Melody Casey
English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Lower Primary
  • GEDB
  • Global Education
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Education Standards

    GEDB Access to Education: Global Skype Connection (Lesson 6 of 6)

    GEDB Access to Education: Global Skype Connection (Lesson 6 of 6)


    The following lesson is optional.These are two Skype lessons that were planned with a 2nd grade teacher from Guatemala, for our students to connect and meet one another via a virtual form of communication using Skype. I was connected with a class in Guatemala with the help of Teachers 2 Teachers Global (For more information see Digital Resource for Skype Project in the Instructional Unit). The purpose of this activity was so that my 2nd grade Dual Language students could communicate in Spanish with a 2nd grade class in Guatemala who was learning English at their school. 

    This lesson was developed by Gabriela Bermingham as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.            

    Lesson Plan


    The following lesson is an optional lesson for teachers.These are two Skype lessons that were planned with a 2nd grade teacher from Guatemala, for our students to connect, and meet one another via a virtual form of communication, using Skype. I was connected with a class in Guatemala with the help of Teachers 2 Teachers Global (For more information see Digital Resource for Skype Project in the Instructional Unit). The purpose of this activity was so that my 2nd grade Dual Language students could communicate in Spanish with a 2nd grade class in Guatemala who was learning English at their school. Both groups of students were going to have the opportunity to practice their 2nd acquired language while meeting a new friend across the globe. The first Skype lesson was an introductory lesson, where the students in both classes were asked to write an "All About Me" paper in their 2nd language to present to a "friend" across the globe. The goal was for the students to take turns meeting face to face (on the computer, using Skype) and read/share their "All About Me" paper to each another. The second Skype lesson was an interview type lesson, where the students planned beforehand with their teacher and generated questions to ask their friends, across the globe, pertaining to their education and/or their school. The purpose of this lesson was for students to gain new perspective about what schools/education is like in other parts of the world (in this case in Guatemala), and then compare and contrast it to their own education/school in their own community. These Skype lessons were taught in Spanish to my dual language students during the literacy block. However, the lessons can be applied in an English-speaking classroom. All the attachments are included in both Spanish and English.


    Student Engagement/Motivation

    The teacher will explain to the students that they will get to do two projects involving the 2nd grade students in Guatemala. The teacher will explain to the students that they will soon get to interact with the students in Guatemala by using Skype as a form of virtual communication to learn more about the students in Guatemala and their school and education.

    Learning Targets and Criteria for Success

    Learning Targets:

    • I can be respectful when working with diverse groups.
    • I can participate in collaborative conversations by listening carefully and speaking one person at a time during discussions.
    • I can write with guidance and support from my teacher on a topic and strengthen my writing by revising and editing.
    • I can speak in Spanish with simple short sentences to communicate effectively.
    • I can understand the meaning of short messages in Spanish.
    • I can generate questions in Spanish to acquire information.
    • I can respond to questions in Spanish.


    Criteria for success:

    • I will be respectful when I interact with another 2nd grade class from Guatemala, while using Skype.
    • I will participate in conversations while taking turns speaking one at a time and listening carefully, while conversing with a student from Guatemala, using Skype.
    • I will write and edit an "All About Me" paper so that my paper can be understood by another student in Guatemala.
    • I will speak in Spanish with students from another 2nd grade classroom in Guatemala, using Skype as virtual connection.
    • I will understand what the students in Guatemala are saying to me, while speaking Spanish, during our Skype connection.
    • I will generate questions, in Spanish, to learn more about education and schools in Guatemala.
    • I will respond to questions in Spanish from students, in Guatemala, who want to learn about my education and my school.


    Skype Lesson #1 Supplies:

    • "All About Me" handout for each student (see attachments, available in Spanish and English)
    • Chart paper
    • Markers
    • Computer
    • Smartboard/board

    Skype lesson #2 Supplies:

    • Chart paper
    • Markers
    • Computer

    Learning Tasks and Practice

    (Skype lessons are also available in Spanish for a dual language teacher, see "Skype Lessons in Spanish" in attachments)

    Skype Lesson #1 "All About Me":

    1. The teacher will schedule the Skype sessions with the teacher from another country about 8 weeks prior to this activity .
    2. Also prior to the Skype sessions, the teacher will prepare the students by explaining to them, that the first Skype activity will involve getting to know one another.
    3. (Day 1) The students will be given an "All About Me" handout (see attachments, available in Spanish and English) that has questions such as, What is your name? How old are you? What is your favorite color? Who do you live with? What is the name of your school? What is your favorite subject? etc.
    4. The teacher will model how to answer each question in complete sentences, for example: My name is _____________. I am 7 years old. My favorite color is purple. I live with my mom and my two brothers. The name of my school is ______________. My favorite subject is _____________.
    5. The students will work at their tables or desks on the "All About Me" handout. The teacher will work with a small group of students who need more attention and assistance to complete this activity.
    6. (Day 2) After the students have answered all the questions in complete sentences, they will re-read their sentences and revise as necessary. Students will re-write their complete sentences, onto a final draft, on notebook paper in the style of a written essay. The students will be encouraged to write legibly and neat because most of them will be reading straight from this written assignment when they meet their global "friend" on Skype.
    7. The teacher will pay close attention to the students' writing and help them with their edits in order for their papers to make sense and not contain grammatical errors.
    8. After completion of this writing assignment, the students will practice reading their "All About Me" papers to a partner several times to improve fluency and confidence.
    9. The teacher will collect the written assignment and save them for the upcoming Skype session.
    10. Meanwhile, the teacher across the globe in which you have connected with, is also doing the same "All About Me" written assignment in preparation for the first Skype session.
    11. The teacher will arrange a day and time to Skype with the other class across the globe. Both teachers involved will use their computer and Smartboard/board to connect virtually. Once connected, the students will take turns coming to the video camera to introduce themselves by reading their "All About Me" papers to one another.

    Skype Lesson #2 "Education Questionnaire Interview":

    1. The teacher will schedule the second Skype session in advance with the teacher from the other country. This Skype session will be a questionnaire interview where each student will have a chance to ask their global "friend" two questions pertaining to their school and or education. Both classes will take turns asking each other questions. My dual language students are assigned to do their questions in Spanish, while the other class (in Guatemala) is working on their questions in English.
    2. (Day 3) The teacher will begin the lesson by telling the students that they will need to generate two questions, in which they would like to ask their global "friend" during the second Skype session. The students will be encouraged to come up with questions that pertain directly to the students' education and/or their school.
    3. The teacher will remind the students that over the past few weeks, they have been learning a lot about challenges some children face in trying to go to school or get an education. The teacher will ask the students, "What are some challenging factors that some children face across the world when trying to go to school?" Some students may say:
      1. "Transportation can be a challenge."
      2. "Not enough money to afford school."
      3. "Not enough money to buy uniforms to go to school."
      4. "Some girls can't go to school because of their gender (gender inequality)"
      5. "Some schools don't provide lunch"
      6. "Some children with handicaps/disabilities cannot go to school (there are no facilities that will accommodate them)"
      7. "Some children cannot go to school because a hurricane or earthquake destroyed their school."
    4. After discussing the challenging factors that impede children from going to school, the teacher will now explain to the students that their questions to their global "friend" should try to address some of these factors and/or be related to the school or the type of education that is provided at this school.
    5. In order to not repeat any questions, the teacher will put up a large piece of chart paper on the board and ask the students to share their questions with the class. The students will be asked to think of two questions but if they can only think of one, the teacher can come back to that student once he/she has thought of a second question to ask or the teacher can assist the student with ideas for a question.The teacher will call on each student to share their questions and the teacher will write the students' responses on the chart paper for all the students to see (examples of, Student Questionnaire in English and Spanish, are available in attachments).
    6. When all the questions have been written on the chart paper, the teacher will type the questions on the computer (or if time permits, the students themselves can type their own questions on the computer with the help of a teacher or an adult).
    7. The students will be be given a chance to practice reading their questions to a partner prior to this Skype session to practice fluency and confidence.
    8. Meanwhile, the students across the globe are also doing the same activity with their teacher as mentioned above.
    9. The two teachers arrange a day and time for the second Skype session, keeping in mind time difference depending on what part of the world the other teacher lives.
    10. Prior to the second Skype session, the teacher will give each student the "typed up" questions to practice reading it, and getting familiar with what it says before asking their "friend" across the word.
    11. The two teachers involved will use their computer, and Smartboard/board to connect.
    12.  During the second Skype session, the students will take turns coming to the video camera to interview and ask their two questions to their global "friend."

    Technological Engagement

    Students will be engaged in two Skype sessions with another country (ours was Guatemala) using the computer and SmartBoard/board to project the Skype conversations. This will be an interactive global opportunity for students to have the chance to meet a "friend" from across the globe. Students will utilize the 2nd language, that students in both classes are acquiring in school, in order to communicate ideas and learn about each other's school and education, via a virtual connection.

    Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning

    • Completion of the  "All About Me" handout. (see attachments).
    • Completion of the final draft of their personal "All About Me" essays.
    • Evidence of student engagement, and participation during the Skype sessions.

    Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps

    This was also the highlight of the entire instructional unit for my students. My students were so excited to meet their "global friends," and use Skype as a virtual form of communication. Many of my students came to school daily, asking, "Are we going to Skype with our friends from Guatemala today?" In addition, students would commonly make comments such as, "I love global learning!"; "I can't wait to learn about our friends' school in Guatemala."; "I wonder what country we will learn about today?" 

    The students were particularly fascinated by the answers to the questionnaire/interview from the students in Guatemala (see Email response from teacher in Guatemala, in attachments, for Guatemalan students' responses). The students learned a lot about the school and education in Guatemala and how it differed from theirs, while still finding some similarities in both.

    Extended Learning Opportunities

    After the two Skype sessions:

    1. Students will use a "compare/contrast graphic organizer" to compare their school with their "global friend's school, on how they are similar and different.
    2. Students will use the information gathered from the "compare/contrast graphic organizer" to write a narrative about their experience using Skype to communicate with their global "friend," including the similarities and differences they discovered during their interview with this school.

    Teacher Reflection of Learning

    Teachers 2 Teachers Global first connected me with a 2nd grade teacher from Guatemala who taught math to her students during her instructional block. The students at her school rotate and go to different teachers who teach different subjects throughout the day. I had a very pleasant time talking with this teacher and sharing ideas over the course of about 3-4 weeks. We had planned the two Skype lessons and we were ready to go. Then, I discovered quickly that different cultures can be very different from my own culture. In Guatemala, when something is different from the norm in a workplace, it has to be approved by many people before it is administered. I had to type a letter to the director of the school in Guatemala explaining my global project and interest to Skype with her class (see attachments). I provided a detail lesson plan with objectives, for each Skype lesson, for the director to read over (see Letter to the director of the school in Guatemala in attachments). We waited and waited for weeks for the project to be approved. Sadly, it was not approved by her director.

    However, the teacher connected me with the English Department director from the same school (who happened to be from the U.S.A), and she was able to approve my Skype session project so that I could Skype with the English teacher (who happened to be from New York), who teaches the children English during her block of the day. Finally, I Skyped with the English teacher but we had some difficulty with our connections. We were both able to see one another and she could hear us but there was no audio from her end, and we were never able to hear them. Our Skype lesson project had to be tweaked and we were not able to do the Skype lesson as planned. The second Skype project, the questionnaire interview, had to be canceled and we were not ale to do it. However, my students still generated questions for the class in Guatemala and I was able to email the questions to her. The teacher in Guatemala emailed me back the students' responses to the questions. Therefore, the students were still able to gain new perspective on how education is in this particular school in Guatemala. The students were able to do a compare and contrast activity based on the responses I received, by email, from the teacher.

    If a teacher decides to do this Skype session lesson, I strongly encourage you, and the other teacher across the globe to contact tech support  from your county so that he/she can be available the day of to help in the event any technical difficulties, such as this, occur.

    Connecting with another teacher across the globe and working with Teachers 2 Teachers Global has been the highlight of my entire teaching career thus far. I learned so much about Guatemala alongside with my students and it was so much fun to interact with another 2nd grade teacher across the globe. I look forward to teaching this unit again year after year!