Greetings from Panama.
I’m excited to announce the name of the project I’ve been working on. It’s called “Write of Passage Summer Camp”.
To make it happen, I’ve teamed up with David Perell, a friend I admire dearly and the creator of Write of Passage. As I’ve mentioned in previous emails, this online course changed my life for the better, and now I look forward to bringing this experience to a younger audience.
David and I see learning through a different lens: as a playful, self-motivated, and self-directed experience. We’ll provide a space for kids from around the world to meet each other, learn and create together, and experience the radiant energy of live online learning.
If you want to hear more about the project, sign up here for updates. And if you have a friend who should know about Summer Camp, please share the link with them!
Sharing is Caring
It has been heartwarming to see so many generous people sharing resources to help families and schools navigate this uncertain time. In this email, I’ll share 8 “Fab Tips” that you can try at home with your kiddos.
In times like these, it’s worth remembering that children are designed, by nature, to play and explore on their own, independently of adults. They learn from anything and everything. They learn wherever they are, not just in school. They don’t need a robust curriculum, elaborated lesson plans, or fancy digital tools in order to learn.
For your sake and theirs, keep it simple and fun.
8 “FAB Tips”
Let kids choose a fun project—Pinterest is my go-to place— or let them engage in creative play using materials you have available at home. Kids love using simple props in an open-ended and unstructured way.
2. VIRTUAL PLAY-DATES— Use technology to help kids connect and interact with friends and loved ones. Platforms like Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facetime are available for all ages, all the time. Kids can get together with a friend or in groups of various sizes and interact in meaningful ways. Here are some ideas:
Start a virtual Book Club
Organize a Read-a-Thon
Hold a Dance Contest or Karaoke Party
Do a “Cook & Share” afternoon, where kids share their favorite recipe
3. ONLINE MUSEUM TOURS AND VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS— a list of web based platforms for both online museums and virtual field trips for kiddos to explore the world from their home!
1- Moon Tour — With Moon in Google Earth, kids can:
Take tours of landing sites, narrated by Apollo astronauts
View 3D models of landed spacecraft
Zoom into 360-degree photos to see astronauts' footprints
Watch rare TV footage of the Apollo missions
2- Google Art Project—Kids can explore the site by selecting an art collection, an artist, or an artwork. They can click on the yellow “pegman” icon to visit these institutions virtually and create and share their personal selection of artworks in the “My Galleries” section, as well as explore other users’ galleries.
3- Planet in Action — Google Earth is a 3D representation of our entire planet. A fun way for kids to explore our planet!
4- NASA—This is the official museum of NASA for kids to learn about NASA's aeronautics and space explorations.
5- World Wonders Project—From the archaeological areas of Pompeii to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Google’s World Wonders Project aims to bring to life the wonders of the modern and ancient world.
6- Digital Field Trip to The Rainforest—Have kids experience a tropical rainforest and learn about the wonders of this incredible environment.
7- Eternal Egypt—Eternal Egypt is a living record of a land rich in art and history, people and places, myths and religions. The stories of Eternal Egypt are told using animations, virtual environments, remote cameras, and three-dimensional models.
8-Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History— This virtual tour allows kids using a desktop computer (Windows, Mac, Linux) or a mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android) to take a virtual, self-guided, room-by-room walking tour of the whole museum.
9- Arctic Tour—Exciting arctic dogsled expeditions and research for kids to gain an understanding of natural and social sciences while experiencing the cultures of the Arctic.
4. FUN THINGS TO WATCH
BrainChild —Netflix educational series that introduces a number of scientific topics explained in a way that's refreshingly relatable to young audiences
A list of Ted Talks to watch with kids that are fun and captivating
The National Geographic Kids —YouTube Channel with engaging videos of animals, science, funny pets, etc
5. PODCASTS—Here are some kid-friendly podcasts you can listen to for free online:
6. VIRTUAL STORY TIME
Vrook: A streaming library of read-aloud, animated storybooks (1 month free)
Storyline Online: Videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside beautiful illustrations and animations (free)—My students LOVED this site
7. SUPPLEMENTARY ONLINE PROGRAMS— for kids who want additional help with specific topics
Outschool —offers a variety of live online classes for kids all ages ranging from Art, Coding & Tech, English and Math, to Life Skills and World Languages
Crash Course Kids —YouTube Channel with fun educational videos
8. STAY ACTIVE INDOORS
Go Noodle — dance, sing, and relax with movement and mindfulness videos that kids follow along!
Create a playlist on Spotify and have a freestyle dance party! (My 3rd and 4th grade students could do this for HOURS)
If you try out any of the 8 “FAB Tips” shared in this email, please let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you.
Until next week,