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Talking Walls:. Fitting software into a constructivist model Jeanne Pfeifer Susan O’Hara. Talking Walls

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talking walls

Talking Walls:

Fitting software into a constructivist model

Jeanne Pfeifer

Susan O’Hara

talking walls www edmark com www csus edu indiv p pfeiferj

A treasury of fine lessons on multiculturalism, world issues, and history….a jubilant celebration of diversity in today’s world culture imparting optimism in the human journey

talking walls unit plan
Talking Walls: Unit Plan
  • Students read Talking Walls and Talking Walls: The Stories Continuein teams, choose stories
  • Explore software appropriate to the stories
  • Each team will devise symbols related to their stories and enter symbol on a classroom world map and timeline
  • Students categorize stories in different ways and begin to focus on differences and similarities across cultural perspectives
  • Communicate with students in other parts of the world to ask about walls in their community
  • Students explore the meanings of customs, traditions, and values
  • Students go out into their own community to find and take pictures of walls (digital or scan)
  • Students build a web based wall of their community
what walls
What Walls?
  • Talking Walls:
  • Great Wall of China
  • Aborigine Paintings
  • Lascaux Cave Paintings
  • Wailing Wall (Jerusalem)
  • Mahabalipuram’s Cliff
  • carvings (India)
  • Decorated walls of
  • Ka’aba (Mecca)
  • Green Granite Walls
  • (Zimbabwe)
  • Cuzco Wall (Peru)
  • Taos Pueblo
  • Diego Rivera Murals
  • Limestone Walls of
  • Canadian Museum of
  • Civilization
  • Vietnam Veterans
  • Memorial Wall
  • Nelson Mandela’s
  • Prison Walls
  • Berlin Wall
talking walls the stories continue
Talking Walls: The Stories Continue
  • Friendship, Maine
  • Murals at Bonampak
  • (Mexico)
  • Hadrian’s Wall (G.B.)
  • Wall of Remembrance
  • (Holocaust)
  • Ndebele (South Africa)
  • Levee Wall (Mississippi)
  • Chinese Immigrant Wall
  • (Angel Island)
  • Anti-Graffiti Network
  • (Philadelphia)
  • Peace Wall, Moscow
  • Walled City, Morocco
  • Prayer wheel Walls
  • (Tibet and India)
  • Wat Po Temple
  • (Thailand)
  • Divali Wall paintings
  • (India)
  • Dog Wall (Tokyo)
  • Peace lines (Belfast)
  • Pable Neruda’s Fence
  • (Chile)
classroom map of the world
Classroom Map of the World

Students will create symbols representing the Talking Walls and place them appropriately on the world map

categorize different walls time
Categorize different “walls”: (time)


961 BC




138 AD

Cuzco Peru

Nelson Mandela

Great Wall


Wailing Wall



Peace Wall

Berlin Wall

Hadrian’s Wall

Holocaust Wall


other ways of categorizing
Cultural Identity

Cuzco Wall

Ndebele Wall


Nelson Mandela

Peace Wall

Berlin Wall

Holocaust Wall


Cuzco Wall

Peace Wall


Story Telling

Inside Out

Nelson Mandela

Cuzco Wall

Peace Wall


Other Categories?

Other Ways of Categorizing
cultural perspectives
Cultural Perspectives

Students will examine both the timeline and categories

  • What are the cultural perspectives embedded in the various walls?
  • What specific values do these seem to represent?
  • What are some of the positive and negative impacts of the manifestation of these values?
  • What seem to be some lasting/common values across cultures?
  • Are there specific values represented during different time periods?
  • What is fascinating about differences in cultures?
  • How can we value and respect multiple perspectives and learn from them?
walls around the world
Walls Around the World
  • Using email students will communicate with other children around the world
  • They will describe what they have been exploring with Talking Walls
  • Students will ask:
    • What walls are important in your community?
    • Will you send a description and some pictures or drawings of these walls?
  • Students will make symbols for new walls and add to classroom World Map
what purposes do customs and traditions serve any culture
What Purposes do Customs and Traditions Serve any Culture?
  • How do customs and traditions differ from routines?
    • Name a routine that you have
    • Describe traditions from your culture
    • Describe customs from your culture
    • Have any of these changed over time and why?
  • What types of customs and traditions from your culture did you see in any of the stories?
  • How are customs and traditions passed down from generation to generation?
  • How do customs and traditions reflect the values people hold?
our community wall
Our Community Wall
  • Students will explore and photograph walls in their own community and/or school
  • Students will scan pictures or use digital cameras
  • Students will build a virtual, hyperlinked wall, which tells the story of their own community
  • Students will present their personal Talking Walls in a multimedia presentation.
topics for discussion
Topics for Discussion
  • What kinds of Talking Walls do you think students might focus on?
  • What components of this unit infused the technology into a constructivist learning environment?
  • What other ideas do you have for using software in a constructivist way?
  • Can all software be adapted for use in constructivist learning environments?
talking walls www edmark com www csus edu indiv p pfeiferj1

A treasury of fine lessons on multiculturalism, world issues, and history….a jubilant celebration of diversity in today’s world culture imparting optimism in the human journey