Curriculum

The curriculum for Write4Change positions young people to think about themselves as change agents across local and global contexts. It will help them see connections between SELF-COMMUNITY-WORLD in two central areas:

  • writing (how can they impact others through their writing? how can they become thoughtful, sensitive, and effective writers online? how can they use digital tools to create powerful writing and measure the impact of their work on others?)
  • cross-cultural communication (how can they collaborate with people from different backgrounds and with different beliefs, languages, and cultures? how will they find common ground to learn from and with others? what strategies are most effective in promoting and sustaining dialogue? how do they see themselves in relationship with others, and how can they be ethical and caring in their interactions?)

The curriculum is designed to be very flexible for teachers to incorporate into their existing work, organized around three kinds of activities:

1. Missions

Each week the community issues a MISSION. Missions are short, locally-focused activities that each member of the community should do. Missions are designed for two purposes: 1) to help people learn about one another and their local cultures; and 2) to build students’ writing and cross-cultural communication skills.

Everyone in the community should participate in the weekly missions (including teachers, mentors, and students). Members will post their missions in the Asset Library, with the relevant hashtag.

Everyone begins with Mission Zero (#mission0): Getting to Know the W4C Community.

2. Projects

PROJECTS are at the heart of the W4C community. Many teachers already have students engage in project-based learning in their classrooms, and we encourage them to use or adapt those existing projects. Teachers can also use example projects from our Project Bank or create new projects for the W4C community alone or with other W4C educators. Projects can be any length and vary in depth and complexity, depending on the needs of the teacher/group.

We ask that teachers direct students to post project updates in the community, either to document work happening in the classroom or to seek feedback at different stages.

Our example projects in the Project Bank model an inquiry-to-action cycle that includes four built-in check in points (Inquire-Make-Act-Reflect). We encourage teachers to incorporate these check in points in their projects when possible.

Students can always post any ongoing or independent writing projects they are working on in the Writer’s Corner. This is a central place for people to find stories, engage with writing in progress, share new ideas, and get feedback.

3. Collaborations

COLLABORATIONS are opportunities for people to come together from across the community to work on something jointly. Sometimes these collaborations will take the form of a joint project (e.g., a collaborative publication) and other times these might involve exchanges (either person-to-person or group-to-group). Teachers can participate in as many or as few of these collaborations as desired, organizing a collaboration with others or joining collaborations in progress (these will be announced on the weekly group blog).

Some examples of past collaborations include:

  • A live dialogue between two groups, conducted via Skype or Google Hangout
  • A kind of ‘pen-pal’ exchange, either between students matched up by teachers or between a mentor and student
  • A group ‘relay’ writing activity, in which a student writes one part of a story and passes it on to the next writer
  • A curation project, with different students add to a group whiteboard (e.g., what lunches look like across the world; or ‘how to survive in X city’)
  • An action project, in which different students collect data on an issue in different places (e.g., water or air quality)
  • A data exchange, with students collecting and visualizing data on their activities

 

We offer more details about the curriculum, including example missions, projects, and collaborations, in the private teacher community. Please be in touch if you would like access to this community.