In July, I posted about a website, Empatico, which endeavors to match classrooms around the world. The site is now offering free registration for teachers of 8-10 year olds who would like to participate. There are four “Spark” activities to choose from. Empatico provides the lesson plan and downloadable resources for each one. When you register, you select the activities that seem a good fit for your class, as well as the days of the week and times that will work for a live internet chat with another group of students working on the same project. Empatico will e-mail you once the organization finds another classroom with similar interests so that you can then arrange a specific day and time for the students to virtually meet.
To register, visit Empatico, and click on any of the hyperlinks that offer, “Get matched with a class.” It is recommended that you choose more than one activity in order to get matched more quickly. Although this project is just beginning, it has a lot potential for helping students to see other perspectives and develop empathy. According to the site, “As students learn together, they explore their similarities and differences with curiosity and kindness and develop practical communication and leadership skills.” Programs like this can promote more understanding around the world, something that seems to be urgently needed in today’s society.