How many sixth grade students have ever heard of Tasmania? Students in Mrs. Hatzopoulos’ sixth grade class at Island Trees Memorial Middle School have a direct link to the Australian state via their very own pen pals.
Through the website, e-Pals, these students are corresponding with a fifth grade class at the Stella Maris Primary School in Brunie, Tasmania, Australia. For both groups, students were matched up by the teachers and using the e-Pals website, they have begun to communicate electronically.
The students are becoming fast friends, sharing information about their daily lives, and even exchanged power point presentations about their hometowns. Through this exchange, sixth grade students in Hatzopoulos’ class have learned that a “chook” is a word for chicken, and that most of the Tasmanian students enjoy the same movies, music, and books as their Island Trees counterparts.
Due to the success of this program, another sixth grade class from the mainland in Sydney, Australia, has begun communicating with Hatzopoulos’ class as well. This has been an amazing experience communicating with the students in the “Land Down Under.”