Traditions Across Europe
Winner of MEDEA European Collaboration Award 2009
Traditions Across Europe is a project within the eTwinning community, which is an EU programme that enables and encourages European schools to collaborate using ICT. Traditions Across Europe is based on an information exchange amongst 22 European schools about particular aspects, activities and traditions of the school's own country, a blog was set up by the schools to support this exchange. There, the 10 to 11 year old pupils of the Istituto Comprensivo "Don Bosco"-Francavilla in Sinni" (PZ) in Italy shared what they experienced and made at school as they learned about their own origins, history and traditions. Through the project's blog, and with the help of their two teachers Gina Antonietta Mango and Carmelo Mario Martino, the Italian pupils could communicate and exchange materials about their countries' traditions.
The showcase video of Traditions Across Europe, including an interview with Gina Mango
The children were engaged in the search and discovery of local traditions: songs, typical recipes, festivities, games and particular activities (wine-making, cider-making, olive oil extraction). It was a whole experience for the pupils, as they were confronted with the materials the other schools published on the blog and as they got to know more about the local, national and European culture. The most innovative and creative elements of the project were the confrontations that occured with foreign pupils and teachers, the analysis of authentic materials such as traditional objects, instruments, places, photographs, texts… and of course the usage of ICT to search and communicate, the realization and the usage of the Blog and the usage of eTwinning twinspace.
What the judges said about Traditions Across Europe:
“This is an excellent large scale twinning initiative (22 schools!) that combines many resources in diverse formats, generated by the pupils that are relevant and interesting for their peers. It’s also a great example of developing an active, responsible and conscious way of learning, where teachers and pupils are jointly discovering the world and sharing the knowledge with others. The key expression for this project is sense of community.
Though sometimes disorganised, a blog is a good choice to publish this diversity of positive, interesting presentations and materials such as pictures and films with a charming glow of imperfection. It is worth mentioning the value of teaching pupils how to choose a tool to match what they want to show, while using computers in class becomes fun learning. Traditions Across Europe highlights excellent collaboration between schools, with relevant and sensible exchanges of high quality, about subjects that are interesting for these users. Engaging and rich, rewarding for the users!”
About the creation of Traditions Across Europe
Two teachers of the Istituto Comprensivo "Don Bosco"-Francavilla in Sinni" (PZ) in Italy integrated this eTwinning project in their classes: Gina Antonietta Mango, who is an English teacher and Carmelo Mario Martino, who teaches Maths, Science, Geography, Informatic and P.E.: “The E-twinning project's aims are guiding the pupils to the gradual and conscious discovery of their own territory and to share and compare the most typical and particular aspects with the foreign partner schools using new technologies. We wanted our pupils to have a better understanding of our own history and our town's traditions through the discovery of our own territory, the typical activities available in it and our own traditions and to learn even more by sharing and comparing these with foreign partners using the English language and ICT.
We chose to use a blog for this project because it is more visible to exchange information and the pupils' works. The blog helps in promoting interaction, diversity, culture and the preservation of traditions and customs by publishing relevant and original materials, created by the pupils, so they can share their heritage. And, by using the blog and uploading materials, the pupils improved all of their ICT skills by for instance writing with text editors, drawing using imaging software, making multimedia files using Powerpoint, Windows Movie Maker, Slide maker...), using the blog functions (posting,editing, commenting,...) and web sources (Slide.com, You tube...) to share everything with the partner schools. Throughout the project, the published stories were refined with the capability of the pupils to artistically express themselves in different ways such as drawings, poems, songs, multimedia productions and their improved English skills.
The target students of the project were 10 to 16- year old students, and the pupils in this Italian primary school were 10 or 11 years old. Pupils from classes in the appropriate school years worked on the project for one hour each week in the English and Informatics lessons. The work we published on the blog were always a consequence of the integration among the activities provided in the project and those ones provided in the curriculum of the involved subjects : English, Information, Science, Geography, Environmental Education, P.E.. The activities of the project have been organized in short and long modules. All the activities were performed in subsequent phases and each one was integrated in the curriculum of the different subjects:
- Search on territory by interviews and visits (Geography, Environmental Education)
- Classroom experimentation of what they collected during the searches (Geography, P. E., Informatics)
- Introduction of the English language linked to the performed activities (English)
- Production of Word and WMV files with images and captions in Italian and in English, emails and post sending on the blog to share the performed activities with the foreign partners (Informatics, English, Art).”
About Gina Mango
Gina Antonietta Mango, who lives in Francavilla in Sinni (PZ) in the south of Italy, has been a primary school teacher since 1983. For the past 11 years she has been an English specialist teacher for all classes in the Scuola Primaria “Antonio Ciancia” of the Istituto Comprensivo “Don Bosco” and she has recently become a regular teacher there. In the past 5 years she and her colleagues were involved in many eTwinning projects, including “Traditions across Europe”, and they have collaborated with several European partners. Representing their school and MEDEA entry at the Awards Ceremony, she was accompanied by her colleague and right hand for each project activity Mr. Carmelo Mario Martino who co-submitted their entry and by Mr. Vincenzo Ciminelli who is the Principal of the Istituto Comprensivo “Don Bosco” and who has always supported this type of initiative.
Gina Mango (left), Carmelo Mario Martino and Vincenzo Ciminelli (right), after receiving their award from Maruja Gutierrez-Diaz from the European Commission (middle)
The teachers and principal who represented the winning school received a MEDEA medal and prizes including a MicroTrack II mobile digital recorder (sponsored by AVID), an Adobe Production Premium Creative Suite 4 Licence (sponsored by Adobe Systems) and a Berlin book prize.
http://traditionsacrosseurope.wordpress.com and http://my.twinspace.etwinning.net/traditionsacrosseurope.
The articles made by this Italian school are listed here: