Learning Circles Themes

The 10 to 16-week Learning Circles place students and teachers into international teams or “Circles” to develop global projects around a shared theme. The process creates highly interactive, reciprocal teaching and learning environments in which classrooms engage in online, collaborative project work. The shared task is to create a Circle publication that collects or summarizes all the projects created by the classrooms in each Circle. Check out the themes below and learn more about the timeline of activities.

Themes for 2022-2023 Learning Circles Include:

My School

This is a 10-week Learning Circle for elementary school students (Elementary School, Middle School) which allows students to present information about their classroom and their school. Participants may choose to write stories, take photographs, prepare multi-media presentation, create video, or use other media formats to share and highlight information about their school. Each participating class will complete a class survey and project.

Computer Chronicles

This theme promotes writing across the curriculum (for Elementary School, Middle School). Interaction online revolves around producing a newspaper called The Computer Chronicles. Each class has the opportunity to sponsor one or more sections of the newspaper as their Learning Circle project. They solicit articles from their partner classes and edit them to create one section of the newspaper. This section is combined with the other sections sponsored by circles partners to form the completed newspaper, the Circle publication.

Places and Perspectives

Places and Perspectives (for Elementary School, Middle School, High School) encourages students to explore regional history, culture, government, and geography by sharing their knowledge with people from different locations. The goal is to help students understand how historical events and geographic conditions interact to help shape their lives and gives them a deeper understanding of themselves, their families and their communities. Each classroom sponsors a project for a section in the Places and Perspectives Review. For instance, a classroom might sponsor a section on local legends, interview native inhabitants or the elderly, describe the historical attractions of the area, examine local constitutions, or compare weather patterns, map studies.

My Hero

My Hero Learning Circles (for Elementary School, Middle School, High School), a collaboration between Learning Circles and the My Hero Project (www.myhero.com), is a writing and multi-media theme designed to inspire students to create hero stories from around the world. This Circle experience brings together students and teachers who are interested in collaborating with other schools from diverse areas of the world on the topic of heroism through writing, photography, digital arts, audio, drama and short film.

Choose from 4 My Hero Learning Circles to explore with your global peers, heroes and heroism in your lives, communities and countries. Work in this safe, virtual online space for teachers and students to discuss and share who inspires them, who are their heroes.

My Hero: A Call to Action

This Circle (for Elementary School, Middle School, High School) will be comprised of participants who have participated in a previous session of My Hero Learning Circles. The goal of this Circle experience will be for students and educators to create an action component by which they would either seek to support the work of an identified hero(es) or they would create a local initiative to continue or implement the actions of an identified hero(es).

Global Issues: Environment

The Global Issues theme allows students (Middle School, High School) to discuss a broad range of environmental, social, political, and economic issues with concern and affect the Earth’s entire population. Projects will focus on identifying and developing solutions for the countless issues that face the Earth’s inhabitants. This curriculum encompasses many subject areas including sociology, science, government, history, and economics.

Global Issues: Education

The Global Issues theme allows students (Middle School, High School) to discuss a broad range of social, political, and economic issues concerning current issues that affect education throughout the world. Projects will focus on identifying and developing solutions for the countless issues that face local, national, and global education. This curriculum may encompasses traditional educational subject areas as well as cross-curriculum areas of interest.

Teacher Sponsored Themes

Teachers are invited to sponsor and facilitate a theme for a special Learning Circle. If you have a project idea or suggestion contact Barry Kramer at learningcircles @ gmail.com to develop a plan to advertise and gather support for your project. In order to develop a special Circle theme it is best to start the process at least two months before the beginning of the Learning Circles sessions. It is also best to have a facilitator and some classes that may already be interested in the theme.

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