2013 Group 6

A Tale of Two Cities Cultural Exchange

Project Authors:

- Steve Mauk, Region xi, Bridgeport ISD,  Mauk1speed@gmail.com

- Linda Armstrong, Region xi, Godley ISD, larmstrong@godleyisd.net

- Manny Holguin, El Paso ISD, mpholgui@episd.org

- Jennifer Bell, Region xi, jlbell06@gmail.com

- Deborah Perkins, Region xi, deborahperkins87@gmail.com

Subject Area: Social Studies 6th, 7th, 8th

Description: This project is designed to engage students from two different classrooms in a culture exchange.  The project focuses on research and communication skills.  It is intended for participation between two classes.  Classes will share information about their city and then create a venn diagram to compare and contrast the two cities.  

Learner Outcomes:

6.15 Culture.  The student understands the similarities and differences within and among cultures in various world societies. (E)

6.18 Culture. The student understands the relationship that exists between the arts and the societies in which they are produced. (A) (B) (C) (D)

6. 21 Social Studies Skills. The students applies critical thinking skills to organize and use information acquired through established research methodologies from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. (A)

Time: This project will require 5, 40 minute class periods.  The first class period will be dedicated to a meet and greet between the classes.  Have the students briefly introduce and give a fun trivia fact about themselves.  Teachers will explain the project.  Students will also verbalize any questions or areas of interest they would like the other class to address in the future presentation. Classes will then do individual research for two days.  On the fourth day each class will present their projects.. The fifth day will be devoted to  Q&A, a group Venn Diagram activity, and closing remarks.

Preparation: Teachers will  introduce the project to their respective classes before any video conferencing takes place. Each student will need to prepare a fact ahead of time to share during the welcome/introduction on day one.  Everyone’s fact should begin with “hi, my name is _____, most people don’t know ______about me.” Each class will also prepare ahead of time a list of at least 5 things they would like to learn about the other class.  Teachers will need to take time to test the videoconference connection between their classes and to figure out the appropriate times to conference keeping time zone differences in mind. One teacher will also need to prepare a short video about the two towns to pique the interest of the students.

Materials: Rubric sheets for each student, dry erase board and markers for the Venn Diagram, video conferencing equipment.

Videoconference Agenda:

*2-3 days before 1st videoconference, students will view commercial/ movie trailer that one teacher has made about the two towns.

Day 1: Welcome Day (40  minutes) El Paso calls Fort Worth

15 minutes: Welcome and Introductions.  Classes take turns introducing themselves and sharing a fact about each student.  

15 minutes:  One teacher explains the project and the other goes over the agenda for the remaining days.  Students are able to ask questions about the project.

10 minutes: Classes share their pre-made list of topics/questions with each other.   

Day 2 & 3: Research:

Classes conduct research to the questions asked during the VC.  The students will develop a product to be used to share their results.  (a presentation, poster, video, brochure, etc.)

Day 4: Presentation Day (Entire class - 40 minutes) Fort Worth calls El Paso

20 minutes - School #1 presents

20 minutes - School #2 presents

*Students should be taking notes during the partner classes presentation.

Day 5: Venn Diagram Activity (Entire class - 40 minutes)

25 minutes:  Each class draws a large Venn Diagram and together they compare and contrast the two cities.  They will go back and forth between classes to share responses, and both classes will fill in the venn diagram.  

15 minutes:  As a closing activity ask students to answer the following questions:

- What was the most interesting thing you learned about the other city?

- What did you learn about your own city that you did not know before?

Have the classes say goodbye to each other.


Post Activities: Have the students reflect on their experience with this project through individual blog entry responses.  Have them address the following questions in their response.

- What did you enjoy about participating in this project.

- Any suggestions for improving this project.  

- What are two things you learned about the other city?   


Assessment and Evaluation: Peer Assessment using the rubric and teacher observation.

Implementation Plans: Our group plans to implement this lesson by setting up a time in the fall to videoconference between Linda’s class and Manny’s class.  Steve would also like to videoconference Manny’s class, he just needs to find a place/connection in order to do so.  Once the connection has been established between the classes, plans are to keep up the relationship through video conferencing periodically through the year.


Student Rubric:

Student Name:________________________________ Class Period:__________________

Teacher Name:_______________________________  Date:_________________________







All requirements are met and exceeded.

All requirements are met.

One requirement was not completely met.

More than one requirement was not completely met.


Covers topic in-depth with details and examples. Subject knowledge is excellent.

Includes essential knowledge about the topic. Subject knowledge appears to be good.

Includes essential information about the topic but there are 1-2 factual errors.

Content is minimal OR there are several factual errors.


Content is well organized using headings or bulleted lists to group related material.

Uses headings or bulleted lists to organize, but the overall organization of topics appears flawed.

Content is logically organized for the most part.

There was no clear or logical organizational structure, just lots of facts.


No misspellings or grammatical errors.

Three or fewer misspellings and/or mechanical errors.

Four misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

More than 4 errors in spelling or grammar.


Well-rehearsed with smooth delivery that holds audience attention.

Rehearsed with fairly smooth delivery that holds audience attention most of the time.

Delivery not smooth, but able to maintain interest of the audience most of the time.

Delivery not smooth and audience attention often lost.


The workload is divided and shared equally by all team members.

The workload is divided and shared fairly by all team members, though workloads may vary from person to person.

The workload was divided, but one person in the group is viewed as not doing his/her fair share of the work.

The workload was not divided OR several people in the group are viewed as not doing their fair share of the work.


Source information collected for all graphics, facts and quotes. All documented in desired format.

Source information collected for all graphics, facts and quotes. Most documented in desired format.

Source information collected for graphics, facts and quotes, but not documented in desired format.

Very little or no source information was collected.



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