Discovering Barrow, Alaska -- A Collaborative Project


As part of a unit of study of the regions of the United States, fourth grade students in Mrs. Sherbondy's room at David Leech Elementary School have been collaborating with a fourth grade classroom in Barrow, Alaska to understand the differences in topography, economics, culture, and simple day-to-day life activities based upon geographic location. The project began with a social studies unit planned by the student teacher, Mr. Joshus Ely. Mr. Ely contacted the Alaskan Department of Education to obtain the e-mail address of a teacher who would be willing to participate in this collaborative project. He was put in contact with Jeffrey Prothero, a fourth grade teacher in Barrow—the northern most city in the United States.

So far, students have shared questions, pictures, and videos back and forth leading up to the culminating activity of a live Skype conference on December 15th between the two classrooms. Some of the most exciting topics for students here have been Alaska’s darkness, weather, northern lights, and traditional Eskimo dances—since the majority of the Barrow population consists of native Inuit people. It is an educational experience that both classrooms are sure to remember!


Our First Communication was a video we sent to them:













Here are the pictures we then received from our friends in Barrow:

After_School_Twilight.jpg



arch.jpg


Arctic_Sunset.JPG



Barrow_2-07-2009.jpg



Beach1.jpg



Beach3.jpg



Boats.jpg



Caribou.jpg



Dumpster.jpg



Eskimo_Cheerleaders.jpg



Football_in_Barrow_2008-10-04.jpg



Football2.jpg



Football3.jpg



Goodbye_Sun.jpg



Ice.jpg



IMG_0551.jpg



IMG_0557.jpg



IMG_0563.jpg



IMG_0577.jpg



IMG_0587.jpg



IMG_0600.jpg



Inupiat_Dancers.jpg



Inupiat_Drummers.jpg



Inupiat_Drummers2.jpg



Lagoon.jpg



Moon_over_Browerville.jpg



Moonsunset_0698.jpg



Polar_Bear_on_the_Beach_of_Barrow,_Alaska_9-11-08.JPG



Polar_Night.jpg



Polar_Night2.jpg



Polar_Twilight.jpg



Ptarea1.jpg



Ptarea2.jpg



Ptarea3.jpg



School.jpg



Skull-library.jpg



Snowmachine.jpg



Streetscene.jpg



Technological_Students_2.jpg



Technological_Students_3.jpg



Twilight.jpg



Twilight-tundra.jpg



Welcomesign.jpg



Whale_Division.jpg


Whaling.jpg



Yupik_Dancers.jpg



Yupik_Elder.jpg










And our culminating project was a live Skype conference with students in both classes exchanging questions and answers. Both the teachers and students agree that this will not be our last contact, as we will try to collaborate on another project later in the year.