Cross-Cultural Classroom Magic in Mexico and Chicago

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“The magic happens when you’re in the middle of telling your story and you realize that you’re talking as if your partner was somebody you knew already … it’s like you’re speaking with your best friend.”– Audrey Can, American School of Tampico, MX

In a classroom, the story exchange works wonders, bonding students and teachers. But how about on Google Hangouts between students in different countries?

Long-time N4 educator advisers Maru Castañeda, from the American School of Tampico, MX, and Faisal Mohyuddin, from the Highland Park High School in Chicago, IL, are happy to confirm that the story exchange can be miraculous online, as well.

Maru and Faisal recently completed a Virtual Story Exchange (VSE) between 32 primarily bilingual students from their respective classrooms. To prepare, students wrote letters to one another that included photos conveying their interests and backgrounds. Then, using Google Hangouts, students conducted one-on-one exchanges. And, finally, both classes came together for three hours to share their stories over Google Hangouts.

Faisal wrote after the exchange, “What happened today was magical. And we can’t wait for the next chance our students get to reconnect and build upon the magic.”

Not ones to keep success to themselves, Maru and Faisal shared the details of how they designed and implemented their VSE in the first in a series of online events highlighting the work of N4’s master practitioners, to rave reviews from their peers around the world.

Here’s to more magic between students everywhere!

More from Narrative 4 around the globe:

3/21/17 – Building Resilience in North Philadelphia

3/14/17 – Empathy in Israel

3/7/17 – Student Leaders SCHout for Diversity

2/26/17 – Creating One Military and Civilian Family at West Point

2/19/17 – Middle School Scientists Embrace the Story Exchange

2/10/17 – An Intergenerational Story Exchange in Ireland, a National Magazine Award in New York

2/3/17 – Connecting at UConn

1/27/17 – Students in Mexico Open Up About Living with Violence

1/20/17 – Narrative 4 Gun Awareness Documentary Nominated for National Magazine Award

1/13/17 – Narrative 4 Limerick Rings in the New Year with Readings

1/6/17 – Young Journalists Exchange Stories with Locals in Costa Rica