeting your partner educator. Then, facilitate an introduction between students in both classes. You might have them introduce themselves, and share about their class grade, school, location, and/or a fun fact about their community.
    • Provide space for both classes to share about their local environment and GLOBE investigations, and encourage students to listen carefully and ask follow-up questions to learn more (e.g., “What is the most pressing environmental issue in your local environment? What can we do to help address environmental challenges?”). Encourage behaviors that show respect and other strengths, like empathy, thoughtfulness, and humility, such as students sharing something they liked about each other’s stories.
    • Invite students to take turns asking the questions that they prepared, and responding to each other.
    • End the exchange by asking students to thank their partner class for sharing a part of their day with them, and for the opportunity to get to know each other a little better. Then, students can say “goodbye” and express excitement for meeting again during your next virtual exchange together!
  5. Gather students in a reflection circle to discuss the questions below, and adapt them accordingly to your activity and goals. This is an opportunity to help them share their developing ideas and extend their learning.
    • What was your favorite part of this experience?
    • What did you learn about our partner class and their community and environment?
    • What is something that you found interesting or surprising?
    • How are the environmental issues identified by our partner class similar to ours? How are they different?
  6. After your reflection, encourage students to post comments and questions on the GLOBE Community Padlet to provide feedback and build community with your partner class.

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.