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Decorah Middle School students Zoom with international pen pals

Posted: Mon, May 11, 2020 12:49 PM
A Zoom meeting with DMS students' pen pals from India

Decorah Middle School sixth grade students have been writing to pen pals from India, Italy, Greece, and China through their social studies classes taught by Lisa Witzke and Kelly Farley.  Recently these students participated in Zoom meetings with their pen pals. They shared how they are living with COVID-19, the activities they are involved in, what they are missing during this time, and ended by sharing something special in a "show and tell" fashion.

Witzke remarked, "We learned so much from each other. This work complements our studies of these regions we learn about in social studies. The sessions were so heartwarming, personal, and hands-on."  Farley added, "This experience moved me, and I felt so inspired by our young people both here and across the world.  What a joyful opportunity!"  

The students were equally excited to connect with their pen pals through Zoom. Nora Lesmeister shared this: "Today I zoomed with pals from India! On Thursday (April 30th), I zoomed with pals from Greece! And on Friday (May 1st), I zoomed  with my pals from Italy! It was super fun to hear their accents and what has been happening at home for them and what they do in their free time, which they have a lot of.  I was pleasantly surprised by how good they were at English, and they are all very polite and very artistic! I also shared my experience at home and how quarantine has changed my life."

"I loved the experience of talking to people from different countries. I participated in the Zoom meetings with the people from Greece and India, and that meant a lot to me just to be able to hear their voices and see how COVID-19 has affected their lives. I'm so thankful that our social studies teacher gave us this opportunity. It was a great learning experience," added Lauren Holthaus.

Nora Lesmeister participating in a Zoom with her pen pal
Ezra Wood-Harman with classmates and his pen pal
Jasera Tweten during the show and tell portion of the Zoom meeting
Jameson LaBelle at his Zoom meeting with his pen pal