Welcome students and teachers from the United States and Turkmenistan!

This online project is an opportunity for a fun and educational cultural exchange. Each week, students will have the chance to share information and insights about their lives. The topics offer some suggestions for ways to share your thoughts and experiences, but we encourage you to be creative!

*Tips to Consider:

After you have posted your opinions, reflections, and images to the forum, see what your partner has shared with you. Ask lots of questions, as you may be surprised by what is different and common between your lives. Remember, this is supposed to be fun! We want you to learn about another culture, but also to enjoy examining your own.

Unit 1 –Twenty Questions

Week 1 - February 16-20: Participating students and teachers post one-paragraph messages about themselves, their families and schools. Along with your brief introduction, please post an image (a photograph, piece of artwork, or image) that you feel represents you, and tell the group why the image represents you. Be sure to read and think about what your international peers have written.

Week 2 - February 23-27: Offline, each class meets with their teacher and comes up with a list of 20 things they want to know about their partner class. These questions should be on diverse topics and not be ‘yes or no’ questions. When the list is completed, post it to the forum site.

Week 3 - March 2-6: Again, meeting as a class, students come up with answers to all twenty questions, and images to go along with each answer, all to be posted to the forum or site. Pictures can be photographs, images of artwork, or computer graphics, but answers should not be provided without illustrations.

Unit 2 – Your Hometown, Your World

Week 4 - March-9-13: You have been broken up into small groups of 3-4 people. Based on what you learned in the 20 Questions Unit, come up with 3-4 questions you would like to ask your partner group in Turkmenistan about their hometowns, countries, or cultures. These questions should give your peers a chance to respond in considerable detail. Post your questions to the message board.

Week 5 - March 16-20: In your small group, answer your partner group’s questions with both written responses AND visual imagery. Both media should work together in conveying something meaningful about your communities.

Unit 3 – Great Artists from the US and Turkmenistan

Week 6 - March 23-27: In your small groups, pick a famous artist or cultural figure from your country. In a paragraph, describe the artist or cultural figure to your partner group, explain why the artist or cultural figure is an important figure in your nation, and post at least one image of his/her works.

Week 7 - March 30-April 3: As a group, write about your reactions to your partner group’s artist or cultural figure. Describe what strikes you about the artist or cultural figure your partner group chose. Do the artists/cultural figures have anything in common? What do you think your partner’s artist or cultural figure is trying to express?

Unit 4 – Art as Understanding

Week 8 - April 13 - 17: Do you think art can be a tool for diplomacy and mutual understanding? In your small groups, create images (drawings, collages, etc.) that represent how art can help people learn more about each other. Post a description along with your image(s).

Week 9 - April 20-24: How can art make the world a better place? In your small groups, please find a piece of art that you believe contribute to making the world a better place. Please post pictures of the art along with a brief description of how that work of art is making the world a better place.

Week 10 - April 27 - May 1:** Respond to any questions your peers posted. Individually or as a group, post your closing thoughts. What did you learn that surprised you the most? What were the most striking similarities and differences between the two countries? How will what you learned influence your art? What role is there for art in cultural exchange? What did you find to be a better medium for communication—writing or imagery?
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