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Teacher: Gerry Cernicky who teaches at Alegheny ES in Leechburg, PA. Gerry Cernicky can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Cross Cultural Student Collaboration Project

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To provide students with the opportunity to communicate with other students from another part of the world and to integrate physical education with other subject areas.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-8

Materials Needed: Computer with email capabilities.

Cross Cultural Student Collaboration Project

The cross cultural collaboration project at Alegheny Elementary School began when physical education teacher Gerry Cernicky met Rex Wood a physical education teacher from New Zealand on the USPE listserv. The two teachers decided to initiate a collaborative project which would allow students to communicate with one another.

The first task was for students at Allegheny Elementary School to send letters to students at Reporoa school in New Zealand. In the initial letter students wrote of their interests and hobbies and were matched with other students with similar interests. To gain further momentum, principals from each school wrote letters of introductions.

Other subject areas were also integrated into this project. Classroom teachers were notified to include information about New Zealand and the USA in each core subject. This allowed students to compare such topics as government, culture, weather, money, historical sites, and geography. Additionally during language arts, students read and wrote their letters, while teachers would check for proper spelling and grammar.

Parents were informed of this project through a PE newsletter. Additonal promotion came when a local newspaper did a front page expose' that included pictures of American students engaging in cultural activites of New Zealand. This project has elevated the status of physical education at Allegheny Elementary School and has demonstrated the importance physical education can have in a child's overall education.

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Posted on PEC: 9/27/2001 and has received 85 votes.

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