I love what Canadian teacher Cathy Beach did in March 2010 to involve her K-1 classroom in her trip to the paralympics. She created @HenryHudsonBear and this blog to share the trip with them. It was exciting for them all. I think it is great for teachers to connect with their home classrooms when traveling. (Unless you're going totally off the grid.) What a great story, here is what she told me:
"On a whim, I created @henryhudsonbear to explain the Olympics to the K-1 split-grade class I taught once a week, to reassure them that I was coming back! Helping @HenryHudsonBear to ""tweet"" his way around the Olympics and Paralympics became the most inspirational, hilarious, touching part of going to the Olympics for me, my students, and people we met from around the world. It was so effective in bringing the Olympics and Paralympics to kids that I'd love to find some funding and take him and have him tweet his way through the London Paralympics next August. (No Olympics, we're still broke from the last ones!)"
This lesson creeps me out, but with the fixation many students have on CSI, I could see how this would be a good creative writing lesson as you use this template to create a Facebook page for Jack the Ripper. I'm not very cool when it comes to this, but then again, some of you will find that this lesson suits your style.
Here is a cataloged list of lesson plans by event. I always go to this catalog at the beginning of each month to see what is coming up and keep things exiting. Up for March: World Book day (last week), Pi Day, Earth Hour, World Maths Day, Fairtrade fortnight, St. Patrick's Day, World Poetry Day, International Women's Day, and the Daffodil Schools Challenge and more. Plan ahead (especially if you're going to be out at all - like I am when I go to Canada.)
A set of powerpoints that include storyboards and tutorials to help students understand digital storytelling. Download these powerpoints and integrate different slides into what you're doing. If you don't have access to the AFI material (or even if you do) this is a nice supplement.