What is Friends and Flags All About?
Friends and Flags is a collaborative learning project which engages classes in a dynamic many to many exchange with international partner schools. The main theme of this exchange is multi-cultural awareness which fosters mutual respect, tolerance and communication.
Upon registration teachers have the choice of being placed in any one of the following international learning teams
Pair - 2 countries Triangle - 3 countries Square- 4 countries Circle- 6 countries
Partners are placed in international teams according to grade and age level and students from each country collaborate with their peers while assuming the role of young ambassadors.
Various technologies are used for the duration of the project such as, email, email lists, and voice mail. The project website http://www.friendsandflags.org, is the community meeting point for all members and hosts the project forums, chat rooms, galleries, activities and much more.
Though Friends and Flags is an Internet project at heart, the project format also relies heavily upon traditional post, which enables equal learning opportunities for all members, regardless of any technological limitations. Each class is responsible for creating and mailing Friends Packs, one for each of the partners in their team. These packages are rich in content and reflect the students' cultural environment. A major component of each package is a country guide book which is written, illustrated, designed and produced by students in every class. A comprehensive teachers kit is sent to every participant upon registration and includes suggestions for project implementation.
What are the Project Objectives?
1) Curriculum and Real Learning: To provide opportunities for student involvement and "ownership” which strengthen core and extended curriculum and enable learners to apply their learning in real-life exchanges
2)Global Collaboration: To facilitate effective global collaboration between youth, to provide a framework for an authentic meaningful exchange
3) Communication and Research Skills: To encourage students to practice various computer communication skills as they interact in a dynamic online environment, to strengthen research skills as they consult various sources of information (Internet, encyclopedias, atlases, newspapers, library..)
4)Cultural Exchange: To encourage mutual respect, tolerance , and appreciation of cultural diversity.
5)Authentic Language Learning: To enable EFL students to use and enhance their English skills for authentic communication with a global audience.
How does the project work?
1. Teachers register classes provide relevant information ( contact email/ grade level /postal address.) and specify the size of learning team they would like to join.
2. Project Coordinator places participants in international groups according to age level. All team partners are notified in an email of the other members in the circle. Members receive email attachment of F&F teachers kit which provides additional information, suggestions, links and organizational tips.
3. Members join yearly project email list, for communications between teachers.
4. Partners touch base with each other and introductions and descriptions are sent by teachers to members of their circle. Teachers invited to participate in scheduled chat sessions during the project.
5. Depending on email access , teachers match students either individually or in groups for student email correspondence.
6. Partners prepare packages , including the cultural guide which reflects the whole country.
7. Partners prepare 1 patch for official F&F Multi-cultural Quilt
8. Partners invited and encouraged to participate in interactive F&F community by submitting project work, games, pictures.
What is the projects timeline?
June-August: Online Registration
Sept-Introductions between teachers- students
Sept-January: Package preparations
January: Sending of Package
September -July: Online activities
Does it cost anything to join?
No, there is no registration free. The only costs that you will have are for the production and mailing of your packages. This is each partners responsibility. Many partners have applied and received local grants for participating in Friends and Flags. Please check with your school administration regarding the expenses for your participation in the project.
What are the benefits of joining the project?
You and your students will belong to a special community of global citizens committed to world collaboration.
You will develop friendships with colleagues in different countries.
You will have many opportunities to participate in exciting online and offline activities
You will be able to adapt the project to your curriculum and student population
Your students will have a global audience to appreciate their efforts
You will receive a Friends and Flags Certificate of Participation
You will receive tangible and authentic products from other countries for your classrooms
Doncrest Public School, showing off the package received from Israel
Friends and Flags is a very flexible project and has been implemented in many different ways from a single class project to a school wide challenge! Schools, youth groups and summer camps have all adapted to the project to suit their needs. Read about how teachers around the world make Friends and Flags Project Work for them!
Read Teachers Stories