Students in Shelby Guarino’s Gr. 5 English class recently became interested in the homework assignments of students around the world. In order to facilitate this curiosity the students volunteered to share their completed homework assignments with Harker’s sister schools. Sample homework assignments were swapped with students from schools in Japan, Australia, Ethiopia, France and Saudi Arabia.
Harker students sent assignments from Valentine’s Day and Halloween that highlighted their work in grammar and vocabulary. In return they received a variety of different homework assignments from all over the world. Students from the Institution Sévigné in France sent articles from their school newspaper including a poem titled “Night Poem,” which the students really enjoyed.
From the students of St. Stephen’s College in Coomera, Australia, our students received a variety of projects based on the novel “Convict Boy.” These assignments included a model convict ship and letters written by the students as if they were convicts trapped on the ship.
The Australian students also sent our students information on a program they participate in to learn about indigenous cultures. Students are treated to a presentation on these cultures by the indigenous people themselves. They are instructed in traditional dances and told tribal stories in an effort to give them a better perspective on the people and their heritage.
This homework exchange was a great opportunity for the students to learn about the education styles of other countries. Guarino stated that she “believe[d] it opened up their minds to start thinking more personally about more countries other than the U.S., Asia and India.” The goal of the program was to give our students a more worldly perspective and Guarino remarked that “interacting with our sister schools through giving and receiving real-life assignments makes [cultural education] all the more real.”