One of the many social studies standards for our fifth graders is learning about the three branches of government. While this has been one of my favorite teaching resources from Lakeshore, I have added to this kit over the years:
We read about the three branches, made a foldable, and did a 3D tour of Washington DC using Google Earth. My partner teacher, Mrs. H, had a fantastic idea of contacting her cousin, Mrs. W who works for one of our nation's governors.
So, without telling our students, we enlisted the help of our school's digital coach to set up a Skype call with her. It was a fairly easy process once we found all the proper cords and did a test run with the iPads.
We casually mentioned the upcoming Skype call to our students a few days before it happened. Hey, we're calling Washington DC to chat about our nation's government. No big deal, just a typical day in the fifth grade.
They brainstormed questions which ranged from incredibly thoughtful (Which branch of government is your favorite?) to a tad silly (Have you met the first dog? Mind you, the dog. Not the President or First Family, they were only concerned about the First Pets.) Mrs. W was incredibly patient with them and answered all their questions. They loved it!
Huge shout out to my partner teacher Mrs. H and her wonderful cousin for letting our fifth graders Skype it up and enhance their learning.