Wednesday, February 12, 2014

7th Grade Skype with Olympic Torch Bearer Jon Tait

Yesterday during Bulldog Time all 7th graders had a Skype visit from a very special speaker,  Jon Tait, a physical education teacher from the United Kingdom and an Olympic torch bearer for his country during the summer 2012 London Olympics.  Jon's presentation about the meaning and history of the Olympic torch and his feelings representing his country as a torch bearer were the focus of his presentation.  Students also had the opportunity to ask questions about his experiences- everything from what he wore as a torch bearer to how he was chosen to represent his country.  This was done using Skype's group call feature, allowing us to connect 6 Skype accounts at once.

Jon's presentation provided a perfect connection to 7th graders' current integrated Language Arts/Social Studies project.  Students are connecting what they are learning about world countries in Social Studies to their Language Arts study of persuasion.  Currently, students are in groups researching details about one country in the world.  Next week, they will take what they learned about that country and create a persuasive video in Language Arts that attempts to persuade the "Olympic Committee" to host the next Olympic games in their country.

You may wonder who are the elite members of the "Olympic Committee" that will be deciding which country is selected for the next games.  The answer is EVERYONE!  As soon as students' videos are complete, we will send out a link asking for you to decide which video is the winner.  Stay tuned for the completed videos at the beginning of March.

A big thank you goes out to Jon Tait for taking his time to share his experiences with our students.  His passion and ability to easily connect with kids really impacted our students.  At the end of the day as I passed students in the hall, I heard so many "thank yous" and "that was awesome." 

To learn more about Jon Tait, visit his Skype in the Classroom page or follow him on Twitter @TeamTait.

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